There is a nice piece by Don Surber (H/T, Instapundit) seeking to explain the hatred that is felt among some folk for Sarah Palin. He obviously focuses on the attitudes of Americans, but I’d wager that some of that applies also to non-Americans who hate or despise her in much the same way that such people also got riled by Ronald Reagan’s folksy speaking manner and ignored the wisdom and intelligence of that man. It is a good piece.
It got me thinking about why certain politicians, even if they espouse views which are not necessarily all that outrageous or objectionable, provoke feelings of such hatred in some quarters. In the UK, for example, the last person I think who was really hated in the Palinesque sort of way was our own Margaret Thatcher. There are certain things in common – although not ones I would stretch too far – such as that they came from unfashionable parts of their countries (Lincolnshire/Alaska); made a point about religion in their lives (they are obviously nutters then); happy marriages (which provokes a strange kind of resentment among some folk); a certain middle-brow, cultivated lack of pretension; the pitch and tone of their voices (Maggie sounded very arch early on), and so on.
Add in the fact that they are women in a male-dominated arena of politics, and the reason for hatred grows. And I also think that for a lot of so-called feminists, a woman who espouses “family values”, supports capitalism, etc, is seen as letting the side down. This rather ignores what we Samizdata writers would say, that free markets, when freed of state interference, are usually very good news for women, since bigotry against women, like any other group, is a cost.
There is also something quite useful about Sarah Palin in this regard. Although I do not agree with all her views, at least as far as I know what they are, I usually find that the sort of people who say they hate or despise her are nobs of the first rank. So it is a sort of useful marker: if I find myself talking to someone and her name comes up and the reaction is as described, I can usually pigeonhole that person as someone to be avoided.
And Palin has great legs. The sources of hate must run very deep indeed.