The American culture war rages on and the not-so-subtle left-wing media is at it again with yet another attack against Sarah Palin. Who, besides the people of Alaska, had ever heard of Sarah Palin before she was chosen by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) to be his running mate in the 2008 presidential election? It should be fairly certain that not many had. In fact, much of the country awakened one Saturday morning in August of 2008 to the astonishing headlines that McCain’s VP choice was the largely unknown Palin and not either former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, or Minnesota governor, Tim Pawlenty.
Of course McCain’s choice of Palin has been fodder for tossing blame at the GOP for handing the presidency to Barack Obama and the Democrats, but while McCain’s choice probably contributed to his defeat, it was arguably not the poison pill. Nonetheless, Palin can thank John McCain for her burgeoning popularity. Very few names of vice-presidential candidates who ended up on the losing side are ever remembered. Sarah Palin does not have that problem.
Since she arrived on the national stage there has been a parade of hateful assaults upon her for her apparent audacity to even think she could be worthy of the vice presidency, let alone the presidency, being just a heartbeat away. How dare she!
The left-wing media have again made Palin one of their favorite targets for attack. In the latest display of liberal “tolerance,” ABC Nightline anchor, Dan Harris, criticized Palin for her newly launched Internet channel, the Sarah Palin Channel, warning viewers that at $99.95 it is more expensive than Netflix and Amazon Prime. While mathematically correct, the disparity is .34 and .05 respectively. Why not point out that the Sarah Palin Channel is less than the $129.99 annual subscription to MLB.com or any other Internet streaming entertainment source that happens to be much pricier?
Also in the segment, Harris ridiculed Palin as “the woman who says she can see Russia from her house.” The only thing wrong with that is Palin never said it. Logic might suggest that Harris and the ABC network watch too much Saturday Night Live. The comment Harris used to smear Palin was actually quoted from a SNL parody where comedian Tina Fey used it as a line during a skit while she impersonated Palin. If Harris had actually watched the video footage he used as his source for the ABC segment, he would have seen for himself what Palin actually said and not made such a faux pas. On the other hand, it is also possible that he did see it and knew it was incorrect, but said it anyway. In either case, journalistic professionalism be damned.
It is well understood that in order to be perceived as being better than something or someone else, a good tactic is to tear down the competition. For the sake of providing entertainment to their audience, television talk show hosts have engaged in the practice for decades. How better to promote any agenda, be it political or otherwise, than to appeal to an audience’s sense of humor with ridicule, mockery and humiliation towards something or someone? After all, if one is able to join in and laugh at the object of the ridicule, it must therefore mean they are grouped with the class of people who are better. Laughter naturally makes people feel good, and causing someone to laugh at a ridiculed targeted object accomplishes the objective of the agenda.
The left, which characterizes itself as adhering to a philosophy of tolerance, would be hard pressed to argue that point in the face of countless public examples to the contrary. One would have to wonder about whom the left is referring when it makes these claims. Many online dictionaries define “tolerance” as: “willingness to accept habits, feelings or beliefs that are different from one’s own.”
Aside from this latest leftist attack on Sarah Palin, again, all one has to do to confirm the existence of an ongoing culture war in America is spend a few minutes on any given day just flipping through the channels on their television. They would witness the unrelenting disdain, if not outright hatred in some instances, which both liberals and conservatives have for one another. It seems that no opportunity to take a shot at an opposing view is ever missed by any TV talking head, left or right.
To be fair, the left’s new attack against Sarah Palin is merely a small example of a perceived epidemic of widespread intolerance that is sweeping across the country and gnawing at all Americans like a flesh-eating disease. Notwithstanding specifics, some view the difference of core values between liberals and conservatives as being at the root of this culture war; and they cite intolerance and an unwillingness to compromise as aggravating factors. However, cognizance of some of the complex issues related to liberal and conservative core values will help people to understand what makes tolerance and compromise so difficult if not impossible.
Sarah Palin will likely be the target of more attacks by the left again and there will likely be similar affronts by conservatives against their liberal counterparts as America wallows deeper into this self-imposed culture war. It has to make a person wonder if the eventual outcome, whenever that might be, will be a peaceful compromise or a violent conquest; and what will be the event that precipitates its conclusion.
Opinion by Mark Politi