In the South, where I grew up, you can get away with saying just about anything about anybody as long as it is prefaced with the obligatory confection, “Bless her heart.” Often awful things are spewed out in the guise of sympathy and compassion for a person, such as “She’s such a sweet person ... bless her heart ... but she hasn’t got enough sense to come in out of the rain.” The attacks on Sarah Palin have entered the “Bless her heart” territory. Everybody, to hear the mainstream media tell it, feels sorry for Sarah.
The reaction has followed a tediously predictable pattern. While the choice of Palin energized her party and motivated conservatives to work for the ticket, her selection scared the daylights out of the feminists and the left, who subjected her to viscous personal attacks — scorn for her beauty pageant looks and supposedly out-of-date hairstyle, disdain for her previous jobs as mayor and governor (never mind that the office of the governor of Alaska is one of the four most powerful chief executive positions among all the states), and patronizing remarks about her family of five children (one of them with Down Syndrome and another pregnant out-of-wedlock, though planning to marry the father and have the baby). She was nothing but a “hockey mom,” or, to hear one description, “a pig in lipstick.”
Oh, the horror of living out your pro-life beliefs by walking the walk that the woman and her husband have promoted all of their adult life. Oh yes, I forgot to say that the woman is an evangelical Christian whose faith is in the theological mainstream. The latest leftist rant against Sarah is about an African pastor who prayed over Palin years ago and prayed for her protection against witchcraft (the African version of evil — which the reporters would have known, had they basic knowledge about Christianity or done even basic research about the Christian faith as practiced internationally).
Some leftists exude such visceral hatred for Sarah Palin that it leaves me stunned — even though I’ve spent the past 15 years countering radical feminism. The rage is mindless and irrational. I could possibly understand the left’s opposition to her pro-life views, her traditional-heterosexual-married lifestyle and even her Christian beliefs, but the blind hatred and rage against someone whose views differ from your own is baffling — unless, of course, there really is a cultural war going on in which people with diametrically opposite points of view stemming from drastically different values are vying for influence in society, for the minds and souls of the nation’s children and young people and, ultimately, for determining the future direction of the nation.