Day By Day

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sarah Hatred

Shannon Love, one of the Chicago Boys, elaborates on a theme that is gaining increasing currency -- that the Left's irrational hatred for Sarah Palin, is based status anxiety, an old Parsonian concept recently popularized by Alain de Botton. He writes:

Palin’s success stabs [Leftists] in the heart of their anxiety. If Palin can be a successful political leader, what does that say about the leftists’ claims of intellectual and moral superiority? If people don’t just instantly assume that leftists are smarter and better than everyone else, why would people trust a leftist government to make so many decisions about the [way] people’s live, e.g., medical care?

That is why leftists see Palin as a genuine and significant threat of unusual magnitude. In the emotional thinking of leftists, she is a personal threat to everything each individual leftist has attained in life. They feel a sincere, visceral sense of danger about her because she attacks the very core of their egos. They feel the same hatred towards Palin that the European upper classes felt towards the upstart middle-class. They feel the same hatred that poor whites felt towards non-whites. They feel that way for the same reasons. If she succeeds, worse, if she is right, then they become nobodies.

As long as she is viewed as a significant political figure, the left’s obsession with Palin will never wane because it does not spring from rational roots. She threatens something too deep and too profound in a political subculture built around the belief that a small percentage of human beings have a vastly superior understanding of the world compared to all the rest. 
Read the whole thing here.

I think Love, Codevilla, and other recent commentators on the status system of America's post-war elites are onto something. The ever shriller protestations of today's credentialed elites increasingly sound like those of the old WASP country club set, whom they displaced half a century ago. Too bad that Digby Baltzell is no longer around. He would be the ideal person to chronicle their collapse.

No comments: