Observations, Politics-Government, Religion.

The Bard of Wasilla

Sarah Palin is now the self-styled Shakespeare of Twitter, and has stimulated a twitter-based exchange of wit; however, the humor only served to obscure the fear-mongering of Palin’s initial message.

The Twitter farce began with Palin’s minor misuse of the English language, in a tweet via her SarahPalinUSA username, where she inadvertently coined a new word, “refudiate”, in an otherwise typical tweet: 

Ground Zero Mosque supporters, doesn’t it stab you in the heart as it does our throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.

After some criticism in the tweetosphere over her error in vocabulary, Palin followed up with another tweet, which showed some of her own wit:

‘Misunderestimate’, ‘refudiate’, ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words. Gotta celebrate it!

The tweetosphere responded to her comparison of herself to Shakespeare, which produced some clever ripostes.  Here is a sampling:

    • “To suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous liberals, or to quit halfterm, and by opposing, rake in speaking fees”:
    • Neither a thinker nor a reader be / for thought oft loses both itself and friend / and reading dulls the edge of Fox TV.”
    • “How’s all that bein’ and not bein’ workin’ out for ya?”
    • “It is a tale told by Sarah Palin, full of sound an fury, signifying nothing.”
    • “Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance.”
    • “But soft, what light from yonder window breaks? It is the East, and I can see Russia from my front porch.”
    • “What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, how easily swayed by a big mouth and pretty face.”
    • “Nothing in her term of office became her like the leaving it.”

    As entertaining as this exchange was, this response largely ignored the ugly distortion of her original tweet. Many Americans, including some of the Muslim faith, died at Ground Zero. The mosque in question, which is not to be built on the property of Ground Zero, but two blocks away, is meant to be a memorial for them and all those who died there, regardless of their religion. It is in fact a repudiation of the violent acts done in the name of the Muslim religion; it is clearly a gesture of peace. Yet Palin deliberately used violent imagery, e.g. “stab you in the heart”, suggesting that even in the most benign of acts, the building of a center of worship, is an act of violence towards the “heartland” by those always suspect Muslims.

    Is there any heart in Palin’s conception of the heartland?

    Since Sarah Palin purports to represent Christian America, it should be noted that it is not particularly Christian to deliberately reject an attempt at reconciliation, or to treat all of Islam as a source of terrorism which is to be feared and reviled (Christians don’t like it when they are dismissed due to the worst behaviors of other Christians). It is hard to see much Christian heart in her demagoguery; too often hard-line domineering Christianist attitudes are instead on display.

    The problem of radical jihadists who perform acts of terror is very real, but it is not going to be solved by a blanket treatment of all of Islam as a source of that terrorism; this approach only  serves to exacerbate tensions, diminishes real attempts to bridge the gap between the two nations of belief, and limits the cooperation between the cultures to slow down terrorism.

    Does SarahPalinUSA represent the USA?

    This tweet exposes the all-to-typical fear-mongering of Palin, who is eager to tap into the reservoir of fear and hate that exists in this country.  She epitomizes the insincerity described by Samuel Johnson: "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."(The Life of Samuel Johnson, Vol 2, p. 547, by James Boswell) 

    SarahPalinUSA is not my USA; I yearn to see the better side of America, one which faces the world and its own problems with less fear and more honesty, and rejects the manipulations of the self-serving demagogues like Sarah Palin.

    Thanks to Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Dish and Glynnis MacNichol at Mediaite.

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