Here goes my perfect record: After more than 24 months of successful resistance, I’m going to write about Sarah Palin. In the cauldron of emotion that Palin evokes, I suspect I’m not alone in acknowledging that one of them is envy. I think it would be pretty cool to send out a tweet and be able to dominate the national news cycle for 24 hours.

If I could do that, I would.

To be sure, she is not the only national political figure to be active on social media, but she might be the one to most embrace its culture. And she does herself no favors in so completely immersing herself in Twitter-speak.

She saw fit to tweet on the flap created over Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s recent resignation:

Dr.Laura:don’t retreat … reload! (Steps aside bc her 1st Amend.rights ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence “isn’t American,not fair”)…watch out Constitutional obstructionists. And b thankful 4 her voice,America!

Well. Let’s set aside a few things here. Let’s set aside that my 14-year-old texts with better use of popular abbreviations. Let’s overlook how difficult it is to distill the meaning or source of the quote “isn’t American,not fair” [sic]. And let’s forgive the incredibly dubious argument that there was any obstruction of constitution that took place when Dr. Schlessinger chose to resign (without being fired).

Sarah Palin was a vice-presidential candidate. She is a leader of the Republican party. She is on anyone’s short list of top candidates for the GOP nomination in 2012. And she chooses to express herself in pop-culture non literacy?

She has completely lost herself in the part.

Embracing social media as a platform for sharing ideas is a fine pursuit. Doing it in the national political arena (where it is still counter culture) is potentially brilliant. But allowing your semantic voice to slide to grade-school level, because that’s the way that young tweeters do it? That is a massive miscalculation that calls the core of her political judgment into question. (I can only imagine the field day Democratic attack ads will have quoting these tweets verbatim.)

Is this woman fit to be President? Of the myriad reasons that people have to say no, perhaps the top of the list is how she chooses to represent herself in public. Embracing social media does not require you to become illiterate. We all get to learn that lesson in the relative comfort of our anonymity. I fear that Sarah Palin will learn that lesson as a candidate for the highest office in the land and the result might not be pretty.

10 Responses

  1. My appreciated twitter-like acknowledgement of your missive would be as follows.

    U R so right… She so stupid.

  2. “Embracing social media does not require you to become illiterate.” I think it has already been well established that she was illiterate from the beginning — a bear of little brain. Better 140 characters than 140 words or — gasp — 140 minutes. The woman writes her own simple-minded talking points on her hand, so she won’t forget. I’ll be glad when she takes her final bow. (Isn’t it about time for her to quit again?)

  3. You bring up good points. I do love Sarah & I truly believe she has amazing potential for our country. Maybe it’s not President but she can offer something good for our country. She has a following that, with the right direction, can be used to make our great nation a better place or rather bring it back on track.

    When I hear Sarah talk about us small business owners, I can relate and I feel she “gets it’!!! She isn’t perfect, by any mean of the word but I do believe in my heart that she truly does care about us and she is passionate in her expressions. We all have our flaws but I hope we can help mold Sarah to be the great person she has the potential to be. I believe she is willing to listen and hear us if we only communicate our concerns. She has so much drive and fight in her for all of us. She hasn’t given up on America and I don’t plan on giving up on Sarah anytime soon!

  4. Sarah Palin has been characterized as a mental lightweight by the mainstream press. To this I would repeat the following quote “One person who has a mind and knows it can always defeat 10 who haven’t and don’t.”

  5. Look at what the country has at the top now! Come on, he makes blunders all the time. She has more caring for the US, dedication to her goals, understanding of the common people, than anyone that has been in power in a very long time. Rick, don’t perpetuate an attitude here!

  6. Does she really think she is president material? In Europe we’d laught our heads off.

  7. I truly feel sorry for people who think Sarah Palin is our best hope. If she looked like one of the brilliant women now on the Supreme Court, she would have no audience. Sadly, people like looking at her and their brains convince themselves that what comes out of her pretty little head actually makes sense. What a blow to women’s advancement.

  8. Sarah Palin and our President are good examples of how boos and bravos from media can effect one’s perception of an individual (especially if we are predisposed in our thinking). Let’s get back to presentation-related information, please.

  9. As I was signing up for one of your presentations, I clicked on the Sarah Palin link. I am disappointed that you would chose to be negative about one of our leaders embracing social media, rather than being positive. Thanks but not thanks for your onions: You just lost one customer.

  10. Without a doubt, my posting about Governor Palin’s use of social media attracted more commentary than all other posts (perhaps combined). Many of them were drive-by comments from those whose Google Alerts are tuned to find any postings that use her name. If Ms. Thompson chooses to follow this thread a bit more, perhaps she can tell us what in particular upset her so much about it. I doubt it was the part in which I note that “…embracing social media in the national political arena is potentially brilliant.”

    If there is criticism that Mr. Thompson thinks is unfair, I would welcome her articulating her position. I fear that she and hundreds of thousands of other Palin supporters will feel considerable frustration should Ms. Palin enter a race for national office and confront scrutiny far more direct and inflammatory than that which I raised.

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