Monday, July 20, 2009

Why Reach Out to the Right Wing?

It's true, but ironic. Many of Sarah Palin's followers would identify themselves as "anti-establishment." Unfortunately, they don't have the gumption to realize that Palin is an establishment ladder climber, and that she's using them as rungs on the ladder.

With her recent resignation announcement, Sarah Palin has amplified her anti-establishment rhetoric to tap into this grass-roots sentiment. Palin claims that the liberal establishment media is attacking her, and that the ethics charges are part of an establishment witch hunt.

Why does this blog post matter? First, Sarah Palin is whipping up right-wing sentiments that have a fear-based, violent tinge. We can say "it could never happen here in America," but we've seen the NY World Trade Center towers collapse and a historic economic collapse... why not a right-wing mob uprising led by Sarah Palin? The conditions are ripe for it given people's economic plight and the erosion of America's reputation in the world.

Second... given the first possibility, it makes sense to do something to reduce the potential of a fanatical right-wing social movement in America, with all of the evils implied. The more we reach out to disenfranchised people who might be tempted by the divisive messages of Sarah Palin and right-wing talk radio, the more we will moderate that violent right-wing tendency.

I'm not advocating that we waste our time on the hard core fanatics. Rather we can communicate with their friends and relatives who could have a moderating influence on them. Small efforts, accumulated over many, many people, could add up to a significant moderating effect.

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