Perception and Narrative

There’s one thing that Sarah Palin has taught me: People emplot reality in different ways.

I was reminded of that as I read various stories today on the feuds among McCain’s staff. Some of his staff anonymously portray Sarah Palin as a diva who was out for herself. They say she didn’t accept their help to prepare her for the Katie Couric interview, since she thought she’d do fine on her own.

But another aide says she didn’t accept their help because she was booked–her schedule was full, and there was no time!

So one group sees Sarah as supercilious, while another offers a different explanation. They are two different interpretations of one reality.

We’ve seen that a lot with Sarah Palin. She said she killed the Bridge to Nowhere, while her detractors say “no.” In her mind, she technically did kill it, since she decided not to supplement the federal funds for its construction.

She said she supported sanctions against the Sudan, but her opponents say “no.” After all, one of her officials said it was a bad idea, and she only supported it when it was too late. In her mind, however, she did support it at some point, so she was part of the coalition that wanted to do something about the situation.

One reality. Different perceptions.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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4 Responses to Perception and Narrative

  1. Kristy says:

    I was an independent that probably would have voted for McCain if he picked Romney or Liebermann. But with Palin and the Couric interview, I voted for Obama.

    I don’t think the issue was superciliousness as much as ineptitude. In fact, whether she was arrogant made not difference to me; but whether she even is aware of how much she doesn’t know.

    I did my undergrad in Pol Sci/Econ at George Washington in 99. Her knowledge of politics seemed far inferior to our Pol Science 101, where we read several of the classics, 2 contemporary books, and either the NYT or Washington Post regularly.

    Sure that seems harsh, but you’ll just have to trust me that I think that she could have used an introductory course to learn about these issues–I just couldn’t see that she was a thoughtful person as much as I wanted to believe in her.

    There’s a certain amount of nuance in people’s statements or key phrases that shows they are aware of the complexity of the issues. When she did form an opinion I never go thte sense that she had that, but those answers were spoon feed to her and that she didn’t understand the full extent of the issues.

    She reminds me of Bryan sans the intellect.

    I still admire John McCain even if his campaign these past few months and his disasterous choice marred his record in my eyes. Everyone makes mistakes and so I forgive him.

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  2. James Pate says:

    Bryan, as in BryanL, of Bryan’s Thoughts? He won’t like being compared to Palin, I know that! Or do you mean William Jennings Bryan?

    I was a poli sci minor at DePauw, and it was fun. We did what you did in the 101 class–read the New York Times everyday, read the classics, etc. That was a time in my life when I was really informed. For a while, I didn’t have access to media, so I could sound foolish. In 2000, someone asked me why I supported Bush, and I said, “Because I want the budget to be balanced.” He replied that it already was. These days, I’m more informed because I follow the news every day and comment on it on my blog.

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  3. kristy says:

    William Jennings Bryan. I’d be interested in your thoughts on comparing fundamentalist populism. Huckabee would be an interesting comparison too.

    Do you get the impression that Palin would have been able to pass a 101 final.

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  4. James Pate says:

    Did Bryan run as a fundamentalist? I know one reason he opposed evolution was his concern about social Darwinism, but were there religious overtones in his campaigns?

    I’m not sure if Palin would pass that kind of exam or not. Does she know about Locke and Hobbes? I don’t know. She quoted Plato in interviews, so she may be more well-read than we think.

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