Several readers have remarked that there are no black or Hispanic or indeed any minority faces in the Palin presidential campaign web ad that has just been unveiled. This is odd because there are usually a token few thrown into the mix. Frum notes this too (although a reader of his finds a sole Indian-American woman in the background around 45 seconds in):
Now listen carefully to the audio, which twice warns of a “fundamental transformation of America,” twice emphasizes a threat to children and grandchildren from malign unnamed forces. I think she’s talking about healthcare. I hope so. But she never does say so.
A reader adds:
The Arizona law is the first salvo in this new politics. In Pennsylvania, where I now live, a Republican state representative from the remote, predominantly white, north-west region, is proposing a similar law. It now seems quite apparent that the Republican party as a whole, does not even bother to appeal to minorities. This SarahPAC web video exemplifies that attitude. I looked at it a few times, it was web video appealing to the middle-class white woman. We live in uncertain times, people are scared and scared people are more likely to reveal their nascent bigotry. Sarah Palin appeals to their insecurities as the "great white hope" and she does not even bother to hide that. Our press, instead of holding her accountable for playing this racially charged divisive politics, continues to give her a free pass.
I'd be blunter than Frum.
I think of Palin's politics as entirely cultural. It is about resisting the new America, epitomized by Barack Obama's racially mixed pragmatism. It is about banishing the Bush-Cheney years by demonizing the man hired to clean up the appalling mess. It is about dreaming of an old America - the America before the New Deal, before mass immigration of non-whites, before the civil rights era, before Darwin up-ended fundamentalist nuttery. It is a kind of new fundamentalism - animated by no policies that one can determine (has anyone ever heard Palin cite how she would balance the budget?). And yet it's very potent, because it makes up for its minority status with a ferocity and passion that infuses all truly radical populist movements and can swamp lethargic majorities when necessary.
And in this context, we have to realize that the US no longer has a truly adversarial press. It has a commercial press that is entirely driven by fear of losing readers and/or viewers. Remember that the MSM allowed Palin - then a total unknown - to go an entire campaign without an open press conference. She knows they're patsies. She's much less afraid of them than they are of her. And rightly so.
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