Thursday, September 11, 2008

Penguin vs. Barracuda: Sarah Palin’s Egalitarian Revolution

By Bernie Quigley

- for The Hill at 9/11/08

Boston actor Matt Damon is appalled that a rural “hockey mom” even be considered for the Presidency. A very popular, nationally-syndicated political cartoonist presents her in the Oval Office astride a moose. What is sending terror through the hearts of Urban Northeast Liberals; a terror felt more deeply than that felt by Karl Rove, Osama bin Laden or Al-Qaida, is that the common people of the heartland; the people who listen to George Jones and go to Church of God and wear Hush Puppies, have found an attractive and capable candidate who fully represents them: Sarah Palin.

As the Washington Post’s Marc Fisher reports on McCain and Palin in Centreville, VA yesterday, eight working mothers went together to see her because she is “ . . . just like us.”

Fisher: “We don't live in an age of looking up to authority anymore. We don't cotton to the idea that there are people who are our betters. In this time of "American Idol” bedroom bloggers and the belief that experience, knowledge and education don't necessarily mean a whole lot, Palin is a symbol, a statement that anyone can make it if he or she really tries.”

"She's just as flawed as we are," one of the women said. "It's not the fact that she's a woman but the way she does it all. And let me tell you: There're more American parents with unwed pregnant teenaged children than American parents with Harvard grads. She's real."

Welcome to the world.

As Obama well pointed out in his book, The Audacity of Hope, Jefferson and Madison forced freedom of religion onto the Bill of Rights in opposition to Patrick Henry because Henry did not trust the common people. Patrick wanted rule by Virginia Episcopalians and he wanted legislation to keep the common people who identified with the Baptist religion from coming to power. These folk have become economically empowered since WW II and began to rise politically in the 1960s, in opposition to the rise of what was perceived to be northern decadence.

Their moment could well be at hand. This is a contention between countervailing American values and between regions and classes: Hamilton vs. Jefferson; corporation vs. family, North vs. South; Starbucks vs. Waffle House. Penguin vs. Barracuda. The old “Jeffersonian” values of family, small town, church and community with power devolved to the states and regions vs. Hamilton’s goal of corporate dominance of economy and culture globally based out of Wall St.

Jefferson is experiencing resurgence. It is coming to power now and will not go away.

2 comments:

Samantha said...

I agree with most of your premise, but you should check your Patrick Henry facts. As a lawyer Henry defended Baptist's right to preach outside of the Church of England. Henry opposed the Constitution precisely because there was no Bill of Rights. I haven't read Mr. Obama's book, but if this is what it says, his history is wrong.

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