Bill Moyers again did not disappoint.
In this weeks Bill Moyers Journal, Bill Moyers had this to say:
“The novelist Russell Banks, in his first book of non-fiction, just published, explains the Sarah Palin phenomenon even before it happened. In “Dreaming Up America,” he writes that we choose our presidents not on the basis of their experience or even their political views, but on how well they tap into our basic beliefs, our deepest communal desires, including our religious or spiritual beliefs. Our presidents, he writes, represent in some very personal way the imagination and the mythology of the people who elect them…”
“No wonder reality-based journalists are having a hard time with this story. Mythology is not their beat. But in the imagination of her tribe, Sarah Palin achieved an almost immaculate conception. Her lack of experience matters not to them. Nor do they care that her past is filled with contradictions, and nothing the press reports, no matter how grounded in fact, can shake their faith…”
The whole transcript can be read here.
And a comment on an opinion piece in the New York times has this to say:
“Sarah Palin appeals to the conservative base. But she also appeals to Americans who are longing for a glorious past. A past in which a hard working man could support a family, even if he did not have higher education (Todd Palin). A past in which a mother of young children could rely on relatives and friends to help her with her daily tasks. And, on a more archaic level, a past where you could go out and hunt and fish to bring food home to your family.
I have had enough of liberals making fun of the Palins. I do not agree with Sarah Palin’s political views, but I see how her life can be attractive in a society that is losing all these very basic securities.”
You can read that comment here.
And in a world where families are splintered, fragmented and globalized, I think the commentator is right when she says, “But she also appeals to Americans who are longing for a glorious past… A past in which a mother of young children could rely on relatives and friends to help her with her daily tasks.”
And it is also one of the reasons that people are so attracted to Newburyport, MA, because it holds out a myth, a myth of community, a community which people are an extended family, and support one another–that is so embodied by our beautiful, quaint, historic (and Federally funded) downtown, and the historic neighborhoods that surround it.