Sarah Palin, in defending herself since the Arizona shooting, has done what people people do when defensive–gone on the attack. On Tuesday night, both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert discussed the hypocritical move of saying this event shouldn’t be politicized and then totally blaming liberals for everything, as Palin enacted the double standard of saying rhetoric shouldn’t be taken as an incitement to violence, but then claimed that liberals wouldn’t be happy until they destroyed the country (she said something about bringing America to her knees).
My favorite comment was that “if it weren’t for their [liberals’] double standards, they’d have no standards” on her Hannity appearance.
I didn’t think that woman could incite me to violence, but . . .
I’m not actually motivated to attack, just to start gathering weapons for when her minions eventually come for me. My master’s thesis (and something I’ve been interested in all my adult life) is about how you use words to turn your neighbors into something you can kill–how you can make them an enemy, a traitor, an animal. When you research how rhetoric has been used historically, you do start to see the signs of when the villagers are going to start building a bonfire for the witch.
And while Palin keeps saying everyone’s coming after her, we know that’s not true. She’s on tv all the time. She’s not the lone woman on the outskirts of the village; she’s the powerful woman in the village who keeps deciding who’s a witch and making sure that everyone knows it.
Her comment about liberals having no standards is a way of making them sound like they’re not you–they’re not American, they’re traitors, they can’t be trusted. For example, it can’t be that they want health care because they’re bleeding hearts or because they have pre-existing conditions, but because they hate America and love Stalin and somehow want you to have healthcare so they can join a panel that will send you to your death. And even if they don’t want to kill you, they want healthcare to kill your job!
I’ve seen the villagers who are most likely to attack. Yes, some are just unbalanced. Others, however, are being trained to attack. They are the children of the quiverfull movement; they are the children in Jesus Camp. They are the fringes of the Republican party that is now gaining dominion over the moderates.
They believe–and people like Palin don’t correct them–that this is a “Christian” nation. They believe, like Palin, that liberals have no morals. I know some personally who believe in witches (and I’m not talking about the wiccan next door, but the actual sacrificing your baby in her dark sabbath kind).
They keep being told what Americans are–people like them (that’s how you can say that “Americans” want the repeal of healthcare when all of the studies show this is a minority opinion). I am apparently un-American. I teach at a university. I don’t believe in their god, and am dedicated to the separation of church and state. I want healthcare for all of my fellow Americans. I have more faith in science than in the Bible in terms of understanding history and things like germ theory.
Once upon a time, they would have called me a heretic and burned me. Or witch. Or accused me of being a Jew. Later, the terms became “radical,” “communist,” “traitor,” and “terrorist.”
We need to be careful when we make everything “us” and “them.” “Them” never fairs well in that scenario. You shouldn’t have to make me a “them” to vote differently than I do.
I disagree with Palin and those like her, and I may think they’re stupid (or brilliantly mean), but I don’t think they’re un-American. America is my family; like any family, it contains people I don’t agree with, but they’re still family. And just because I disagree with them doesn’t mean I want the destruction of our family unit.
So I don’t like it when I see the fires getting stoked and the words being thrown around that indicate that Americans/people like me are so different/evil that we aren’t even Americans/people.