Holy cow. Hell must have frozen over at Huffington Post. One of the writers actually read Going Rogue…and liked it!
According to Stephen H. Dinan:
What I found is that it wasn’t really that hard, actually, simply by taking the time to meet her on her own turf rather than through sounds bites, spin, and polarized media battles. Reading someone’s personal memoir is an intimate journey into their inner sanctum, and I developed a real appreciation for Sarah in reading the book. Aspects of her that seemed coarse, simplistic, or combative during the campaign were revealed to be a product of frontier values and growing up in a culture that is faced with subzero temperatures and constant tests of survival.
What! Palin isn’t an imbecile who totes a gun to everything? A liberal grasps the thought that she acts differently because she was raised in an environment far away from the East Coast. Dinan also notes she’s not a Bible-thumping, Christian crazy:
For example, while her belief in God is deep and sincere, she wasn’t fanatical about it or dismissive of others. I found a real appreciation for the spiritual depths she went to when first faced with having a Down’s syndrome child. Her ultimate celebration of the beauty and perfection of that child, a child that 90% of people would have aborted according to statistics, was profoundly moving and it led hundreds of thousands of special needs children to feel championed through her campaign.
Perhaps if bi-coastal, urban liberals took a few minutes to actually talk to a Christian, they’d discover that most of are like this. Most Believers are genuine people who are facing their own struggles. Very few people are like the parodies that the left and media believe. Perhaps more leftist assumptions are wrong:
On other fronts, her pro-development views on energy and oil did not exclude a deep love for the environment and even an appreciation for alternative energy and reducing our carbon footprint. She wrote in moving terms about her husband’s indigenous ancestry and connection with the natural world, as well as the devastation wrought by the Exxon Valdez spill. Despite being pro-business she was heroically willing to face down the oil industry when it was corrupting the government of Alaska, a kind of bravery we need more of on both sides of the aisle.
OMG! It’s possible to be pro-environment and pro-business? Seriously. Where do liberals get their talking points. Its as if they take The Colbert Report at absolute face value and don’t try to get past the satire of what most conservatives represent. Diden also gets an angle that most members of media failed to see:
In reading the book, I started to see a lot more of myself and my upbringing in Sarah. I too had grown up in a frozen land – Northern Minnesota – a place of unpretentious, middle-class, hardworking people who believe in personal responsibility and straight-talking integrity. We, too, had our sled dog races, subzero temperatures and a spirit of camaraderie to make it through. I began to see her political values as a natural extension of those tough-minded virtues, enabling her to take on daunting tasks and succeed at each level of life.
This is perhaps the most telling paragraph. Not many people are willing to admit having a middle class background. I think that the urban elite vs. middle class difference is the biggest division in our country. Something happens to people when they live in big cities. The urbanites just can’t understand that to Middle America, our political views result from how policies should be practically implemented, not some philosophical rationale written by a bureaucrat or academic. Dinan also realized that SNL is probably not the best place to learn about a politician:
Reading Going Rogue makes me understand that Sarah is not the ruthlessly ambitious and cutthroat caricature we feared; she is a woman who has befriended Democrats personally and professionally, shown real leadership in fighting corruption, and taken a more nuanced position on several issues in which she seemed far more polarizing. She seems quite sincere in her desire to serve in whatever way the universe calls for that service.
Again, hell must be freezing. You mean Sarah Palin isn’t that superficial characterization from SNL? Sarah Palin doesn’t equal Tina Fey? Say it ain’t so.
Is it too much to ask that liberals understand that a person usually has more depth and character than portrayed in the media? Sadly, the McCain campaign made some mistakes and allowed the SNL frame to represent Palin. But did people really believe that’s how she is? Seriously?
I enjoy satire, but the images created by outlets like SNL, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are meant to entertain. They don’t adequetely represent the position or person. If Dinan is correct, liberals are lot more stupid than the most redneck Wal-mart shopper.
Dinan closes his column with a call to action:
I come away from reading Going Rogue feeling that it would be a useful act of citizenship for all those who feel prejudice towards her to read her book and meet her on her own turf in order to heal the lingering prejudices. I feel more balanced for having done so. I would also urge conservatives who hate or fear Obama to read his autobiography to better understand the man behind the political leader and thus heal their own biases.
What a novel idea! Read the book written by the person that you attack endless. At least Dinan did more than most people at HuffPo. That’s a start.