One Nation and Everyone Else

Sarah Palin's Bus - Ass-End

The above-depicted ass-end of Sarah Palin’s command bus for her forthcoming political-religious revival tour puts all of the would-be positive elements of Palinism together in a format that seems well-designed for her fans to love and to nauseate everyone else.  “Everyone else” notes the Christian Right code words and dog whistles, the ungodly pretentiousness and self-aggrandizement, the implicit claim that only Sarah’s crusade can lift us out of the un-American circle of Hell into which we have already at least half descended.

I think it might have “worked” in 2009-10.  The whole thing could flop, or, equally likely, may be depicted and accepted as a world-historical success by One Nation, discounted or hardly noticed by Everyone Else.

13 comments on “One Nation and Everyone Else

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  1. I have some sincere questions:
    Is it unique for someone or a group to actually rally around the word “fundamental”? And whether or not it’s unique, is that what the Palin group is doing here? Are they actually using a word close enough to fundamentalism as a positive? Is the message, “yes, we’re fundamentalists and proud of it”? Or am I giving them too much credit and they are just using a word without any sense of what it connects to from the perspective of everyone else?

  2. @ Scott Miller:

    SP gets most of her support from social conservatives so my guess is that they intend fundamentalism t be a positive in a go darn yourself kind of way if you don’t like it.

    What I find interesting is the One Nation thing. Of course “under God” doesn’t have t be spoken to be understood so she gets to use a phrase of unity as a dividing line – a rhetorical improvement I’m guessing in their eyes over the Real America thing.

  3. bob wrote:

    so she gets to use a phrase of unity as a dividing line

    Exactly. Scott’s sense of “fundamental” and how you interpret it resonate with me the same way, too. She’s not proclaiming herself a “fundamentalist,” exactly, and yet that’s EXACTLY what she’s doing. After this (following the bus), it’s completely fair and accurate to refer to her and her following as fundamentalists, and Christian ones at that. It’s not new in an historical sense, but it’s novel in contemporary politics to adopt the term positively. Equally, you could call her a “restorationist” or “American restorationist” – the full frontal Glenn Beck, with the implication that the “fundamentally American” has been as lost as royal prerogatives were for the British under Cromwell. You really can’t get much more radically rightwing in your language. To call it “conservative” is oxymoronic: A “conservative extremism”? How can you be “conservative” when what you’re seeking is gone?

    I now think that what she may be driving, or bussing, at is crowds DEMANDING that she run for president. Even if they represent a tiny fraction of the electorate, she and her people can employ every trick in the book to make it look like a popular “draft.”

  4. You know I missed something in the above improvisation on the word “fundamental” that probably pierces the ears of hardcore Beck-Palinites, and which is clearly the inspiration for the slogan, possibly confirmed by the use of quotation marks. Whether it was only one time, a few times, or part of a stump speech for a more or less extended period, Obama as candidate, five days before the election, spoke to a crowd in Missouri about “fundamentally transforming the United States of America,” and earlier spoke of “the need for fundamental change.”

    Beck and the Beck-ites seized upon that notion of fundamental changing our beloved American way of life – they are scandalized, shocked, appalled, etc. – and Don Miguel has thrown it in our faces several times. The “fundamental restoration of America,” with quotes, clearly is intended at least in part as a direct rejoinder either to Obama or to the Beckian Boogey-Obama. So, on that level, it probably lightens the charge of “fundamentalism,” but increases the weight of the “divisive pseudo-unity” charge.

  5. Basically, you can’t find anything wrong with it, so you impute a great deal that isn’t there. She’s not naive, she knows what corruption is, she’s been fighting it all her public life, unlike someone else we could
    refer who has obtained almost every post through corrupt dealings,

  6. Thanks for all the good answers to my question. Glad I waited to respond, since the last CK post goes in a different direction, and if that Obama quote was an inspiration, then the first idea–that they are using fundamentalism positively–is not happening. But it’s not for sure. Interesting.
    CK MacLeod wrote:

    To call it “conservative” is oxymoronic: A “conservative extremism”? How can you be “conservative” when what you’re seeking is gone?

    I’ve wondered the same thing.

  7. Scott, you have more than an acquaintance with the five freedoms, do you consider them ‘negative rights’ as they get in the way of the
    what the government can do for people, do you think that the constitution is archaic. that ‘reparations don’t go far enough’, there are somethings that need conserving, some that need updating. upholding the fundamental institutions in this society, is in the former,

  8. miguel cervantes wrote:

    there are somethings that need conserving

    Absolutely true. That’s why the hippies were actually part of a retro movement. “Back to the garden.” They wanted to get back to a more natural way of relating to the earth, which they thought some farming communities had achieved in the past. It was the New-Agers who were progressives. I believe the best of those worlds can be experienced. We can conserve the old yogi ways and at the same time, progress toward an Aquarian Age utopia.

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