A simple theory of Palin

Mark P. writes:

I’ve read over your various posts on Sarah Palin and those of your commentators. I’m not certain where to place this comment, so I will just title it “The Grand Unifying Theory of Sarah Palin.” My hope is that it will explain much of the cognitive dissonance experienced by both her supporters and critics.

The general egalitarianism that permeates liberal society assumes that Democratic men are the same as Democratic women and that Republican men are the same as Republican women. So, whenever we see a female politician of either party running for office, we automatically assume that she supports the same positions that her fellow party members in general support. Any gender distinctions are lost in the background noise of ordinary Democrat vs. Republican politics.

The constant focus on Sarah Palin, however, has had the effect of cutting through the political noise. Essentially, the detailed public scrutiny of Palin has not only revealed what a raw, unadulterated female politician looks like, but it has also provided a glimpse into something rarely seen before: Republican-oriented gender politics. That is why the public is so thrown by Sarah Palin and why she invites such an extreme response.

Since Sarah Palin is a Republican gender politician, it stands to reason that John McCain is not the source of her political positions. Rather, I think Sarah Palin is simply following the political views of the women she associated with in Wasilla and other parts of Alaska. In other words, Sarah Palin’s political platform reflects the views of Republican women in small red-state towns. When she supports Title IX, or the Department of Education, or more funding for special-needs children, she does so because that is what is popular among a female Republican constituency.

That a Republican female constituency would have a taste for big government programs like their Democrat female counterparts really should not be surprising. They are women. Being self-interested and practical, women have no problem supporting programs benefitting themselves. What separates Democrat and Republican women is simply the accidental circumstances they find themselves in. So, if a Republican woman finds herself married to a white, middle class man, then she may oppose affirmative action because her well-being is tied to her husband’s income. If she has a daughter, then she wants to assure ample opportunity for her, so she will support Title IX. If she has a special needs child, then she will want federal help in dealing with that. If she is from a small town, then she will react negatively to “elite” treatment of small-town folk. If she supports legal immigration, it’s because her husband, herself and her children are not affected by legal immigration. If she wants more funding for teachers because she remembers the nice Mrs. Smith who tutored one of her kids, then she will defend the Department of Education.

What is missing, of course, is any kind of systemic or abstract thought, the thought necessary to keep a civilization going. Sarah Palin cannot see the larger implications of what she supports because she, like most women, is not hard-wired that way. She understands the immediate, practical usefulness of her positions to herself, but not why they are important to the larger society. It is, really, the viewpoint of a child that takes everything for granted.

Basically, Sarah Palin is a walking testimony as to why women should not be allowed to hold political office.

- end of initial entry -

Mel R. writes:

The only thing missing from Mark P’s very insightful comment is this:

” … nor have the franchise.”

The longer I live the more I realize those mean old dead white men who founded this country and those in Europe who preceded them knew a thing or two about human nature when they held elections.

God Bless,

February 13

Randy writes:

I have to agree with much of what Mark P. says. However, I don’t agree that Sarah Palin is as “empty” as he indicates. The reason is her fundamentalist Christian belief. What I have noted in Palin is her passion for what she believes. She appears to be much like a Robert Kennedy of the right. Remember how he used to speak with such passion with the flowing references to hope, goodness of man, and “let us explore the possibilities.” This is exuded in her speaking style and mannerisms. This is why the left despises her. She represents a challenge, for the first time on a national scale, to their “religion.” Compare that with the likes of McConnell, McCain, and Graham. I first became aware of Pain in 2006 when I was working in Alaska and saw her on the local news. She caught my attention and I remember thinking why couldn’t more Republicans be like this. I also remember reading reports that she once supported Pat Buchanan.

When she is speaking on issues where she is correct, she does so with a conviction that can only come from a world view shaped by something beyond the normal Republican politics. The reason I say this is because I have a similar outlook and manifest it. I have a passion about conservatism and what it represents which I believe comes from the my fundamentalist views. The concept of man’s inherent sin nature is at the core. Once you understand this concept, you see all the nonsense about using the government to raise up the Third World minorities for what it is. They are where they are because of their spiritual and moral weakness which is reflected in their culture (e.g. La Raza). This, in turn, is a reflection of their lack of exposure to the traditional Judeo-Christian tradition that was at the core of Western civilization. We can’t change that by setting up a government program.

