Society Magazine

"One Nation" Bus Tour: More Divisive Than Unifying

Posted on the 19 July 2011 by ---

Palin's Bus for Her Whistle-Stop Tour of Historic Landmarks

Sarah Palin's recent "One Nation" bus tour of historic sites in the Eastern US has attracted abundant media coverage, most of it surrounding speculation over whether the tour was simply a warmup for a presidential run.  Palin painted her tour as patriotic, nonpartisan, and dedicated to increasing awareness of history.  However, following the tour, the nation is as divided as ever, perhaps more so.  Perhaps the most notorious incident on the tour was when Palin made a series of remarks about Paul Revere that seemed loaded with partisan overtones and put in question her stated commitment to increasing public knowledge about history.  Contrary to Palin's statements, Revere neither rang bells nor delivered warnings to the British.  Instead, he traveled under the cover of darkness, muffling the oars of his rowboat while crossing the Charles River so as not to betray his presence.  His warnings to the townspeople of Middlesex on his famous ride told them that it was time to prepare to bear arms against a hostile British force.  This was an instance of citizens standing up to protect land and dignity foremost; the principal issue was not that their right to bear arms was being directly threatened by the British (as Palin suggested).  Instead, it was their right to exist as a self-governing people that was most directly under attack.
Obviously, upping civic awareness is ineffective if this awareness is all of misinformation that panders to the NRA.  To make matters worse, a dedicated team of historical revisionists has edited Wikipedia articles so that they are compatible with Palin's account, while mounting a web campaign to persuade the public that she is the one telling the truth (as opposed to the "lamestream media").  The showdown between Palin detractors and supporters has erupted into a news bonanza.  Clips related to the story have pulled in 4.2 million views online, and hundreds of articles have sprung up across the blogosphere.  But for all the attention given to this 'gaffe,' the story shouldn't have much significance in the long-term.  According to a recent CBS poll, 66 percent of Americans do not want Palin to run, including 54 percent of Republicans.  With her disapproval numbers on an upward trend, it is unlikely Palin will ever be a serious candidate for the Republican nomination, much less President of the United States.  The "One Nation" bus trip has only served to amplify her presence as a polarizing public figure.
That's all I have for now.  I apologize for adding yet another article to the media circus surrounding Palin; I hope it will be my last.  How do you feel about Sarah and the other contenders in the 2012 primaries?  Be sure to make your voice known in the comments.

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