Over at Chicago Boys, Shannon Love posits an interesting theory to explain the left’s visceral, obsessive hatred of Sarah Palin:
Since they have few meritorious indicators of a personal and group claim to status remaining, leftists are forced to fall back on the same standards employed by the European upper classes. They try to restrict status not by merit but by conformity to their own life pattern. They demand that people go to the right elitist schools. They demand that people live in certain communities. They demand that people have the right recreational interests. They demand that people enjoy uniform kinds of art and music. They demand that people have the proper modes of speech, accent and allusion. They demand that people have the right religious beliefs. And so on.
On this basis Palin is a nightmare: She went to a state college. She lives in the “backwoods”. She likes hunting, fishing and sports. She likes country music and representational art. She doesn’t have the right accent. She doesn’t dress appropriately. She’s a Pentecostal instead of atheist, Unitarian, Episcopalian, etc.
… That is why leftists see Palin as a genuine and significant threat of unusual magnitude. In the emotional thinking of leftists, she is a personal threat to everything each individual leftist has attained in life. They feel a sincere, visceral sense of danger about her because she attacks the very core of their egos. They feel the same hatred towards Palin that the European upper classes felt towards the upstart middle-class. They feel the same hatred that poor whites felt towards non-whites. They feel that way for the same reasons. If she succeeds, worse, if she is right, then they become nobodies.
The loathing that progressive elitists feel toward Sarah Palin is almost axiomatic, and practically a requirement for admission to their ranks. And Love’s explanation must be painful for them to read, because it absolutely nails the depths to which liberals bitterly and righteously cling to their own brand of secularist-Marxist-postmodern fundamentalism.
Love’s theory may also explain the persistent belief among liberals that they possess a certain innate purity or superiority that only the uninitiated fail to understand. Witness Michael Moore’s initial puzzlement over the fact that the 9/11 terrorists attacked New York City, a bastion of liberalism that is predominately Democrat and that overwhelmingly voted for Al Gore during the 2000 presidential election; in other words, a holy people who had done nothing to deserve the wrath of Osama bin Laden.
Unfortunately for our pedigreed elites, the performance of their “best and brightest” in governmental roles — as Congressional representatives, agency chiefs, “czars,” advisers, and the Presidency — has been underwhelming. And as Love accurately observes, most of the governmental policies championed by progressives during the past 40 years have ended in failure. The past two years have been no exception.
Will the Democrats’ embarrassing failures under President Obama precipitate even nastier attacks against Sarah Palin, Tea Party supporters, and anyone else deemed by progressive elitists to be culturally inferior? Perhaps, but I don’t see how such attacks can be politically advantageous, because they will only serve to further alienate an already disenchanted electorate.