Of course, as Mark says, Palin is woman with the associated issues that Mark cites. What we need is a male version of Palin who is not afraid to challenge the left at its core. Remember Tom Tancredo’s “nuke Mecca” comment”? I have heard Michael Savage say several times recently that the only thing that will save this country is the rise of conservative, fundamentalist Christianity. This comes from a man that totally rejected the gospel given to him by Jerry Falwell (I heard it on the air). But he still recognizes the underlying truth about traditionalist, Protestant Christianity. I don’t believe in the idea of a Christian nation however, there must be an underlying core belief system for all societies. In turn, the political leadership will reflect the underlying culture as it did during our founding years. Palin is a reminder of that.

Daniela writes:

On this one, I will have to disagree. First of all, I would be glad if only white men voted, like it was intended in the United States, simply because my view on things are closer to what conservative white men want—by the way, you could make a better case for why blacks shouldn’t vote than for why women shouldn’t vote. Anyway, I disagree because I looked at the voting records in my country and here women vote in mostly the same way as men with a difference of 1.5 percent at most as of who they voted for. My country would have had a socialist government from 1989 to 2004 if it wasn’t for the female vote and luckily the horrors unleashed by the economic policies of the socialists—try triple digit inflation and double digit unemployment in the early 1990s—was stopped in 1996 and we avoided a bankruptcy. The problem isn’t women, but what shapes the way Western women think—feminism, which also removes any criticism of women by society and makes women act like children. But again, the differences from the Western world to my country are relatively big. Here women are also by far more religious than men, which is the opposite in the West. I do think that your analysis is correct for women living in the Western world.

I would also like to say that the only MP in my country who voted against the Lisbon treaty was a woman. All the long-term-thinking, implications-understanding men voted FOR it, like it wasn’t an act through which we were renouncing our hard earned sovereignty.

The problem is the idea of universal suffrage, not the female one. Voting should be limited to the tax paying, property or business owning (so that the voters are tied to the land over which the government has the monopoly to use force), no criminal record, older than 25, younger than 65 population (so that older people can’t just vote the wealth of the working people to them in terms of retirement provisions). You can also make a case for why only married people with children should vote, considering they’re the ones who have a vested interest in not free riding on the wealth created by their parents and leaving a nice world to their children to live in. Doing what I described here in terms of voting would remove all the people without the ability of abstract, systemic thinking from ever being voters, regardless of gender (most men aren’t able to get the implications either).

LA replies:

I’ve asked Daniela what is her country, since she says it’s part of the EU but is not part of the Western world. I guess she is from one of the Eastern European countries.

LA continues:

Daniela is from Romania.

M. Jose writes:

I think that you have not yet touched (at least in recent discussions) on this aspect of the “Palin mystique.” Palin plays the ethnic/class card, as representing the white working class, the “NASCAR people.” She presents it as being “against the elites.” In some ways, the Palin supporters are playing the same game with her white working class status that liberals play with Obama’s “black man who acts white enough” status. Look at how much she emphasized Scott Brown’s pick-up truck when analyzing the Brown victory.

Now there is nothing wrong with being a “NASCAR person.” But it should not be enough to be the entire basis of a political or quasi-political career.

Kidist Paulos Asrat writes:

This is a very interesting summary of women in politics. I think essentially what Mark P. is saying is that there can never be any independently conservative women. Conservative women are conservative because they find themselves within conservative circumstances—i.e. married to a conservative husband, and/or living in a conservative community.

So the liberal positions that Republican women and politicians like Sarah Palin hold are really a reflection of their husbands’ and their communities’ positions. And such women take them on because they meet their self-interested and practical demands.

For example, a true conservative woman, within a true conservative family, would be at home and therefore could take much better care of her Down Syndrome child. (By the way, what is this lumping of all disabled children together? Some, unlike Down Syndrome, do have very serious problems and need serious professional assistance). With busy careers equal to any man (and supported by their husbands and communities), women—Republican or Democrat—like Sarah cannot do so. And since day-to-day care of children is still a woman’s responsibility, they bypass this by pulling in the government as nanny.

Many “conservative” women are some type of feminist at heart. It requires strong men, communities and families to dampen equality down and let people see other traits that are far more conducive to happy communities and families. Although there is a small fraction of women that can see the forest through the trees, and perhaps they are mostly part of VFR!

February 14

Daniela writes:

Randy, I find myself in what you say. When I believe in something, I will argue for it with the conviction of someone whose life depends on it. This got me into a lot of trouble at school, when I forced my socialist economics teacher to admit that I am right in front of the whole class—my grades suffered. But again, in life we have to make sacrifices in order to respect our own values and I think having a 20 percent worse grade at microeconomics and macroeconomics, even though I aced both finals is worth putting 24 other people off from socialist economic thinking.

