Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Palin Persona

When I read things like Vanity Fair's exhaustive write-up on Sarah Palin's transformation from small town, small-time politico to national figure, I wonder if John McCain had any idea of what he was unleashing when he plucked Palin from obscurity two years ago and dropped her onto the global stage. Did he have the slightest inkling of the Frankenstein monster he was supplying a life-giving lightning bolt to?  As I've said several times, Palin remains of interest to political watchers less for who she is than for what she represents, by herself and through her avatars in the Tea Party movement. While I've often commented on the divisive, ignorance-is-bliss brand of politicking the once-governor has built her brand on ("mediocrity write large," quoth me), the piece also sheds light on a worrying undercurrent of paranoia and cruelty underlying Palin's public persona, and of which many of her most ardent of followers likely remain unaware. Of course, as it says in the article, "Such falsehoods never damage Palin’s credibility with her admirers, because information and ideology are incidental to this relationship."

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