Deepak Chopra writes that:
“So what comes next is a contest between the two forces of progress and inertia. Will the shadow win again, or has its furtive appeal become exhausted? No one can predict. The best thing about Gov. Palin is that she brought this conflict to light, which makes the upcoming debate honest.”
The brief analysis by Chopra is here:
“Obama and the Palin Effect
by Deepak Chopra
Sometimes politics has the uncanny effect of mirroring the national psyche even when nobody intended to do that. This is perfectly illustrated by the rousing effect that Gov. Sarah Palin had on the Republican convention in Minneapolis this week. On the surface, she outdoes former Vice President Dan Quayle as an unlikely choice, given her negligent parochial expertise in the complex affairs of governing. Her state of Alaska has less than 700,000 residents, which reduces the job of governor to the scale of running one-tenth of New York City. By comparison, Rudy Giuliani is a towering international figure. Palin’s pluck has been admired, and her forthrightness, but her real appeal goes deeper.
She is the reverse of Barack Obama, in essence his shadow, deriding his idealism and turning negativity into a cause for pride. In psychological terms the shadow is that part of the psyche that hides out of sight, countering our aspirations, virtue, and vision with qualities we are ashamed to face: anger, fear, revenge, violence, selfishness, and suspicion of “the other.” For millions of Americans, Obama triggers those feelings, but they don’t want to express them. He is calling for us to reach for our higher selves, and frankly, that stirs up hidden reactions of an unsavory kind. (Just to be perfectly clear, I am not making a verbal play out of the fact that Sen. Obama is black. The shadow is a metaphor widely in use before his arrival on the scene.) I recognize that psychological analysis of politics is usually not welcome by the public, but I believe such a perspective can be helpful here to understand Palin’s message. In her acceptance speech Gov. Palin sent a rousing call to those who want to celebrate their resistance to change and a higher vision
Look at what she stands for:
* Small town values — a nostaligic return to simpler times disguises a denial of America’s global role, a return to petty, small-minded parochialism.
* Ignorance of world affairs — a repudiation of the need to repair America’s image abroad.
* Family values — a code for walling out anybody who makes a claim for social justice. Such strangers, being outside the family, don’t need to be needed.
* Rigid stands on guns and abortion — a scornful repudiation that these issues can be negotiated with those who disagree.
* Patriotism — the usual fallback in a failed war.
* ”Reform” — an italicized term, since in addition to cleaning out corruption and excessive spending, one also throws out anyone who doesn’t fit your ideology.
Palin reinforces the overall message of the reactionary right, which has been in play since 1980, that social justice is liberal-radical, that minorities and immigrants, being different from “us” pure American types, can be ignored, that progressivism takes too much effort and globalism is a foreign threat. The radical right marches under the banners of “I’m all right, Jack,” and “Why change? Everything’s OK as it is.”
The irony, of course, is that Gov. Palin is a woman and a reactionary at the same time. She can add mom to apple pie on her resume, while blithely reversing forty years of feminist progress. The irony is superficial; there are millions of women who stand on the side of conservatism, however obviously they are voting against their own good. The Republicans have won multiple national elections by raising shadow issues based on fear, rejection, hostility to change, and narrow-mindedness
Obama’s call for higher ideals in politics can’t be seen in a vacuum. The shadow is real; it was bound to respond. Not just conservatives possess a shadow — we all do.
So what comes next is a contest between the two forces of progress and inertia. Will the shadow win again, or has its furtive appeal become exhausted? No one can predict. The best thing about Gov. Palin is that she brought this conflict to light, which makes the upcoming debate honest. It would be a shame to elect another Reagan, whose smiling persona was a stalking horse for the reactionary forces that have brought us to the demoralized state we are in. We deserve to see what we are getting, without disguise.”
Deepak Chopra (Hindi: born October 22, 1946) is an Indian medical doctor and writer. He has written extensively on spirituality and diverse topics in mind-body medicine. Chopra says that he has been influenced by the teachings of Vedanta and the Bhagavad Gita, as well as by Jiddu Krishnamurti, and by the field of quantum physics. Deepak Chopra has had a profound influence on the New Thought Movement that has embraced him in America.
Chopra was born in New Delhi. His father, Dr. (Col) K. L. Chopra, was a cardiologist in Mool Chand K. R. Hospital, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi (India) and served as a lieutenant in the British army. Chopra’s grandfather practiced Ayurveda. He completed his primary education at St. Columba’s School in New Delhi and eventually graduated from the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Having graduated from AIIMS in 1969, Chopra emigrated to the U.S. in 1970 with his new bride, Rita, to do his clinical internship at a New Jersey hospital, followed by residency training for several more years at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts and at the University of Virginia Hospital. He became board-certified in internal medicine and endocrinology.
