Sarah Palin Represents Real America

I know this because Mika Brezinski told me. I don't think there's anything serious to address in her point. There are a lot of hours to fill. Gotta say something. One interesting notion is that we're seeing a kind of mirror-image of the Left in the 60s and 70s. Or maybe not, I wasn't around then and my reading on the era isn't as thorough as it should be. But my understanding is that a large part of our problem--or the New Left's problem--was that we got weighted down in theory, and lost touch with actual people. 

I get the same impression whenever I hear people pull out this hamfisted notion of Real America. It's like there are no people in "Real America"--just cartoon cut-outs yelling "Don't take our guns." It is, as I said yesterday, the Al Sharpton analysis--distilling millions of complicated people through the lens of one person who happens to attract a lot of ink.

The worst part of the "Real America" analysis is that while it means to slap down "media elite"--much as the old radicals were aiming for the corporate elite--it's offers nothing but elbows for the Everymen it claims to uplift. It turns him into a cartoon and fetishizes him. He is not a person. He is the beer track. 

I don't want to say much more. I fear that I may become what I inveigh against.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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