There are at least two clear reasons why the secular left is absolutely foaming at the mouth over Sarah Palin, John McCain’s Republican running mate. One is her worldview – it stands in complete contrast to the worldview of the secular left. Two, despite all their contempt for, and dismissal of, Palin, the secular left deep down is worried sick that the McCain/Palin team may well be a winning combination.
Thus expect the hatred, ugly attacks and abuse to keep flying from the leftists. Consider just one example (reported in Michelle Malkin’s most recent column) of the wretched abuse being flung at Palin. “At the Democratic Underground, a highly trafficked liberal website raising money for Barack Obama, members held a contest to come up with nicknames and posters to slime GOP Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — and then to ‘spread [them] all over the ‘Net.’ Among the nicer entries: ‘Cruella,’ ‘Gidget,’ ‘Governor Jesus Camp,’ ‘VPILF,’ ‘Fertilla the Huntress,’ ‘Iditabroad’ and ‘KILLER PYSCHO FUNDIE B***H FROM HELL!!’”
But this is par for the course. Says Malkin, “There’s something about outspoken conservative women that drives the left mad. It’s a peculiar pathology I’ve reported on for more than 15 years, both as a witness and a target. Thus, the onset of Palin Derangement Syndrome in the media, Democratic circles and the cesspools of the blogosphere came as no surprise. They just can’t help themselves.”
As I said, this is fundamentally a worldview clash. Two totally opposite ways of looking at the world are engaged in a life and death struggle. A number of conservative columnists have picked up on this truth. Charles Colson puts it this way “Social conservatives reacted to Palin’s election with near euphoria. Social liberals reacted with fury. Why? How could a governor from a politically small state spark such strong emotions? I believe it is this: In the life of Sarah Palin, we see the clash of worldviews playing out before our own eyes. Consider every major controversial issue in American politics and culture right now . . . and somehow, they touch her personally.”
He goes on to list abortion, marriage and family, love of country and the role of the state as some of the defining issues. He raises the abortion issue as an example of Palin practicing what she preaches. She kept her Down syndrome baby, and is committed to looking after him for the rest of his life. And her pregnant daughter will keep the baby and marry the father.
Colson concludes, “Like all of us, she wrestles with her own convictions. Every flashpoint in American politics and culture seems to come together in this woman from Alaska. I am not telling you how to vote, but for once, I will urge you to watch the news and the political commentaries. Because if you can see through the smoke, you will be able to witness the clash of worldviews in real time.”
And as Greg Sheridan states in his Australian column today, the issues Palin champions are mainstream America issues. Thus an attack on Palin by the left may well be seen as an attack on mainstream America: “The liberal establishment will try to blitzkrieg Palin into oblivion by charging that she is an extremist, a nut and corrupt. If the liberal elites fail in this, they risk mainstream America seeing their attacks on Palin as attacking the American heartland. Democrats should know from bitter experience that that kind of polarisation leads directly to Democratic defeat.”
He gives several examples, including the anti-Christian bigotry of the left: “Thus we had The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, notoriously the silliest columnist in North America, who has never shown any evidence that a serious or worthwhile thought has ever passed through her addled head, sneering at Palin over the Christian names of her children. Imagine The New York Times’ reaction if someone wrote a column sneering at the name Barack. But anti-Christian prejudice is licensed in the elite American media. The hypocrisy and cultural prejudice are obvious.”
However, it is the worldview of Palin that so upsets the left: “But it is the personal life of Palin that most liberal commentators can’t bear. And they can’t bear it because it threatens their world view. Palin is a happy conservative warrior who exudes vitality and a natural gratitude for all the wonders of life and all the wonders of America. She is a pro-life Christian. The liberal media wants politically active Christians to present like Elmer Gantry: dreadful, corrupt hypocrites. They should look like Jerry Falwell if they’re men or Tammy Faye Bakker if they’re women. They should not be so radiantly normal and happy as Palin.”
Columnist Cal Thomas also sees the role of worldview here. After dismissing the furphy about inexperience, he says this: “There is good and there is bad experience. More importantly, there is worldview. Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, see America as a nation in which government plays a primary role in individual lives. John McCain and Sarah Palin see the individual as primary and government as a protector of freedom that can help the less fortunate become self-sustaining.”
He continues, “One can already sense the lines of attack against Palin. Why did she have a child she knew would be born with Down syndrome? We used to call such children ‘mentally retarded,’ before the word ‘retarded’ became an epithet commonly hurled by teenagers. She practices what she preaches about her pro-life views. She had this child because she didn’t want to play God.”
All of these commentators rightly see that the defining issue of the American presidential race in general, and the choice of Palin in particular, is that of worldviews. Two mutually exclusive worldviews are battling it out for the heart and soul of America. One values life, liberty, faith and family. One values statism, secularism and social engineering. These are incompatible worldviews. Thus the stakes are high, and the left is upset – big time. Indeed, the Palin choice must be a good one, given the hysterical reaction from the left.