"Average Folks"

Average Folks”

A Commentary on the Candidacy of Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin and her supporters think she represents “average folks.”  She tries hard to behave like “average folks”, as if being average were a desirable quality for a vice presidential candidate.  Supporters think she understands “average folks” and has their best interests at heart. Sarah Palin is fooling them.

She  is not average, and never has been average. Throughout her life, she has demonstrated an intensely competitive spirit  (look at her devotion to winning at sports), coupled with notable personal charm (when did a VP candidate get away with winking into the camera?), and traditional female beauty (evidenced in her successful participation in pageants). She has been blessed– or afflicted– with tremendous self-confidence, energy, and an ability to look beyond what many people would consider limitations.

She has a house-husband who manages the home and takes care of a Down Syndrome baby. How “average” is that?

Sarah Palin’s vocabulary, perpetual smile, and breathy voice (when expounding upon her patriotism and plans for the country), are transparent attempts to portray herself as “average.”  Her greetings from the podium to school kids  are not greetings; they are carefully crafted verbal techniques. Her mispronunciation of “nuclear” is nothing more than a not-so-subtle reassurance that she walks to the right of G.W. Bush.

The concept of “average” implies “majority”, and that is the sense in which Palin wants us to believe she represents Americans. Things aren’t so simple here in America, where “average” has no real meaning, and “majority” applies not to most Americans  in the country (as well as out of it!)  but to the people within any one person’s immediate circle.

Let us abandon the notion that Sarah Palin somehow represents the “average” and therefore the “majority” of the American citizenry. Let us recognize that her efforts to use casual language and to display the tiresome American tendency towards extreme friendliness will not be well received on the international front. Let us acknowledge that style does not always indicate substance, and cannot substitute for it, especially when the direction of entire countries need nothing if not substance.

Let us strike the word “average” from our description of Sarah Palin. Who, then, do we have in her?

About Marahm

At first glance, I may appear to be a middle-aged American woman with kids, grandkids, retired from a job in a hospital, gratefully relieved from the responsibilities that come with all of that. Behind the image, which is true enough, I am fairly unhinged from much of American mainstream living, having spent twelve years in Saudi Arabia, years that sprung me from societal and familial impositions, and narrow bands of truth. I have learned to embrace my identity as a seeker, an artist, and a writer. I study Arabic and Italian language, because I love them, and I love their people. I still dream of spending more time in the Middle East and Italy, though the dreaming now seems more real than the possibilities. I am a photographer. I write, and sometimes publish, flash memoir, and now a blog or two.
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6 Responses to "Average Folks"

  1. I am in total agreement with your assessment of Sarah Palin. I find her whole aura and being very disingenuous and completely staged. Even if she were “average,” I wouldn’t want an average person in the 2nd most important position of the US government. I would want someone exceptional who understands foreign policy and economics and can pronounce the word “nuclear” correctly. This has bugged me about George Bush and it bugs me about her. She is a carbon copy of George Bush – she’s just wearing lipstick!

  2. ~W~ says:

    There is nothing wrong with not being average, in fact you do not want average people to head the country. All politicians are not genuine. All have their agenda and want to transmit a certain image that may not be the real self. What is wrong with Sarah Palin in my opinion is that she came in too early to the VP post. She is no worse or no better than many politicians but she is just not experienced enough to be VP and maybe (if anything happens to McCain) president of USA.

  3. Good post Marahm.

    I so agree that we do not want nor need an “average” individual in the White House. In fact, this election highlights that perhaps there should be a “job description” which pre-defined required criteria in place when contemplating candidates for the positions…because with Palin as an example, I don’t think this speaks well of John McCain’s intelligence either.

  4. Umm Ibrahim says:

    I think she just comes off as condescending. I don’t really follow American politics but I don’t like her. There, my political analysis! :mrgreen:

  5. WM says:

    Don’t flatter her, Marahm.

  6. Shahrzad says:

    It’s the way that Ahmadinejad also wants to show off usually. That he is from majority and he is “average” and his dad was a blacksmith and he is from village.

    It’s what i dont like about him at all. I hate showing off and i think Palin has taken the same policity (they insult ahmadinejad and they follow his tricks!!)

    Ahmadinejad won presidential election with the trick in a country like Iran, Even if daily life of the majority is mixed with politics and people are expert in this case.
    So i am sure she will get the result in a country like US that people are not even as open and educated as Iranians about the politics.

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