In Their Own Words

Chase Whiteside and Erick Stoll of New Left Media are two of the best young filmmakers out there. This past weekend, they caught up with the Sarah Palin fan base in Columbus, Ohio during one of her Going Rogue book tour appearances. I'll repeat what I wrote in my post on American right-wing populism:

It is, indeed, bizarre that the dispossessed of this land should embrace the country club ideology of the Republican party but neither logic nor erudition are a defining quality of this crowd. While populism can be roughly defined as the call for the empowerment of ordinary people in all areas of life, its language is one of an us versus them. Its ethos all too often subsumed in vast conspiracy theories. It is a faith-based politics that spurns reason and eschews anything smacking of intellectualism and elitism. Theirs is a worldview defined by their own notions of what they believe to be "common sense" and they see nefarious plots afoot everywhere they look.

The other Sarah Palin story of note is her visit to the 91 year old evangelist Billy Graham in Charlotte, not so much for the visit but for the topics of conversation. Last week in an interview with Barbara Walters of ABC News, Palin gave a rather odd response to a question on the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Walters asked Palin if she agreed with the Obama policy of discouraging further growth of Israeli settlements. Palin vehemently disagreed with current US policy and then added that "more and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead."

Music to one's ears if you are Benjamin Netanyahu or a Christian Dispensationalist. For the rest of us, it is yet another worrisome sign that Sarah Palin holds religious views based on a literal interpretation of the Bible and subscribes to end times prophecies. The Charlotte Observer cites Franklin Graham, a son of the elder Graham, as saying the Palin "quizzed him on the presidents he's known and wanted his take on what the Bible says about Israel, Iran and Iraq."

In the past at her Wasilla Assembly of God church, Palin has painted the current war in Iraq as a messianic affair in which the United States could act out the will of the Lord.

"Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God," she exhorted the congregants. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."

If anything Iraq has been the devil's errand.

Tags: conservatism, Going Rogue, Religion & Politics, Sarah Palin (all tags)



Re: In Their Own Words

Can there be any doubt why Iran, North Korea, Syria, et. al. want to acquire nuclear weapons?  They see the possibility that we could elect someone like Palin, who probably seems as dangerous to them as the most fundamentalist, militant mullah does to us.  They want them for self-defense

by Bob H 2009-11-24 01:44AM | 0 recs
Re: In Their Own Words

Chase Whiteside's sober interview style, as a post-modernist Studs Terkel, has confirmed and, indeed, embellished our darkest fears.  'Christianity' in current petit-bourgeois usage, has become dog-whistle narrative for something the Saviour would have no doubt strongly disavowed.

At least if this thing gets out of hand, which I doubt, we will have documented every dark step as well as William Shirer did.  And at the source.

Ironically, these are probably the people who are going to destroy the Republican party for a generation.  As disturbing as these images are to us they must be giving establishment Republicans the shivers.  The fragile covenant between the elite of the Right and their 'values' constituencies is breaking.  This revolution will eat its own ideologues long before the wave breaks in any meaningful way on us.  And it is about time.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-11-24 02:25AM | 0 recs
Re: In Their Own Words

You should check out their other videos. Outstanding.

by Charles Lemos 2009-11-24 06:53AM | 0 recs
Re: In Their Own Words

I live in Columbus, Ohio and this scares the sh*t out of me.  But to be fair I'd like to see all the footage they took.  I agree that many conservatives simply regurgitate fox news without thinking, and I am not equatiting Obama to Palin, but I guarantee if I was a conservative with a camera and I asked similar questions to a large group of Obama supporters I could make 10 minutes of equally embarrassing footage. There would also be lots of footage with well thought out, logical answers to why people support Obama.  But the fact remains that America as a population is largely uniformed and thinks whatever those most like them seem to think.  You cannot limit this to the right side of the aisle.

by goodleh 2009-11-24 04:22AM | 0 recs
Re: In Their Own Words

No doubt., stupidity knows no ideology. There is a Dan Savage video ironically also filmed in Columbus during the primaries where Obama supporters could not articulate much of anything. The difference, though, is that they did not resort to bizarre conspiracy theories to justify their beliefs.

by Charles Lemos 2009-11-24 06:52AM | 0 recs
The Palinization of the GOP base... in full view here.  I know goodleh made a good point about interviewing people on the street who are so called "supporters" and getting anecdotal eveidence of followers who cannot articulate intellegently why they support Palin.  But the thing that should be scaring the daylights out of rank and file GOP isn't the fact they "support" her.  Its the fact the other GOP "stars" are being flat out rejected.

Listening to Palin speak more than a minute is a chore for me.  She speaks in a series of disjointed talking points pieced together without any context.  This way, if you are a disgruntled conservative or GOP voter you can get almost any meaning you chose out of what she is saying.  She has never demonstrated an ability to take an issue and give you insight on her thinking process and how she has arrived at conclusions.  That is why she is so frustrating to intellectuals or anyone forced to sit and hear her speak.

One other thing about her.  Whenever you see gatherings to interact with her or to hear her speak you never see a diverse crowd.  Forget African Americans being absent, I don't even see any other visable ethnic groups present at all period.  Just your typical white anglo-saxon crowd that always seems to be dancing around coded words of disenfranchisement as white "Christian" Americans.  The GOP plays to that feeling and Palin has plugged right into it like a main circuit.  Talk about marginalization - this is a perfect receipie for it and the GOP knows it.  THAT has to scare them more than anything else.

by DuvalDem 2009-11-24 05:03AM | 0 recs
Re: In Their Own Words

I don't see anything wrong with that prayer . She made that statement in a religious setting which doesn't seem inappropriate to me....I would not be surprised if a majority of Americans of different faiths make similar prayers every day especially when a major decision is to be made...Its not casting the way in "messianic " terms , its a simple prayer in my view...

Infact , I would be surprised if Obama isn't on his knees every night (religious setting or not ) praying to God in similar ways regarding his upcoming Afghanistan decision , he is a man of faith...

by lori 2009-11-24 05:03AM | 0 recs
Re: In Their Own Words

God does not give us tasks that he wants us to use Soldiers for, PERIOD.  The use of Soldiers is our way, and may I add generally incorrectly, to do tasks we think God is asking us to do, as Christians.  Too often the Soldier is used as a Bludgeon instead of a savior (of sorts).  Too often teh Soldier is used as a tool of convenience and ease instead of as a protector or option of last resort.

The difference?  One is the easy arrogant way that often leads to dishonor.  One is a LOT harder, but respectfull and honorable.

by Hammer1001 2009-11-24 06:45AM | 0 recs
Re: In Their Own Words

and THIS is how Bush got in. Stupid, Stupid people electing a stupid, stupid man. These idiots are voters!!! All Palin has to do is a few effective sound bites, like "drill baby drill" or "death panels" and these people love her and THAT is how she MIGHT become President.

by nikkid 2009-11-24 05:27AM | 0 recs


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