No, I don't have anything better to do on the 4th of July than write about Sarah Palin. Yes, that is a sad state of affairs. It was less than a year ago that I sacrificed several days of my hard-earned vacation to scouring the Internet for any and all information about John McCain's new running mate. I am sure I did not shower or change clothes during that period. I don't recall whether I ate.
I now recognize that uncontrollable urge as nothing less than terror. I simply couldn't believe it. Was this country, as unhinged as it had become, going look itself in the eye and say up was down, ignorance was virtue, teen pregnancy was admirable--in fact, why not flush young Tiffany's box of condoms and tell her to go out and create her very own little blessing? It seemed so. But then a miracle happened. Enough people--just enough--said no. And after the election, when it seemed clear that this media-galvanized monster was not going to go away, I made some suggestion, like, maybe we should ignore her. Because, as an alien parasite from Star Trek, she feeds on strong emotions, both positive and negative. So our job (I thought) would be to ignore her and go about our business. Do not indicate, especially to the media, that we want any more news about her--don't buy magazines, don't click on links...and slowly, slowly, she would shrivel up and blow away, perhaps emitting a tiny, helium-voiced whimper as she fluttered into the empty cosmos.
Well, I tried. And since she's not in a position to do any immediate damage, except to the overall culture--which is already ruined--I have this to say. I believe she is planning to run for president. She is that grandiose, that delusional. She is pulling a Nixon, complete with the "you won't have me to kick around anymore" self-pity. She is Nixon in pantyhose, with all the horror that mental image stirs up (writhing swirls of squished, black leg hair, for instance). It may be that we are about to learn of a major scandal; and the fact that she did this news-dump on the Friday of a holiday weekend suggests something of that nature. But any scandal will just feed into the persecution complex that whips her supporters into a spittle-flinging frenzy.
On the other hand, perhaps it's wrong to abandon ridicule as a weapon. Yes, among certain people it will make her stronger. But it also seems that Tina Fey, almost single-handedly at first, kept Palin from getting elected. We did come very close to having this goon for our president. So what will work better, ignoring or mocking? It may seem funny now to think that she'd have a another real shot at the presidency, but we may not be laughing in four years. I remember (even though I was very! very! young at the time) people laughing hysterically at the idea of Reagan becoming president. It was even a joke on All in the Family, and elsewhere. So if laughter's the right tool to bring her down, then let's do it; but let's not laugh dismissively. Stay. on. Guard.
That is my patriotic post for July 4th.