MS & Jon,
You should watch this:
I Know A Man. What man? The Man with the Power? What power? The power of HooDoo. Hoodoo? You do! Do what? Know a man. What Man?
Obama is the Anti-Christ and Palin is The Shadow.
The election is turning into a comic book.
The election?!? The whole place is turning into a comic strip club.
Or rather, has turned.
comics stripping — ewww
That is an awful image… gilbert gottfried? yuck. I thought the Aristocrats was already as bad as it gets.
Looking forward to part ii of obama vs o’reilly. I missed part one. Bullwinkle impressions?
I’ve showed this pin to a bunch of people and they want one.
Where does one get them?
Juan Cole, not helping your cause:
This is exactly opposite, of what Obama needs, it opens up Rev. Wright front and center. No one, but an egg head, will appreciate his trying to call Radical Islam the same thing as Fundamentalist Christianity.
You should try and protect Obama from this stuff.
Morgan, may I suggest that Strunk and White’s, “the Elements of Style” be on your reading list? Check into use of commas…
Here’s a letter forwarded from Rosanne Cash:
From: Rosanne Cash
Subject: Re: Different Outlooks
Date: Tue, 09 Sep 2008 07:54:18 -0400
Subject: Different outlooks
If you’re a minority and you’re selected for a job over more qualified candidates you’re a “token hire.”
If you’re a conservative and you’re selected for a job over more qualified candidates you’re a “game changer.”
Black teen pregnancies? A “crisis” in black America.
White teen pregnancies? A “blessed event.”
If you grow up in Hawaii you’re “exotic.”
Grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers, you’re the quintessential “American story.”
Similarly, if you name your kid Barack you’re “unpatriotic.”
Name your kid Track, you’re “colorful.”
If you’re a Democrat and you make a VP pick without fully vetting the individual you’re “reckless.”
A Republican who doesn’t fully vet is a “maverick.”
If you spend 3 years as a community organizer growing your organization from a staff of 1 to 13 and your budget from $70,000 to $400,000, then become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new African American voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, then spend nearly 8 more years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, becoming chairman of the state Senate’s Health and Human Services committee, then spend nearly 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of nearly 13 million people, sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran’s Affairs committees, you are woefully inexperienced.
If you spend 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, then spend 20 months as the governor of a state with 650,000 people, then you’ve got the most executive experience of anyone on either ticket, are the Commander in Chief of the Alaska military and are well qualified to lead the nation should you be called upon to do so because your state is the closest state to Russia.
If you are a Democratic male candidate who is popular with millions of people you are an “arrogant celebrity”.
If you are a popular Republican female candidate you are “energizing the base”.
If you are a younger male candidate who thinks for himself and makes his own decisions you are “presumptuous”.
If you are an older male candidate who makes last minute decisions you refuse to explain, you are a “shoot from the hip” maverick.
If you are a candidate with a Harvard law degree you are “an elitist-out of touch” with the real America.
if you are a legacy (dad and granddad were admirals) graduate of Annapolis, with multiple disciplinary infractions, you are a hero.
If you manage a multi-million dollar nationwide campaign, you are an “empty suit”.
If you are a part time mayor of a town of 7000 people, you are an “experienced executive”.
If you go to a south side Chicago church, your beliefs are”extremist”.
If you believe in creationism and don’t believe global warming is man made, you are “strongly principled”.
If you kill an endangered species, you’re an excellent hunter.
If you have an abortion your not a Christian, you’re a murderer (forget about if it happen while being date raped.)
If you teach abstinence only in sex education, you get teen parents.
If you teach responsible age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.
Quiz question for the RNC, specifically those on the Religious Right.
Who is one of the most revered, and famous community organizers in history?
RT, I know it is bad. The horrible part is my mom is chairlady of the english dept.
I know the “community organizer” thing sticks in your craw. But most people don’t have any clue what it is, and to those that do, it rhymes with agitator/socialist, which this country is not in favor of, btw.
So please, enough with the Jesus was really Saul Alinsky parables ok?
Again, it is another thing that you think is a slam dunk, but not only isn’t it true, it sounds silly. People like Jesus, becuase he said “turn the other cheek,” meanwhile Obama’s hero said:
“Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”
RT, there has to be a better argument for you to make than this.
