To hear some people talk, you’d think Sarah Palin personally accosted them in a dark alley. I’m fairly certain that isn’t the case for many of the people who react to the mere mention of her name as if they’ve been slapped since Palin has spent most of her life in Alaska, and most of the people I meet have never even been there.
A lot of the vitriol comes from people who appear to be high-functioning, rational members of society. When asked about their hatred, they fail to access the part of their brains where logic and reasoning resides.
Sandra Bernhard, a comedian, told an audience Palin had better not go to Manhattan, because she’d be gang-raped by big, black brothers. I use the term, “comedian” lightly in Bernhard’s case, because unlike liberal pundits, I don’t think gang rape is all that funny.
At a child’s birthday party, I ran into similar illogical reasons for disliking Palin – although the reasoning was at least fit for children’s ears.
A Palin-hater explained that she doesn’t like the Alaska governor because no one in Alaska likes her. (In times like those, I often wish I weren’t cursed with the ability to reason and the inability to keep my mouth shut.)
I responded that Palin has one of the highest approval ratings of anyone in public office in the entire country. When former presidential candidate John McCain first nominated her for the VP slot, her approval ratings in Alaska topped 80 percent. Compare that to the U.S. Congress which has a 10 percent approval rating and President Barack Obama who boasts a 44 percent approval rating.
The Palin-hater said she doesn’t trust polls. Instead, she puts her faith in protests. During the 2008 presidential election, she watched a news clip that showed more than 100 people protesting Palin in Alaska. She explained that if 100 people in tiny Alaska don’t like her why should we?
I suggested that 10 times that number of people cheered for Palin when she landed at an Alaska airport after accepting the McCain’s VP nomination, and I wondered if that would change the Palin-hater’s mind.
It didn’t. Finally, she sputtered that she just didn’t like Palin.
And that’s the rub. Most people who despise her can’t come up with a good reason for feeling so.
Why is their reaction to her so visceral?
It’s difficult to like people who seem to have it all – especially when they have it all for no reason. Palin wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth. She didn’t get where she is today by sleeping her way to the top and she didn’t resort to the back-stabbing, tit-for-tat political alliances. She’s earned her place.
And that’s hard to watch if you’re one of the people who hasn’t succeeded and is scared that you might not be able reach the top without breaking your principles. It’s even more challenging to watch if you’re successful and you resorted to lower tactics to get there.
Palin didn’t and doesn’t take political positions because they’re popular. It’s obvious her stances stem from a working knowledge of the difference between right and wrong.
When she says she’s pro-life, you immediately recognize that she isn’t saying that to appeal to the right. She really believes that life begins at conception.
And when faced with the difficult situations feminists are always whining about, she chose life. When her teenage daughter was pregnant, her daughter chose life with the support of her mother. And when Palin herself was pregnant with a child with Down syndrome, she chose life. Her son’s birth was a miracle in itself. Trig is in very small company. More than 90 percent of children diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb are aborted, according to a study published in The American Journal of Medicine.
Palin doesn’t just talk the talk. She walks it – in stylish stilettos, no less.
Call her critics green with Palin envy. And for that, I don’t really blame them.
She’s smart. She’s tough, and she’s beautiful. But that’s no reason to hate her.
Column: Palin-haters green with envy