Republican leaders embody stereotypes
With the release of Sarah Palin’s autobiography, Going Rogue: An American Life, and her daughter-turned-teenage-mother’s ex-boyfriend’s naked photos in Playgirl last week, the Republican Party has a lot to worry about.
In the months following her failed campaign for the Presidency, Palin has turned the loss into a “he said, she said” story. The headlines of popular online and print media outlets are seemingly dominated by cropped photos of a nude Levi Johnston and excerpts from Palin’s supposed tell-all book.
The Palin family is dividing the Republican Party and reducing it to an increasingly small circle of gossip-mongering teenagers. As Palin promotes her 413-page autobiography, she is deliberately skipping certain cities in which she was unpopular during the 2008 Presidential campaign, such as Washington, D.C. and New York. While Palin constantly attributes her (seemingly unending) negative portrayal in the news to the media, she reduces herself to a caricature, thereby reducing the Republican Party to a caricature of itself.
Not only is Palin an embarrassment to the Republican Party, but her (and her family’s) exploitation of the political stage is embarrassing. From Palin’s book (in which she overzealously uses exclamation points and calls reports that paint her in an unflattering light “erroneous”) to Levi’s constant interviews and calls to the paparazzi, the Republican Party is being reduced to a superficial shell of some of its most extreme members, much like how the Democratic Party is reduced to images of radical, tree-strapped environmentalists.
Reducing political parties to their media images will not lead to progress for civil rights and equality in this country. Perhaps the worst part of the Palin plague is that these negative stereotypes aren’t even being perpetuated by those across the aisle — they’re being perpetuated from within, by an individual with a significant amount of political clout in the party and her family members.