Sarah Palin and Reactionary Politics

While Sarah Palin's resignation may a way to dodge personal and
political scandals, it seems likely that she's positioning herself as an
eventual presidential candidate. Her political strategy fits the “let’s
hope Obama fails” message of Rush Limbaugh and Republican politicians. This posture openly welcomes and may even seek to realize a massive economic collapse and social upheaval for America, seen as a grand opportunity to gain power.

The apparent lack of rational, policy content in right wing rhetoric at
present is, in my view, exactly what the game is about. Republican
demagogues along with radio and TV talk show hosts blather on about
“socialism” and other inflammatory themes, preparing the populace for disaster. If Obama’s policies fail to produce a steady, expeditious
recovery, if the economy continues to sink in ways people find
frightening, if public dissatisfaction swells, then a loose cannon like
Palin could well attract considerable support, precisely because her way of being unhinged matches the gut sense of her heartland audience and the prevailing sentiments of America’s “conservative” corporate media.

There are many examples from the past century in which strategies of
this kind worked supremely well for political extremists. Driven to
desperation, societies sometimes turn to sociopathic leaders able to
focus popular distress, rage and thirst for revenge.

It can’t happen here? Don’t count on it. If the U.S. economy continues
to tank, things could get extremely ugly.