Political Physics: Sarah Palin is NOT Smarter Than the Average Bear

Sarah Palin might not be smarter than the average bear, but she is definitely more dangerous.  And besides, ignorance does not necessarily equate to stupidity.  In fact, in all seriousness, I don’t think Sarah Palin is stupid at all.  Is she ignorant to world affairs?  Yes.  Is she lacking racial sensitivity?  Yes.  Is she homophobic?  Yes.  Is she a bit crazy and not very good at geography?  Yes.  But not stupid.

I mean let’s give her credit.  She was the youngest person and the first woman elected Governor of Alaska.  And she was chosen by John McCain to be his running mate making her the first Alaskan on the national ticket of a major party, as well as the first female vice-presidential nominee of the Republican Party.  Then sensing that she could parlay what should have been fifteen minutes of fame into something much greater, she resigned her position as Governor and turned herself into a major political player/pundit/author/television sensation.  According to Wikipedia.Com, “In November 2009, her autobiography Going Rogue: An American Life was released and it quickly became a best-seller, selling more than two million copies.  In January 2010, [she] began providing political commentary to the Fox News Channel under a multi-year contract.”  Her show, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” had 4.96 million viewers when it premiered and her second book, America by Heart, was released in November 2010.  And to top it all off, in April 2010, Sarah Palin was selected as one of TIME’s “100 World’s Most Influential People.”

No, Sarah Palin is no fool.  She reminds me of Jessica Simpson.  While we are all laughing at how stupid they are, they are laughing all the way to the bank.  But unlike Jessica Simpson, Sarah Palin’s antics are also dangerous and it is a mistake to try to write her off as stupid or crazy.

Sarah Palin has come under fire in the wake of the recent events in Tucson.  According to the NYDailyNews.Com, “Palin found herself at the center of a partisan debate after a 2010 ad created by her camp was criticized for depicting Gabrielle Giffords’ district with cross-hairs over it, and many people blamed heated rhetoric for the attempted assassination.”  Palin however claimed that the crosshairs depiction was taken out of context and that the media used her as a scapegoat.

To be clear, the recent events in Tucson were not Sarah Palin’s fault.  However, her rhetoric is a fodder for right-wing extremists and fringe groups that are infiltrating more mainstream movements like the Tea Party.

Sarah Palin is a phenomenon.

379,834 follow her on Twitter.

2,607,644 “like” her page on Facebook.

A Google search of her name produced 91,800,000 results.

And in 2012, she will have an impact on the presidential election irrespective of whether she is chosen as the presidential candidate for the Republican Party.

She (and her rhetoric) reaches a wide audience.  She did not light the fire in Tucson, but there is no denying that she threw gasoline on the logs.  I think Stephanie Watts from the SaudaVoice.Com said it best, “I am so sick and tired of conservative pundits and politicians stirring up the seeds of hate and then playing dumb to the very ugliness their rhetoric inspires.  Words have consequences!”

Words do indeed have consequences.  Sarah Palin is not stupid.  What would be stupid is not acknowledging that her words have particular power (incendiary in some instances) and reach.

featured image credit: David Shankbone