Sarah Palin had a few words for conservationists in a recent episode of her reality TV show Sarah Palin’s Alaska. Palin had just shown her solidarity with the logging industry by cutting down a Sitka Spruce with a chain saw (“reality” indeed).
Taking umbrage with those she claims have written her to complain of her support for logging she retorted, in her remarkably annoying, jilted high-school girl way:
“Conservationists write me these nasty letters because I support an industry like this. They write me these nasty letters using their pretty little pencils on their pretty little stationery not realizing. Where do you think your pencil and your piece of paper came from, people? It came from a tree that was harvested.”
Pencils come from trees?! No way!
It’s hard to get beyond her simpering responses to criticism – even while she is unceasingly critical of others, gathering her base in a constant gripe-fest of vague accusation and character assassination. When people accuse her of responding to questions about important and complex issues in a simplistic, uninformed fashion, she just loads more on top: “I punched an ‘F’ instead of a ‘P’.”
A lot of things comes from trees – houses, fences, telephone poles, baseball bats, guitars, pianos, newspapers – including all the newspapers that Sarah Palin reads.
But behind the childish oversimplification, what Palin is trying to do is call out conservationists and environmentalists – all of whom, in Palin’s mind, are of one intent and degree of hypocrisy. She mistakes her own tenuous understanding as everyone else’s.
There is no cause, no association, no interest that captures human thought and activity that is not tinged with hypocrisy. It is a reflection on the frailties of humans, not of the cause. Calling out and exposing that hypocrisy demands more intellectual rigor than Palin seems prepared to give. And we are left with meaningless whining.
I don’t know the content of the “nasty letters” from conservationists (though I can imagine), but I am confident that few advocate that trees not be harvested.
Instead, Palin simply shuts down any possibility of a constructive conversation about sustainable logging and the protection of the magnificent forests of Alaska.
That’s Sarah Palin’s Alaska.
Image credit: NewsHour, courtesy Flickr