On the blogs today, I've seen a couple of mentions of Ralph Peters' snooty-elitists-are-out-to-get-Palin rant in the NY Post. The entire first half seems worth reproducing:
I KNOW Sarah Palin, and so does my wife.
Neither of us ever actually met the governor of Alaska, but we grew up with her - in the small-town America despised by the leftwing elite.
One gal-pal classmate of my wife's has even traveled from New York's Finger Lakes to Alaska to hunt moose with her husband. (Got one, too.) And no, Ms. Streisand, she isn't a redneck missing half her teeth - she's a lawyer.
The sneering elites and their mediacrat fellow travelers just don't get it: How on earth could anyone vote for someone who didn't attend an Ivy League school? And having more than 1.7 children marks any woman as a rube. (If Palin had any taste, her teenage daughter would've had a quiet abortion in a discreet facility.)
And what kind of retro-Barbie would stay happily married to her high-school sweetheart? Ugh. She even kills animals and eats them. (The meat and fish served in the upscale bistros patronized by Obama supporters appears by magic - it didn't really come from living things. . .)
Palin has that hick accent, too. And that busy-mom beehive 'do. Double ugh! Bet she hasn't even read Ian McEwan's latest novel and can't explain Frank Gehry's vision for a new architecture. She and her blue-collar (triple ugh!) husband don't even own a McMansion, let alone an inherited family compound on the Cape.
And she wants to be vice president?
The opinion-maker elites see Sarah Palin clearly every time they look up from another sneering article in The New Yorker: She's a country-bumpkin chumpette from a hick state with low latte availability. She's not one of them and never will be. That's the real disqualifier in this race.
Now let me tell you what those postmodern bigots with their multiple vacation homes and their disappointing trust-fund kids don't see:
Sarah Palin's one of us. She actually represents the American people.
When The New York Times, CNN, the NBC basket of basket cases and all the barking blog dogs insult Palin, they're insulting us. When they smear her, they're smearing every American who actually works for a living, who doesn't expect a handout, who doesn't have a full-time accountant to parse the family taxes, who believes in the Pledge of Allegiance and who thinks a church is more than just a tedious stop on daughter Emily's 100K wedding day...
blah blah blah. In this tiresome piece we see a near perfect distillation of the
cheap, shameless culture warfare that conservatives are so fond of
employing: An attack on Sarah Palin is an attack on all
hard-working, god-fearing, authentic Americans! When Dems and
"mediacrats" criticize Palin, they are mocking every red-blooded
red-stater in this great nation.
Now I appreciate the effectiveness of insulting stereotyping as much as the next pundit, but I'm getting exceedingly tired of hearing about how much I scorn Sarah Palin because she is a hick chick from a hick state who didn't go to Harvard. Please. I grew up in freaking Southeast Tennessee, in a smallish suburb of Chattanooga known as Hixson. (That's right, pronounced hick-son.) I have spent more time at mudbogs, tractor pulls, county fairs, pig-roasts, dirt-bike races, and Wal-Marts than most of the anti-elite conservative whiners flapping their gums and wringing their hands over poor disrespected Sarah. I attended public high school, and the bulk of my classmates had Appalachian accents so thick they make Palin sound like a network anchor. The boys were hunters. The girls--myself included--had absolutely enormous hair. If any of my friends wasn't a Christian, she had the good sense not to mention it to the rest of us, lest we try to save her soul at the countless revivals, church camps, and youth retreats we all attended. I was always smart but have never been an in-tel-lec-tu-al. (Shhhhh. Don't tell my bosses.) And despite graduating second in my class, it never even occurred to me to apply to an Ivy League university. I went to college at Vanderbilt in Nashville--on scholarship, lest anyone assume that my family was upper-crusty.
Just like Ralph Peters, I KNOW Sarah Palin. Hell, in my younger days, I WAS Sarah Palin. (Well, minus being a crack shot.) The difference is I don't fetishize my regular-gal roots and assume they make me special--much less qualified to run the country. And while I have indeed witnessed my fair share of cultural snobbery from some of my better-credentialed, coastal colleagues over the years, I'm not so defensive about where I come from that I feel the need to champion a wildly unqualified fellow hick whose politics I disagree with as a way to get back at everyone I know who has ever made a sniffy comment about big hair or small towns.
Memo to Ralph & Co.: Get over yourselves and stop lumping everyone who grew up in non-elite circles into some persecuted ball of burning, self-righteous resentment. And now and again try to stop patting yourselves on the back for personally knowing someone who once went to Alaska (Did I mention that I've also been?) long enough to acknowledge that not everyone--not even everyone in the media--objects to Palin because she is an un-ivied "rube." Some of us, in fact, don't give a rat's ass where she comes from. We're too busy worrying about where she and McCain want to take us all next.