Gus Van Horn considers the question of why liberals hate Sarah Palin so much. I’ve noticed in my personal relations with liberals, especially women, that they do have an intense negative emotional reaction to Palin. The Alaskan Governor really bugs them. Gus takes a guess at the reason:
My first stab would be that they see her as typical of “little” people who need their help — except that she is uppity.
I think that is part of it. The left believes in two classes: the rulers and the ruled. Although few will admit it in America, the longing for a stratified class society in which everyone knows his place has always been important to anti-capitalists. This is why capitalism’s first enemies in England were conservatives who longed for a return to the feudal order. Sarah Palin, with her soccer mom demeanor and her guns, is clearly meant to be among the ruled. There’s nothing more offensive to the ruling elite than a commoner who rises above her station.
It also goes to multiculturalism and feminism, two collectivist pillars of the New Left. The left has its “narrative” — its explanation of our culture — in which the right wing is a bunch of greedy white guys who keep the people in a constant state of fear, and so make them vote against their interests (their interests being socialism, although leftists never say it that plainly). The Republican noise machine drowns out reason and stymies noble Democrats who just want to save the planet and help the little guy.
Leftists care so much! If only they could cut through the clamor of the right-wing noise machine so that Americans could see that the Democrats just want to save the planet and help the little guy.
Part of the feminist narrative is that women have their own logic that ennobles them, and makes them different from white males. Instead of greedy capitalists, women are collectivists who care about people. This is a variation on The Feminine Mystique, which the early feminists opposed.
Part of the Democrat narrative (and electoral strategy) is that they are not the party of greedy white male corporate types. In the pressure group logic of the welfare state, Democrats say that they fight for the interests of women and minorities.
The left has a lot invested in the multiculturalist/feminist narrative that Democrats represent women. So when this gun-toting Republican woman comes along, she represents a huge threat. If the Dems lose women as a voting bloc, it’s over: they’ll never win another election. Thus, Sarah Palin must be mocked, scorned, hated and marginalized.
The message from the elite that liking Palin is not cool got out fast and has not changed. In a nation in which people are “socialized” according to John Dewey’s educational theory in public school — that is, in a nation of conformists — it’s important to be cool.
I should note that I’m not a fan of Sarah Palin. The more I learn about her, the less impressed I am. I think she is an ordinary religious conservative with little understanding of economics. Sometimes she gets it right, other times not. If she were not a woman, I doubt she would push the left’s emotional buttons the way she does.