It stands to reason that Europe’s mass media has outdone ours in the matter of Palin rage. European elites fear democracy, and thus live in terror of their own people. This is true of prime ministers, CEOs, artists, and journalists — or “intellectuals,” as no doubt they would describe themselves — all of whom tend to go to the same schools, babble the same buzzwords, and cower at the same nightmares.
Also, the elites of Europe are like a man who has had a stroke, and can remember only one thing, which he keeps repeating over and over, until it fills his life with whatever fractured meaning it still retains: “America primitive, Europe progressive.” Europeans once ruled the world. They had the greatest power, the finest art, the most dazzling technology. Today, they make do with peevish envy. “We may be weak,” they repeat, over and over, “but we are liberated from the past.”
Palin the Christian huntress appears to these Euro-elites as the primitive past made flesh. She represents everything they wish to leave behind: marriage, parenting, individual responsibility, community involvement, religion, respect for tradition, and a life of moral seriousness spent largely outdoors. She embodies the resurrection and power of the past, and the rough beast they perceive her to be says more about their strange fears and anxieties than about Palin or any actual person:
Who literally believes that Jonah made his home in a whale’s abdomen? Nobody really, apart from the US president-and the woman who was recently added to the 2008 Republican ticket…. Sarah Palin is the latest politician to carry the torch of science misinformation tainted by religious dogma lit during the Reagan administration and nurtured by George Bush…. Yet centuries after the Enlightenment, Sarah Palin, the putative US vice-president, can endorse the passing off of Bible stories as scientific facts, dressed up as the oxymoronic term ‘creationist science’.”
I seem to remember Jonah was in the belly of the whale because he had fled from his responsibilities, and God found an original way of turning him around. The talking heads of Europe today — and this includes the newsmakers — peddle little more than escapism, avoidance, and denial. They dwell in that comfy “whale’s abdomen” of moral abdication, and live in terror that the voice of duty might find them, and turn them around.