Jesus was a teacher. John The Baptist was a community organizer. Pontius Pilate was a civil servant. Barrabas was a politician. Mary was a mother and guess which one of them is actually running for VP.
Just keep pissing off the evangelicals to make yourselves feel better and come January when John McCain is laying his hand on the Bible at his swearing in, J.R.’s daughter can reflect on the witlessness of trying to win while giving your opponent all the ammunition and a loaded gun.
Cluetrain: soccer moms don’t care about community organizers, civil servants or politicians. They care about teachers.
Palin doesn’t appeal to “soccer moms.”
She appeals to hardcore fundamentalist evangelicals.
I’m not sure how those two terms came to be interchangeable in some peoples’ minds.
Where I live, they are mostly the same thing by varying degrees Mileage varies by locale but don’t underestimate the power of the church networks. They run huge chunks of this country.
Women gave McCain a huge bump and it appears to be holding. Palin punched through to something a lot of women have not been saying: they do want a woman on the ticket. Hillary was beating Obama after the caucus states. By not putting her on the ticket, he really and truly screwed the pooch and men and women lost trust in his motives. It came off as arrogant or narcissistic.
Obama probably should have stayed away from the lipstick on a pig remark. Context bites.
I can’t believe what I’m seeing even though I predicted it. How a campaign can go so far off the rails after doing so well for so long is mind-boggling. Let’s see how it goes with Gibson, but if McCain’s numbers go up to around 15%, this race is over and we have to figure out how to get what is necessary done with a minority executive and a majority congress. Blow it and the midterms will look like a day at the deportation docks in Miami. I have to hope someone at the DNC is thinking long term here but so far, they seem to be unwilling to face up to the obvious flaws in their strategies.
Wake up. You’ve got 56 or so days left and so far, this is looking like the third quarter of the Iron Bowl with the Democrats as the Crimson Tide.
Len- I feel like your Alabama perspective is skewing your portrait of the churched community. Let’s not continue this Hillary was screwed myth. Bill Clinton took them out of contention by refusing to disclose the Clinton Foundation donors.
Look at the battleground states and Obama is still holding the electoral college lead.
Probably right, jon, but we are what we eat or who.
I have to disagree: pelosi and crew stuck it to Hillary and now, karmically, they need her.
Anyway, I don’t think you and I will agree on this, so thanks for tolerating a different point of view. However this comes out, I’m grateful for this opportunity to talk to a smart committed group ready to work on reinventing a country we all love. That’s worth a lot. Your indulgence is much appreciated.
If only Pelosi had had the guts to stick it to GWB…
Agree but it’s possibly a case where everyone has something on everyone else. Things can’t get this screwed up without that.
I have this fantasy where one or the other wins and puts everyone they ran against on their cabinet. Impossible but we are seeing new leaders emerging and it would sure be cherry if they would start focusing on the problems instead of running for office for the next four.
I don’t know, you make it sound like McCain has the election sewn up, and all of Obama’s supporters have fallen away.
That isn’t how it looks to me.
What has changed is that anything can happen at this point. McCain doesn’t have it sewn up but now he has a shot. That wasn’t so before Palin.
We’re all sitting in locales certain we have a world view, but as said elsewhere, we don’t and can’t without working very hard to get away from that locale. Jon says Alabama skews my view, but I’m not a Republican. It does but not necessarily to the stereotypes people have of Alabama. I’m in Huntsville and that is Mount Shasta on the Mojave of Money relative to the surroundings. But a lot of it is Federal money and that tends toward conservatism. Jon is in an environment where money tends toward liberalism as far as I can tell. Happy to be corrected.
The election can go either way. What I’d rather work at is the goals for how and what to get done post-election across the aisle. There is a perceptible sea change in the culture and I believe it means the electorate is going to hold the administration more accountable than ever before for their promises. So it behooves us to push them toward our goals from both sides and make them talk about it publicly.
I don’t care who wins if the country doesn’t lose. With a bit of cultural rewiring, that is possible but it can’t be done with Us Vs Them politics and policies. It takes… nuance and just a bit of Bug Bunny/Sheepdog cleverness.
Len-Look I’m committed to a New Federalist agenda no matter who takes over the White House. I agree we have enough problems that this smart group can turn its energy to.
Excellent, Professor. Bring on the problems. We have the tools.
It seems worthy that we clean up after ourselves. I don’t know about you, but in the rooms I played, the management liked that and let us come back.
Can you summarize the New Federalism for me?
Len-Here’s a paper I wrote on the New Federalism last year.
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