Conservatives and Liberals Agree on Significance of Sarah Palin

Last week I noted that the conservative publication Human Events named Sarah Palin the conservative of the year. Today Crooks & Liars announces that Palin has been chosen as Wingnut of the Year. While one obviously sees the award as going to someone they have a favorable view of, and the other is awarding it based upon an unfavorable opinion, they do agree on Palin’s significance. Like her or dislike her, Sarah Palin deserves both awards.

Palin was the conservative who received by far the most publicity this year. This is an unfortunate fact for the conservative movement. If conservatives in general are separated based upon rationality versus being a wingnut, Palin also deserves this more than any other conservative this year.

While there are vastly different types of views lumped together under the conservative label, Palin represents conservatism of the worst type. She lacks any understanding of civil liberties as guaranteed by the Constitution, as well as any respect for individual liberty. Instead her views are heavily influenced by the religious right on social issues and by the neoconservatives on foreign policy.

Consistent with the social conservative roots of her political views, Palin promotes the anti-intellectualism which is now dominating the conservative movement, including a denial of evolution. Palin’s views are totally inconsistent with the libertarian ideas, as well as respect for intellectualism, which has often been seen in conservative thought in the past. Unfortunately some libertarians, clearly thinking with an organ other than their brains, ignore the authoritarianism of Palin’s views and consider her one of their own. If all it takes is a hot woman with a gun to get their support, they’d be better off drooling over January Jones (Betty Draper of Mad Men )after the first season episode entitled Shoot. Here are the choices:

Sarah Palin clearly deserves to be named Wingnut of the Year. The tragedy is that, while some conservatives do see through her, so many other conservatives see her as their new leader. Republican voters see Sarah Palin and fellow social conservative Mike Huckabee as their two preferred choices for 2012. Red State has announced a war against Republicans who have not supported Palin. This will make it much harder for the Republican Party and the conservative movement to move beyond the fringes.