A reader writes:
I'm not a huge fan of Dancing With The Stars, but I've been watching it regularly this season ... and have been stunned at the results on a weekly basis. Bristol Palin gives a lot of effort, but she is a terrible dancer. Clearly the worst of the whole lot; it's not even close. I know that in the past, this can work to your advantage for a few weeks. After all, this show is a popularity contest. But week after week, Bristol ends up in the bottom of the judging and nevertheless continues to get tons of votes. Care to guess who's doing the voting? People like my in-laws, who think she's "adorable" and "trying so hard, just like her mother."
This is what scares me.
You may think I am being trite and that this is just a silly TV show, but I truly think it's a microcosm of the 2012 election season. For Bristol, it doesn't really matter that she can't dance. The point is, her fans adore her. They don't care that she's a walking contradiction - an unwed mother who now flaunts her "abstinence" all over the country for $15,000 dollars per speaking engagement. They just know that they "like" her and, more importantly, they love her mother.
These people don't seem to care that they are being fooled by Sarah. They don't seem to care that their heroine doesn't read books, know policy, or practice rational thinking. They don't seem to care that she is little more than a vindictive, petty, hypocritical Queen Bee with a paranoid streak. All they know is that she's "trying so hard" and she's "just like them." Bristol Palin is Sarah Palin.
And each week, far more qualified dancers get voted off the island. Sure, they are technically proficient, terrific athletes, and talented artists. But they can't keep up with Bristol and her two left feet. This show stopped being about dancing a long, long time ago. Now it's about image. It's about power. And it's about who our next president could be.