Matthew Lee Anderson has responded to my review of his essay. I encourage everyone who read it to take a look.
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From Anderson’s essay:
“Palin’s personal narrative, ease, and authenticity all made her extremely likable to most Americans, and grounded our faith and trust in her. And for social conservatives, that’s the preeminent virtue. But unlike Huckabee, Palin introduced the possibility of a conservative with traditional social values who knew how to articulate them without potentially offensive religious overtones or rhetoric.”
Palin did not use offensive religious rhetoric. Her acceptance speech was full of rhetoric about the greatness of rural Americans – as Jim Manzi noted on this site at the time. Other convention speakers touted her as a moose hunter. She and other GOP members spoke of her as a “Real American” frequently during the campaign because of her small town lifestyle.
Constantly talking about the virtues of small town hunters was bound to be offensive to many Americans who do not live in small towns or hunt. When most of the population does not hunt and lives in big metro areas it is not a smart strategy. Even people not offended by by the rural rhetoric will have noted the absence of much concern for the poor economic plight of Americans during the Bush years. Most Americans did not do well during the years of GOP rule and the GOP response was vote for Palin because she is a maverick moose hunter.
TAS needs to start offering more. I realize a lot of writers have used this as a springboard to more “legit” jobs and therefore are too busy, but that just means to me that someone needs to recuit some new writers. Or else just give it up. Because for the past fair while there has been less bounty here than a soviet era grocery store.