Palin and the conservative betrayal

Carol Iannone writes:

How would conservatives be talking if Palin were a Democrat? I don’t believe they would be winking away the teen pregnancy issue and even presenting it as a good. I don’t believe they would be touting the idea that her being a woman and a mother and a hockey mom are big pluses in running for national office. I don’t think they would be saying that because she is a mother with family problems, we can all the more identify with her as being just like us. I don’t think they would be defending her relatively slim record with bared teeth. I think they would be saying the opposite of all this. I believe they would be spinning as negatives what they are now calling positives.

They are hypocritically having things both ways—to push her family as part of her appeal but to trounce questions about her family and its relation to the campaign as sexist and out of bounds. The conservative movement has often advanced the idea the importance of full-time motherhood (weren’t evangelicals especially big on this?). And yet now they snarl, how dare you question if she has enough time for her family, you wouldn’t say that to a man. I thought our side still believed that men and women do have different natures, at least to some extent and in some areas, especially when it comes to family. Isn’t that how they always explain the remaining wage gap? And now they are crying sexism and invoking the standard that the left always uses to judge our society as unfair to women—that of the absolute sameness of the sexes. Furthermore, she is setting herself as heartland vs. elite and yet it’s the elite relaxation of moral standards everywhere (decried by conservatives only yesterday) that enables her to shrug off her daughter’s situation as the ups and downs that all families face.

So to me the whole thing is unreal and kind of a betrayal of principles. I do think she is impressive and attractive and in some ways inspiring and I want to see her in politics, but I also thought the speech was nasty and cutting and sarcastic, with an us vs. them mentality. I don’t think pit bulls are appealing, even with lipstick. It made me uncomfortable, I felt it mocked things I care about, I felt it excluded me, I felt it presented no positive vision, just ridicule of the other side, and once again I felt the ache of the eclipse of the more genial, sunny, honest, expansive, and healthy-hearted age of Reagan, the age in which I really became a conservative.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 05, 2008 05:01 PM | Send

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