Sarah Palin Represents Real America

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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. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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