M. Jose, I find marketing interesting. The powers of iconography, eh? This is one of the most dangerous things that conservatives could do—associate conservative ideas to a person and think that everything that person says is conservative, especially when that person is someone like Palin, who at least to me, doesn’t inspire anything. She just repeats some cliches, while proposing the opposite in terms of what she is willing to do—it’s double speak and I hate it. You either want smaller government and get the government out of the lives of people or not. Once you start to back off, accept that the government should help children with certain problems, for example, it’s a slippery slope to full blown socialism and big government.

Kidist Paulos Asrat, I am an independently conservative woman. I will give you a background check. I was a liberal girl socially (which came out of a huge disappointment I had in life), until a couple of years ago. I can’t say that I kept my virginity for my wedding night or that I didn’t use drugs. I drank and I smoke. Looking back, I realize that they were all mistakes, but I can’t do much about it. Sadly, life is the art of drawing without an eraser. Now, how did I become a conservative? I was looking up something on Google and I got Fjordman’s old blog and I started to read it and I was horrified. This made me read a book on Islam and Europe and from there I got into the politics of it. This made my opinions on the economy stronger (I was always an advocate of less government, but I didn’t really know why I felt it’s the right way, I just instinctually did and after studying, now I know why) and then I got to feminism and I realized what a huge sham and a disgusting movement it is. It was hard for me to accept emotionally that no-fault divorce is wrong, for example, I found it cruel to keep people in a union in which they don’t want to be. It was hard for me to accept that women will always be sluts if they spread their legs, while men won’t, but I understood why and now it’s part of me. I have to say, renouncing my old self was sort of hard, but logically I knew it was wrong and I started the transition to where I am now. Then I got to something like Auster’s discrimination principles, but I didn’t articulate them and I realized deep down that it’s wrong (reading that article made me fall in love with this site lol). Now I’m against no fault divorce, I’d advise women to save their virginity for marriage, I am in favour of homeschooling (I always was, it was just common sense to me that parents should be able to raise their kids), I’m against government intervention in the economic life and I’m pro family (I’m the one that suggested tax deductions for homeschooling couples with the average educational cost in the public system, and $10,000 for each child) and anti-welfare, especially the one that replaces the father with the handout. And you can say I’m not conservative for being for legalizing drugs and prostitution, but I hate both. It’s just that they have to be discouraged socially in terms of family and community, not illegalized because you won’t solve the underlying problems in that way (prostitution was legal in my country before WW2 and the vast majority of women weren’t hookers) and you can also make it safer for people to not spread diseases. I’d also like to have a job and I’m getting an education, but I would never put my career in front of my family. For example, if my child would really need me, I’d quit my job, I wouldn’t just drop him in a day care. I despise day care and the like, I’d rather have my child with my parents. This was the sane state of affairs actually—the parents worked, children with the grandparents that were provided for by the working parents. The woman not working was a recent privilege that women had.

As a conclusion, my conservatism isn’t a product of my family (a lot of my relatives are socialists), but it’s a product of having a working brain and being raised in a family that pushed me to think and find my solutions in life, while they guided me through—even though I blew it a lot of times. Funny enough, I made my mother be a lot more conservative and I made my father agree that governmental safety nets are stupid.

Mark P. writes:

Kidist wrote:

So the liberal positions that Republican women and politicians like Sarah Palin hold are really a reflection of their husbands’ and their communities’ positions. And such women take them on because they meet their self-interested and practical demands.

This is not entirely what I mean. Sarah Palin’s positions are a reflection of the pool of women in her community, not of the community in general or the husbands in general. In turn, the community of women takes the liberal positions it does because those positions meet the women’s self-interested and practical demands. Since Sarah Palin is marinated in this gynocracy, she adopts those positions on the national stage.

More generally, Republican women are less conservative than Republican men, and Democrat women are more liberal than Democrat men.

I also disagree with M. Jose. I don’t think Sarah Palin is playing to this NASCAR crowd at all. I think she is part of that NASCAR crowd. Her affinity for this group is genuine and her conservatism is genuine, as far as it goes. But if it does not go any further it is because of the Women of Wasilla.

There is also a further matter to consider. As Sarah Palin’s fortunes change, will her conservatism change as well? Probably so, as her personal life develops a whole new set of practical concerns. I am anticipating her petering out. This wouldn’t matter so much if Republican politicians had a more balanced set of players on their roster. Since, however, we’re fielding Republican deus ex machinas, I don’t expect this Scott Brown / Sarah Palin thing to end well.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 12, 2010 10:48 PM | Send

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