Sarah Palin, All on Her Own
At least for the time being, Barack Obama has taken command of the American political center, as well as a notable collection of relatively centrist conservatives, and he has done this from his natural base among big-city liberals, rising as he did to power in the upstate of Illinois, which is to say that he was largely cultivated for national office by the legendary Chicago Democratic machine. Even though he has masterfully brought moderate conservatives to his camp in the course of his campaign for the presidency, they would be unlikely to continue supporting him for very long but for the consolidation of the Republican Party to the Right and, more ominously and importantly, to the extreme Right, that latter group being the people Sarah Palin is becoming more and more comfortable courting. Although she, herself, might or might not be as much of an extremist as the more vociferous of the attendees at her rallies, she has a native ability to entice them and to draw them to identify with her. As bad as she is when put on the spot by interviewers, she is every bit as good when sheby her words, her expressions, and her very voiceis in control of the narrative before a boisterous crowd. It is in those open, crowded, noisy venues that the enticement she hands out like candy from a basket teeters in a precarious but oddly stable balance on the precipice of incitement. She need not call the crowd to fury in order to make the constituents furious; she need not exhort the crowd to bitterness to make her supporters bitter; and, in the end, she would never have to remind her supporters of their growing rage to enrage them. Those people waving "Sarah Palin" signs know this campaign has turned remarkably bad for them: a man they do not want to be President will, in fact, be elected, and that means everything about him, from his color to his politics, is justifiably magnified, demonized, and then hated.
Whether by intent or otherwise, those in McCain's camp who championed his selection of Palin were bidding to transform Republicanism from a political party into a movement, a crucial step in the kind of resurgence from the fringe that European neo-fascists are now enjoying. Fortunately, at least for a while, the car "accident" that claimed the life of Austria's extreme-Right politician Joerg Haider will blunt the political spear point the European movement needed to become pervasive and compelling; as it stands now, Europe's extremists will have to content themselves with the slower, somewhat more accommodative path to re-establishing pan-European political dominance through elected power. (It will probably help if Europe's next aspirant to the leadership of continental neo-fascism does not get unceremoniously outed for a gay relationship with a young protégé.)
With respect to the United States and its political future, I have made my case, notably in “The 21st Century, Epilogue,” that America will inevitably descend into an authoritarian state as this century proceeds. That grim, unavoidable future can be a controlled descent from what now constitutes the “Center” and the “Left,” but there is every possibility that from the ashes of defeat the Republicans will suffer in the election rout three days from now will emerge a bitter fringe group looking for a leader, a cause, and some semblance of a coherent theme, if not a cogent (albeit illogical) philosophy: those are the ingredients for a movement to form. The circumstances that would foster the political articulation of that movement are, most unfortunately, almost inevitable. The economic catastrophe caused by the past nearly eight years of recklessly irresponsible taxation, spending, and monetary policies have placed the country on a collision course with nearly ruinous pain, and the Democrats, led by Barack Obama, will not have the courage (nor, quite possibly, the know-how) to stop the freight train of economic recession before it leads to appalling, debilitating consequences, not the least of which will be inflation once the labor market recovers well down the road. This will herald the resurgence of the Right and its financially muscular extremists as a political force, exactly as it has at previous times in other parts of the world, most notably, South and Central America.
The leader of the Resurgent Right could very well be Sarah Palin. The cause will be the revitalization of the United States. The theme will be overt nativism tinged by racism, with openly religious overtones and the likely support of elements within our own military as well as interests in other countries that will have become entirely weary of the persistent American drain upon global physical and, most crucially, financial resources.
Fortunately for America, Sarah Palin’s time has not come.
Unfortunately, it very well might.
The Dark Wraith has spoken.
Wrote kelley b:
Wrote Anna Van Z:
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