Sandrabarracuda’s Weblog

October 18, 2008

Sarah gets the spiteful Maggie Thatcher treatment

Filed under: Politics — sandrabarracuda @ 12:27 am

Sarah Palin gets the spiteful Margaret Thatcher treatment
By Janet Daley
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 04/09/2008

There are few sights more bloodcurdling than the liberal pack in full cry. The viciousness of the attacks on Sarah Palin is a testimony to the degree of panic her appointment has generated in Leftist circles.

It would seem that it is only sexist to trash a woman candidate if she is a Woman Candidate, which is to say a liberal.

It took about 20 minutes after John McCain announced her as his running mate for the attack machine to mobilise: woman candidate (bleep, bleep), no previous warning (nee-naw, nee-naw), exterminate, exterminate.

At first, it was pretty tenuous stuff: her husband had once been caught on a drink-drive charge – when he was 22 years old. You don’t say. In blue-collar America, having only one drink-drive offence pretty much qualifies you as a Grade A wimp.

Then the piranhas got hold of a real prize (or so they thought): the 17-year-old daughter of this Christian Evangelical family was pregnant.

Yes, these things happen – and this particular thing happens quite a lot among the working-class American families that Mrs Palin personifies. She and her daughter are being true to their convictions: the girl will have her baby and marry her boyfriend. There will be no abortion or adoption.

The Palin family will offer them love, compassion and support. What’s your problem? Christianity (even of the Evangelical sort) does not expect human beings to be faultless: it demands only that they make amends for their transgressions and accept responsibility for them.

The Evangelical churches have made it their particular mission in recent years to support teenage mothers and urge their families to stand by them. So where is the shame in this situation?

Now those who are not of the Palins’ religious persuasion may well feel that it is wrong to allow a 17-year-old to marry and start a family. If one of my daughters had become pregnant at the age of 17, would I have advised her to have the baby and marry the father? No, I would not.

Do I respect the decision of another mother and daughter to make that choice based on their own values? Yes, I do. And that – as far as I am concerned – is what it means to be a “liberal”. Which brings us to the subject of those hokey old redneck values that the Guardian and the blogosphere find so amusing (or pernicious, depending on their degree of dedication).

I personally am, and always have been, fervently pro-choice on abortion. I do not consider this to be the only sanctified Woman’s point of view because I am aware that huge numbers of women disagree with me.

Whenever I touch on the subject, they write in and tell me so, often in eloquent and passionate terms. But according to the official feminist sisterhood (which was taken over by the totalitarian Marxist tendency long ago) you can represent the views of Women only if you accept the tenets of their ideology. Ergo, Mrs Palin is not a Woman Candidate.

She is a renegade, the gender equivalent of an Uncle Tom. In the US, her position is particularly incendiary because it is part of the culture war between metropolitan liberals and provincial America: that vast fly-over country where people (or “folks”, as they call themselves) still live by the standards the Palin family embodies. Life is about hard work and hard play.

They hunt with guns from childhood. They talk about sin (and redemption) in ways that embarrass the urban elite, and they regard patriotism as a fundamental part of their moral code. (It is the liberals’ ambivalence about patriotism that they detest most.)

Like Margaret Thatcher before her, Mrs Palin is coming in for both barrels of Left-wing contempt: misogyny and snobbery. Where Lady Thatcher was dismissed as a “grocer’s daughter” by people who called themselves egalitarian, Mrs Palin is regarded as a small-town nobody by those who claim to represent “ordinary people”.

What the metropolitan sophisticates failed to understand in the 1980s when Thatcher won election after election is even more the case in the US: most (and I do mean most) ordinary people actually believe in the basic decencies, the “small-town values”, of family, marital fidelity, and personal responsibility. They believe in and honour them – even if they do not manage to uphold them.

Middle America – of which Alaska is spiritually, if not geographically, a part – builds its life around those ideals and regards commonplace moral lapses as part of the eternal struggle to be good.

The life of small-town USA is based on the principles of those Protestant colonial settlers who founded the nation: hard work, self-improvement, personal faith and family devotion. Mrs Palin speaks to and for them in a way that patronising “liberal” elitists find infuriating.

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