Among The Palinites

A reader writes:

Over Christmas, my brother and I paid a visit to the other side of our family. They live as far as they can from an urban center, and are distrustful of "citified" people, though they make an exception for my side of the family, even if we are looked upon as somewhat freakish. They are Red Staters trapped in a Blue State (Washington), and resent it. They are nominally Christian.

None (save one 2nd cousin, who has run away to attend the university I tutor at in the city) have graduated from high school, having left early to take up some form of manual labor. One of my cousins, a meth addict, disappeared years ago in Idaho. Another, a year younger than I (47) is a grandmother dying of cirrhosis of the liver. Another cousin has three daughters, all of whom are on welfare, have multiple kids from different men, spend their days playing video games when not getting new tattoos and tramp stamps at the nearest mall. All are obese and chain-smoke. All routinely refer to President Obama as "the nigger." All watch Fox News in between bouts of video games.

Some of them have seen jail. Two of my cousins had been, up until a few years ago, given to reading romance novels and lurid true-crime books. They now have taken to buying the books of Hannity, Coulter, et al.

On this visit, we found that Sarah Palin's book had become the Christmas gift of choice for most of them. Whether they've read it or not, she was the primary topic of their conversation. They adore her. "She speaks like us," one aunt said, almost tearfully. "She's one of us." Their anger, impotent at the moment, seems to be growing. My brother and I made a hasty retreat out, as we were neither of us in the mood to engage these family members in debate. Why? To what end? But nor could we just stay and listen to these deluded, rambling speeches. Worse, we felt chilled by the experience.

The next American revolution really will be led by an ignorant rabble with pitchforks.