In Tucson on Wednesday, President Obama eloquently memorialized the victims and survivors of the shooting rampage on Saturday. He spoke in terms meant to bring Americans together for the common good of the country and each other, which is what a great leader does during times of sadness and national tragedy. Then there is Sarah Palin.
Palin aired a video message on the day of the memorial service that showed her narcissism and selfishness as a response to accusations that her inflammatory rhetoric and gun metaphors may have affected the shooter in Tucson. Where President Obama’s speech was meant to unite the country in a spirit of healing and call for Americans to live up to the ideal of what it takes to be American, Palin offered irrefutable evidence that she still does not understand that words have consequences or that we are a united people.
Sarah Palin does not understand a lot of things, and primarily she doesn’t understand humility or the quality of accepting responsibility for her actions. Instead of making a gesture of reconciliation with the American people and particularly the family of Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims, Palin complained that she is the victim as she consistently does.
If Palin had only said that she regretted using the cross hairs on her map of targeted candidates or the incendiary “don’t retreat, instead reload” comment, she would have demonstrated to Americans that she understood the real issue was her use of ballistic language that may have contributed to the shooter’s actions; but she didn’t. Always playing the victim, Palin accused the media and political pundits of inciting violence by reporting that her violent rhetoric using gun metaphors was over-the-top and inflammatory. Was she saying that her supporters would use violence because some journalists reported the truth, of was she signaling that she was being targeted by the media? No one can begin to understand her motivation or meaning, but she was being divisive at a time that the country needs unification.
Divisiveness is Palin’s modus operandi, and she has made it her goal to separate the country into real America against everyone who disagrees with Sarah Palin. During the 2008 general election when Palin was campaigning in small towns, she referred to the all-white, bible reading, gun toting audiences as the real Americans as opposed to the rest of the nation that included minorities, the poor, and as she stated, liberal elitists. She made no attempt to characterize America as a United State, but as good versus evil.
She also did not characterize then-Senator Obama as an American in an attempt to de-legitimize him, and consistently called him un-American for palling around with terrorists. Palin continued the attacks on President Obama by accusing him of pandering to enemies for his diplomatic efforts to mitigate the damage that George W. Bush brought on the country with his policy of preemptive wars to establish regime change in the Middle East. She has also accused Obama of not supporting the troops in an effort to portray him as an enemy of America. After Palin quit her job as governor of Alaska, she traveled the country spreading the lie that Obama’s health care reform law would create death panels that would kill off old people, and took it a step farther by claiming that Obama’s death panels would kill her Down Syndrome child because he was not worthy of health care. None of Palin’s claims were true, but the result was to divide the country based on lies; not the truth.
In her video speech yesterday, Palin said that politicians should have civil discourse and debate when addressing the issues, but she belies that sentiment every time she opens her mouth. It is impossible to have civil discourse when one side presents false information and then feigns outrage when a lie is exposed as such. In Palin’s case, when her lies are exposed, she resorts to calling her opponents un-American. It is noteworthy that Palin never gives her opponents the opportunity for discourse because she makes all her comments on Facebook or from the safety of the Fox News studio.
Palin’s supporters and opponents alike were waiting for her to show the qualities of a leader in addressing her violent rhetoric, but that would have required her to admit she had made errors in judgment. One thing is certain, Palin never admits to making mistakes and therein rests her narcissism that is reminiscent of George Bush. Americans are a forgiving people and they understand that politicians and regular people alike make bad decisions all the time. But Americans do not suffer arrogance well and liars even less. Palin alluded to the midterm election in her speech, and if she were the least bit aware, she would have known that the American people want their representatives to work together to move the country out of the economic morass we are in. She obviously doesn’t get the message or she would not continue trying to divide the country.
It is easy to claim that Palin has a coarse intellect, but it is questionable if she has any intellect at all. Americans grow weary of the victim syndrome that Palin projects and know that only criminals or self-centered people consistently play the victim. They (Americans) also are weary of the divisive nature of the rhetoric coming from the right, and Palin’s low approval ratings are evidence that Americans are getting wise to her divisive rants. President Obama made the point that we are all Americans and should strive to work together to achieve a common goal of recovery and advancement.
Sarah Palin on the other hand, will never admit she does not have all the answers and therefore cannot work with anyone to achieve what is good for all Americans. She is a narcissist who demonizes anyone who does not worship her, and attempts to divide the country into Palin’s America and everyone else. America’s greatest achievements have always come at a time of shared vision and sacrifice, and there is no reason to believe it is any different today. Americans will follow a leader who is willing to sacrifice and share a vision that all Americans can support. They will not, however, follow a self-centered divisive narcissist who exhibits the qualities of a dictator, and that is exactly what Sarah Palin is.