The Other Side of Racism


Whatever has been said — and whatever may be said — about Sarah Palin as McCain’s choice for VP, she is not a “stranger,” some one who is unfamiliar and frightening to us.

On the contrary, her small town background and small town virtues, her pettiness, her limitations, even her go-go boots, are all too familiar. We may be worried about her lack of experience. We may be embarrassed about her views. But we know who she is.

This brings up the fact that we do need to be able to idealize our leaders — at least to some extent. We do not want them to be too foreign, but at the same time they have to be better than we are. This is the other side of racism.

Perhaps this is my McCain’s “gut” urged him to choose her, the antidote to the “stranger.’ But what we don’t know we know about such a choice is that to trust someone we have to think they are at least a little bit better than we are.