Last week, I was in the presence of someone who melted down at the mention of Sarah Palin. It was clear that he was reciting talking points, "did you know, did you know...." I played along and maybe egged him on so that he could get all of this vitriol out of his system. The message behind the behavior was enlightening.
Since that time, I've seen this invisible list of talking points playing itself out in the media. For example, little Johnny who did all of this exploding, went on and on about "she's from a small town in ALASKA. Do you know what those people are like up there? They're like those backwards people in Hartland." Those people made my friends' business go under. [infidels! they don't like elitist stores!]
He also went on about how she's part of some Pentecostal church. I said "they're Christians, you're Orthodox, right?" "Ohhh....this is different though, those people aren't the same. They will push their agenda on you..." etc. Etc. Then I realized one of his biggest issues was his general disdain for rural communities, and people with traditional values. Oh, and Hockey moms were neanderthals. I simplify his response.
He home schools his daughter, btw.
Anyhow, I'm starting to see "reports" and "skits" on TV that pretty much weren't there before. It's clear that media outlets are doing reports to "prove" the talking points "right". Much of it comes from NY.
Last night SNL had a gem of a skit about home schooled children. Answers to every questioin from the home schooled were about rapture, angels, and other religion-based ideas. Then at the end of the skit, the punchline was that social services was waiting to take them away. Nice.
Then on Today this morning, they compared and contrasted Manhattan, KS, with Manhattan, NY. It was full of backhanded compliments for Kansas. The message of God, Guns, and conservatism was repeated over and over again and while it was said with a smile, the intent was to dismiss, belittle and minimize. New Yorkers were enlightened, above religion, and the tone of everyone interviewed was "don't bring them here". And who were these people they interviewed? Gentle souls. They posed no threat to anyone. They were the same people who would have lived there 20, 30, 50 years ago. Who cares if they don't have a world view? They seem pretty content and doing fine without it. They weren't walking around looking at each other and saying "maybe we should fix ourselves".
Is it a case of looking for the talking points? Not necessarily. The reports I'm seeing would not have been there a couple of months ago. They are outside of the usual reports or skits.
I just want to say this. Some of the most successful people I have ever worked with (I'm talking about executives) come from humble backgrounds. Some of them grew up on farms, and some of them were far from big cities. These elites could smile at them in their present form, but how would they have dismissed them 20 years ago.
The idea that "acceptable" people are born and bred into it, is an aristocratic, old world view. We broke from that a little over 200 years ago. Who's go the backward ideas, now?