In his cover story for the October 13, 2008 issue of Newsweek, managing editor Jon Meacham continues the media’s relentless personal attacks on Governor Palin, characterizing her as the equivalent of the fourth century Roman political hero Cincinnatus without brains, further describing her as “…an odd combination of Chauncey Gardiner from ‘Being There’ and Marge from ‘Fargo.’” In Meacham’s elitist worldview, Governor Palin is mindless because she is a conservative woman.
What, you ask, warrants such viciousness from the normally mild-mannered Episcopalian editor of Newsweek? With a mocking tone, Meacham quotes an “unnamed McCain adviser”: “Palin is on the ticket because she connects with everyday Americans.”
Meacham, it seems, is shocked to discover that Republican presidential candidate John McCain actually made a political decision when he tapped Palin to be his veep, believing—rightly I turns out—that by choosing Palin the Republican base would be energized while capturing the imaginations of independent and undecided voters. It’s as if Meacham believes he has discovered the October surprise which will be the sinking of the McCain campaign: Politics influences McCain’s choice of a VP!
While rightly surmising that the point he is making may be construed as elitist, Meacham digs his hole deeper by asking: “Do we want leaders who are everyday folks, or do we want leaders who understand everyday folks?” Just how far down his nose were his glasses when Meacham typed those words?
Is Mr. Meacham suggesting it is only elites like him—and Barack Obama and Joe Biden—who can truly connect with ordinary Americans? Is he further making the ridiculous claim that an ordinary American really has no idea what it is like to be an ordinary American? Maybe his view is that only people with Ivy League credentials can truly understand the needs, longings and aspirations of ordinary Americans? Or is it rather Mr. Meacham’s view that ordinary Americans like you and me need extraordinary elitists like him to tell us what our needs, longings, and aspirations should be? Did Mr. Meacham actually assert that Governor Palin is mindless because she is a woman who connects with everyday Americans? Does Mr. Meacham believe that all everyday Americans—especially everyday American women—are mindless?