Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thatcher the Wrong Comparison for Palin

Eva Peron at the Casa Rosada Expired copyright, source unknown.

One was known for her mastery of statistics and facts, the other for her combativeness and passion. One was the "Iron Lady", the other the symbol of her nation at a time when it was losing itself. One rose at a time of practical problems, declining economies, overweened labor unions and eminent possible wars (one of which could not in the end be prevented) with Argentina (sic) and the USSR. The other at a time when her nation, let alone its practical issues, didn't even know who it was any more. So why do we always compare Palin to the wrong great leader?

Thatcher is one of my heroes, and indeed, she is the hero of many. So is Evita. They are totally different people, and when one considers who these great leaders really were, one realizes who really is the model for Palin.

Let's think about what Palin has done well: she put fear in to lawless oil companies sufficient to get them to actually keep their contracts with Alaska, she cleaned house in Juneau of great corruption (something that, in many places like Chicago, never occurs) in a very short amount of time, she inspires people even now with her life story and the very kind of person she is, and it is through her EMOTIONAL actions, her pointing to values, illustrating grotesqueness of character and thought rather then particular points of policy, that she takes power to the degree she does. Palin is all heart, and all America. She would not govern by bullet points and statistics - higher values suit her better. And just as the European elegance of Evita suited Argentina at a terrifying moment of decline, Palins rugged indivdiualism, honor, antielite anger and religious fervor represent America at a time when, for every reason imaginable, America is losing its very identity.

The fact that Evita was on the left-wing while Thatcher was on the right probably doesn't help, but nonetheless, the most talented political citizen of the United States today has much to offer, and it's not exceptionally like Thatcher.


The Gangster of Love said...

The points you mention about Sarah Palin are attributes that are admired by the far-right in America, but even you must agree that she also has some character flaws that serve to alienate her from a lot of the populace. Many people view Sarah Palin as a quitter, someone who gave up her position as governor not because, as you put it, "She would not govern by bullet points and statistics", but because of impending and ongoing ethics investigations and her desire to make millions of dollars promoting her book. What Sarah Palin represents to the American right is a person who bucks tradition and who taps into right-wing fears and populism. It is those same qualities that hurt her among many independents and those are the reasons she is hated by left-leaning circles.

Jeremy Janson said...

I think the real reason she quit is because the ethics investigations, using all the various people she fired away for corruption against her, were going to drag this out for a very long time and strip her of the hours she would need to put in to effectively run the state. She's a very capable executive, having done something nearly impossible (cleaned up a completely corrupt state, something they still haven't done in Louisiana or Ilisnois after 150 years of "more traditional" Governors) and you can tell that she cares about enforcing Alaskas laws and executing the responsibilities of her office well. The fact that she had something else she could do with those hours was probably just an added bonus.

But as for being a quitter, I would just like to point to you that she was more thoroughly shanghaied, bamboozled and buffaloed in front of the American people then any other politician of our time, even Rudy Giuliani, and she still refused to quit, and is still on the political scene.

I would however admit that she can be very ignorant of policy, and if she were a legislator this would be a much more serious issue, but for an executive the far more important skill then policy-knowledge is people-knowledge, knowing who's botching their work, knowing who's talking bribes, and knowing how to break up every kind of mischief in the offices you're in charge of, along with the knowledge of the people you represent and lead, their cares, their fears, their hopes, and their identity and soul, and through this guide the people and the legislators in the general principles that should motivate all of their decisions, while removing the beauracratic deadweight and corrupt filth that threatens everything the government does. For these things, there is no better candidate in America then Sarah Palin.

It's sort of like in the Early Christian Church, you had the theological expert, Paul, and you had the executive leader, Peter, who knew nowhere near as much about the bible as Paul, who was a renowned Torah expert and teacher of Isreal well before the rise of Christianity, but didn't need to, and Paul was never as good at people-knowledge as Peter/Cephas, the rock of the Church (you can tell how dorky Paul was while reading Romans! :-) )

Jeremy Janson said...

Stop by again sometime, and I love your screen name.