Friday, September 12, 2008

Sarah Palin and O.J. Simpson

I am not sure I have seen anything like the Sarah Palin phenomenon since O.J. Simpson. Most of you are old enough to recall that the evidence against OJ was overwhelming. Whether you though he "should" be found guilty as opposed to whether he was guilty seemed largely a function of race. (I have to exempt myself on this because I think it is possible that reasonable doubt did exist.) OJ became a symbol, so much so that he transcended guilt and innocence. Eye witnesses would have made no difference.

Now there is the O.J.'s opposite in Sarah Palin. No matter how utterly ill-prepared she is to be President or Vice President, it does not matter to her supporters. Like O.J. she is a big "screw you" from one group to another. The "evidence" is irrelevant. Well, not exactly. The more it is revealed how unsuited she is, the more she becomes an even better big screw you from one group to another and, thus, more popular. In fact, the delight in her nomination is directly related to how much angst she stirs up in those who oppose her.

Hopefully Palin supporters who could not fathom finding OJ not guilty can reflect a bit now and see that they are engaged in the same kind behavior. They can offer explanations just as OJ's apologists did but their "reasoning" will be just as shallow.

My only question is how long people like myself will be required to pay the price for so many admittedly ill-conceived initiatives in the 60s.

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