An irony in the interconnected world of the internet is that the world of names in politics has shrunk like nothing before. Sarah Palin has benefited from and helped craft this shrinkage. She is viral deja vu. Click your remote and there she is, on every channel, wearing the same outfit, speaking the same words, broadcasting the same twitter post, picking the same daily fight with somebody to re-establish those who challenge her brand of American cred.
But to discuss her in political terms is to ignore that she is a media creation. Think and reflect carefully, there are 15 or so faces that occupy air time; they are the top 2% who grab media minutes. Is it deserved? It seems more ordained; a collective zeitgeist seems to decree new members of the patheon, sa diverse array of familar faces, discussing other familar faces in soft ways that take bets about the future and chuckle over the faux pas of the past, and debate the merits of the meritless. Media simply enlarges our insigificance and Sarah Palin is a perfect fit for the role. Three minutes in the round table, never an hour with Charlie Rose.
Thinking of her politically is a misdirection, a sleight of mind that misleads us to merge categories that shrink into our collapse. She is a brand, a wealth producer taking advantage of the social media bubble, a voice that appeals to emotions that resonate against the grain of our truth. There was a time when American exceptionalism meant reaching out to help others, sharing resources to help the less of these. Now faith seems to be based on the “benefits to me.” The endless discussions and evaluations of Palin’s role in politics take away from the trends concealed by her dominating the conversation. Texas now has only one Democratic woman in the House and the Senate. Alabama has a very sharp new African-American freshman woman representing a deep South district. Palin is a trend that blocks discussions of more important trends.