“Spare Me Your Reverse Snobbery”
Posted by honestpoet on September 23, 2008
Here’s a fabulous article from The New Republic about the anti-elite snobbery, written by someone from a small town who’s tired of hearing that Sarah Palin represents her. A must read for anyone who (like me) comes from a non-privileged background but doesn’t think that means we’ve got to agree with folk like the divine Ms. P.
Here’s a teaser:
Now I appreciate the effectiveness of insulting stereotyping as much as the next pundit, but I’m getting exceedingly tired of hearing about how much I scorn Sarah Palin because she is a hick chick from a hick state who didn’t go to Harvard. Please. I grew up in freaking Southeast Tennessee, in a smallish suburb of Chattanooga known as Hixson. (That’s right, pronounced hick-son.) I have spent more time at mudbogs, tractor pulls, county fairs, pig-roasts, dirt-bike races, and Wal-Marts than most of the anti-elite conservative whiners flapping their gums and wringing their hands over poor disrespected Sarah. I attended public high school, and the bulk of my classmates had Appalachian accents so thick they make Palin sound like a network anchor. The boys were hunters. The girls–myself included–had absolutely enormous hair. If any of my friends wasn’t a Christian, she had the good sense not to mention it to the rest of us, lest we try to save her soul at the countless revivals, church camps, and youth retreats we all attended. I was always smart but have never been an in-tel-lec-tu-al. (Shhhhh. Don’t tell my bosses.) And despite graduating second in my class, it never even occurred to me to apply to an Ivy League university. I went to college at Vanderbilt in Nashville–on scholarship, lest anyone assume that my family was upper-crusty.
Just like Ralph Peters, I KNOW Sarah Palin. Hell, in my younger days, I WAS Sarah Palin. (Well, minus being a crack shot.) The difference is I don’t fetishize my regular-gal roots and assume they make me special–much less qualified to run the country. And while I have indeed witnessed my fair share of cultural snobbery from some of my better-credentialed, coastal colleagues over the years, I’m not so defensive about where I come from that I feel the need to champion a wildly unqualified fellow hick whose politics I disagree with as a way to get back at everyone I know who has ever made a sniffy comment about big hair or small towns.