September 4, 2008

"A quest for the inchoate self."

From a post I liked by Alan Sullivan with thoughts inspired by Governor Palin...

...But I had odd affinities for a city kid. I was fascinated by the natural world: water, fire, earth, and air. I read about mountaineers and polar explorers; I soared into space with science fiction. So I fit poorly in both of America's cultures, which were already fully apparent then: urban America that respected and envied Europe; rural America that had evolved its own culture and needed no other.

Affinity and chance took me to the Red River Valley of the North. I spent a quarter century in a cultural setting not unlike Alaska, and I travelled in the biggest state too. I understand and admire Sarah Palin. Northern climes do not allow for real dissolution of community. People must cooperate to survive.

In 1992 I bolted from traditional politics and supported the Perot campaign. In the space of a few weeks I met a lot of people I would never have encountered: military folks and hard-core social conservatives � people like the Palins. Tim and I were completely open about who we were [gay partners]. I was astonished at the lack of prejudice. There was ignorance, and even some curiosity, but no hostility.

If we had frightened them with effeminacy, or told them America was despicable, we would not have been well received. Instead we shared their pride in country, hope for its future, and determination to keep America free. And for the most part we meant the same thing when we said "free" � though we had some tough debates about the drug war.

The 1992 campaign finalized a lesson I had been slowly learning for the previous decade. I had brought a lot of mistaken assumptions from the city. The people of Red America were wrongly stereotyped, while the people of Blue America were understood and sometimes pitied by their country brethren. This is why Sarah Palin could be partisan with a smile. She doesn't hate her foes; she is a Christian.

What is the significance of her nomination? Incalculable. Obama poses as "an agent of change,"� but the most telling line of last night, for me, was Palin's observation that the Presidency should not be a journey of self-discovery. Palin knows who she is; Obama's whole life has been a quest for the inchoate self. He will never be satisfied; he will always want more, and never be sure what he wants more of....

I was reading somewhere that after Palin's speech the RNC received a million dollars in donations.......and the Obama campaign received 8 million. So, does that worry me? Not very much. It doesn't do you much good to have the money to get your message out, if you don't have a message. Obama is like a person with great writing talent---who doesn't have anything to say.

Actually, it's worse than that. He's a hider. He has to hide what he really is. We got one tiny glimpse of the real Obama, when somebody blogged what he said in San Francisco about bitter people in small towns clinging to guns and religion. That alone may well cost him the Presidency. And I feel confident that that's what he's really like among his pals. There are lots of people like him around here. Bitter. Clinging to shreds of Leftism they don't really believe in, because they have nothing else... Suits of clothes with no emperor inside.

Posted by John Weidner at September 4, 2008 8:38 PM
Weblog by John Weidner