Thursday, October 23, 2008

That’s Right Sarah, You’re Not in Alaska Anymore

"I love her -- she's just like me," said Pam Moore, a minister who attended the rally in Green on Wednesday. Moore dismissed the latest reports of the RNC-funded shopping: "They are just trying to find dirt, and it's sad that people are stooping that low."[1]

That’s right folks we are no longer in the real world, but we have been transported into the land of Reputian in the Land of Oz What has always amazed me about zealots; whether they be religious, political, or social is their incredible ability to suspend reality at a moment’s notice. In order to be zealous about anything one must be able to ignore the reality they are in and transfer themselves to another place. Reality and facts are the hobgoblin of all zealots; they destroy the carefully crafted myths being parsed on the simple. For the zealot any facts that contradict the false narrative have to be reasoned away with utter nonsense to maintain the sense of outrage.

The more I witness this zealousness in any context the more I realize that we have come to the place where it is no longer the spinner of the tale who is completely at fault, but some fault also lies with the hearer. In order for us to be defrauded we have to dismiss all empirical data and established fact and believe something we know is false. If someone comes to me and says they have a magic oven that turns 100 dollar bills into 1000 dollar bills and they are willing to demonstrate it to me. At that moment I have to become willing to take some pretty irrational ideas and make them plausible. So we go to the oven and he puts a hundred dollar bill in it and presto he pulls out a 1000 dollar bill. There are some really rational concepts I have to be willing to throw out the window to believe what he has just shown me. In addition I have to also be willing to overlook these documented truths in order to receive the gain he is promising me. So there has to be some overriding concern that allows me to ignore what I know to be true. In this case it would be my greed, but there has to be some perceived gain to make me want to disbelieve what I know to be true to believe what has been proven to be false.

Such is the case for anyone who still believes that Sarah Palin is Jane six-pack or any derivative of that meme. The problem for me is not that she spent 150,000 for clothes. This is America you can spend as much as you want for your wardrobe, hair-cut, or 7 houses. No, my problem is the hypocrisy of these people. Have they no shame? First you present a candidate with 7 houses and 12 cars to a nation suffering from the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression (brought about by a man who also is abundantly wealthy) and claim that he represents the average “Joe” and understands your concerns. Then we send out a woman who claims to represent small-town America with its simple common-sense values and it turns out she has been spending 150,000 on wardrobe and make-up. I’m sorry but what hockey-mom do you know who has been able to get that “extreme make-over”?

The truly poignant part is what this type of hypocrisy not being only accepted but defended says about us as a nation. Are we so desperate to believe in something that we will believe in anything? If the curtain gets pulled back and you still believe the trick, then who is at fault? The people who are defending this from their hearts are not the rich, wealthy elite of the Republican Party but the average Joe’s, the ones who are making 40,000 a year. Think about this for a moment this woman spent 4 years of their salaries in a couple of months for clothes and they still think she is one of them. I guess then we have to wonder what “one of them” really means since it can’t be economic status?

Regardless of whether the con is for money, votes, or salvation there comes a point when the trick is revealed, fortunately there are enough of us who are not mindless zealots or “ditto-heads” who are willing to say look at your hypocrisy. The depressing phenomenon is the number of people who don’t care that they are being swindled as evidenced by George W’s 23% approval rating. What do these 23 percentiles see that I don’t?

My friends we are witnessing the end of an era. The days of Rovian campaign tactics are coming to an end. With the advent of the internet; the days of “swift-boating” to the masses has ended. The only ones that can be duped with false rumor and innuendo today are those who do not have or do not want the internet and thus have to be informed by the dupers. Today all one needs to do to debunk a false charge is to type Google in any browser. In effect they are ones who choose to be duped because it allows them to continue their feelings of false outrage and victimization complexes. What’s the difference between a zealot and Sarah Palin? It appears to be about a 150,000 wardrobe and some very expensive lipstick.


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