Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's Not (Necessarily) About Class

One of the reasons the whole Bristol Palin thing made me so uncomfortable was because it brought up my latent fears of being "classist."

Because, as I noted in this post, it isn't actually the pregnancy that makes me cringe. Pregnancy is a biological imperative. It happens, and people choose to deal with it in different ways.

And, as Obama reminded us, his mother was only eighteen when he was born.

But there seems to be a difference between Ann Dunham and Barack Obama Sr., and Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston, and that's where my classist sensibilities spring up.

Or, as I said shamefacedly to a friend, "It's not about the pregnancy. It's because the whole family's... trashy."

Which means low-class, which means I am an evil elitist.

But my friend countered by saying it wasn't really about class. It was about the Palin family's deliberate presentation of the anti-intellectual spirit. It's about the Palin parents' choice to create a home where viewpoints were not explored and multiple perspectives were not considered. It's also about a family's choice to take pride in their ignorance -- not only of Alaska's proximity to Russia or what a Vice President does all day, but of all those trixty little things that used to be considered "manners" and which have something to do with not posting "I'm a f**king redneck" on one's MySpace page and not exploiting one's daughter to take the heat off of oneself.

Like the NYT says, tonight Sarah Palin is going to "take aim at the Washington elite."

Oh, but there she is... so I had better stop blogging and watch the speech.

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