Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin: Archetypes of the real America

It’s easy to get caught up in a progressive, diverse America, especially when you live in a place like South Florida, where the minority is the majority, where English is secondary, and where an impoverished neighborhood is just around the x from the street with the Mc Mansions.

City life, whether it’s the South Florida megalopolis, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, or any other major U.S. city, can be exciting and interesting. Most of America, however, looks at us as though we are the exception and not the rule.

You’ve probably never heard of Cutoff, La., Paris, Texas, or Cow Springs, Ariz. until now. But what you don’t know is that, while we’re living progressive, diverse lives in America’s cities, a majority of Americans in cities like the ones listed are living traditional, conservative lives. This is the Real America; the America that shares similar values with current U.S. presidential candidate Rick Santorum and former U.S. vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin.

On one side, we have a progressive America that elects politically correct, well mannered, well-educated individuals to political office, in hopes to give the world the impression that we are, as country, progressive and diverse.

One the other side of America, we have traditional America that elects individuals to political office based on gut feeling, on who won’t take away their guns and their Bibles, on who will repeal Roe v. Wade and amend the Constitution to make marriage between one man and one woman, and one who will restore the glory of morals and religion in a seemingly value-less society.

No other individuals within the American Political Landscape personify traditional America more succinctly than Santorum and Sarah Palin. Neither believes that gay men and women should have the right to marry. Both are opposed to contraception and abortion. Neither believe that separation between Church and State has, or should actually, occur. And while Rick Santorum hasn’t said whether or not he can see Russia from is house, the campaign slogan “Made in America” tells us all we need to know about how he views the rest of the world.

Progressive America obviously has deep-rooted issues with Traditional America not because of their views and opinions, but because of the impression that traditional America gives the rest of the world about the U.S. The truth is, is that Americans don’t want to face the truth about what our country is, so we do our best to fall in line with the political establishment and elect moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans to office.

We want the world to think that we are diverse, progressive, and well-educated. The reality, however, is shocking: only 1/5 of Americans have college degrees; most Americans live in sub-standard conditions; and Americans are generally, socially conservative. In other words, by electing Barack Obama or Mitt Romney to office, we show the world a progressive America; but by electing Santorum or Palin to office, we show the world a traditional America.

So where does the confusion arise? The answer: social conservatism. Many associate social conservatism with the Republican Party, which is a major misconception. A typical black community in the U.S., for example, while it might be heavily democratic, is also socially conservative in nature.

While the wealthy tend to be progressive, those whose wealth predate the civil rights movements of the 1960s and ‘70s tend to be socially conservative. White communities in the American south that are moderately democratic are so because they tend to be socially conservative.

In a country where 30 percent of the population identifies as Republican, another 30 percent as independent, and the remaining 40 percent as Democrat, the only political affiliation that cuts across all three, and often times is the determining factor in a vast majority of elections, are social conservatives. And if you’re thinking to yourself, “This isn’t true?” then think about Barack Obama’s stand on gay marriage. Before he ran for the Office of President, he was pro-gay marriage. During the 2008 election and beyond, he’s taken the stand that it’s an issue for the states to solve.

And why exactly could that be?  Because he’s trying to secure the democratic base, as well as win votes from social conservatives, not independents.

So the next time you turn on your television to find Santorum or Palin issuing yet another social conservative doctrine to the American public, remember this before you pass judgment: social conservatism is the traditional and real America, and Santorum and Palin are its archetypes.

 

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