Gary Hubbell: The Redneck Tree-hugger |

Gary Hubbell: The Redneck Tree-hugger

Gary Hubbell
Aspen Times Weekly
Aspen, CO Colorado

The blue light of the television bathed living rooms all across the heartland of America last night, and laughter echoed across the plains, river bottoms, mountainsides, and yes, subdivisions and neighborhoods, as Sarah Palin introduced herself to America.

The Angry White Man ” and Angry White Woman ” are happy.

The same people that I wrote about in February ” whose teeth grind together at the sound of Hillary Clinton’s voice ” are whistling while they work today, knowing they finally have their kind of politician on a presidential ticket.

Sarah Palin, a gritty, small-town Alaska girl, rocked the Democrats back on their heels with her acceptance speech for the nomination as John McCain’s running mate. By doing so, she signed up for an extra-large dose of good old-fashioned liberal hate, slander and hypocrisy.

Here’s a woman we can hold up as a role model and, yes, a hero. She’s strong, opinionated, charming, successful, well-spoken and well-liked. She’s a tough former athlete (point guard on a state championship basketball team with a stress fracture in her ankle), an outdoorswoman, a dedicated mother, a person of faith and, just in case you haven’t noticed, a beauty pageant winner.

An active outdoorswoman, she’s a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and she hunts big game such as moose and caribou. She knows how to gut a moose, fillet salmon, run a sled-dog team and stick it out during a lifetime of cold Alaska winters.

She’s married to a man’s man, a guy who worked as a commercial fisherman and as a production supervisor in the oil fields, and who just happens to be a world champion snowmobile racer. He’s tall, good-looking, slim and trim, and a doting father to their five children. Speaking of children, she knew full well that their youngest son would be born with Down Syndrome, and considers him a gift from God. Her oldest son is an enlisted man on his way to Iraq.

As a politician, she’s been a city councilwoman, a mayor, the head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission and the governor of Alaska. She’s not afraid to challenge the status quo. She’s fought corruption in her own political party and has fired entrenched bureaucrats ” heck, even the whole staff ” without blinking an eye. She’s lowered taxes and has saved untold millions of taxpayer dollars. She enjoys an 80 percent approval rating. She’s in favor of energy production, limited government, line item vetoes and hates abortion.

So what’s not to like? Those Americans who actually make something or do something for a living ” with job descriptions like “farmer,” “logger,” “nurse,” “mechanic,” “doctor” and “production supervisor” are in love with Sarah Palin. Those with job descriptions (if they have a job) such as “media consultant,” “systems analyst,” “community outreach development supervisor,” “blogger” or “diversity training enforcement supervisor” likely will hate her.

The blogosphere and the Internet is whirling in confusion today. Obama fans, media pundits and the snarky East Coast city dwellers and San Francisco gay rights and abortion advocates have gone into a froth in their best attempt to savage Sarah Palin and her family.

So here goes ” it became a very long list of criticisms in a very short time. She’s religious, too religious. She actually prayed at public events. She injected national issues into local politics. Todd got a DUI in 1986. Her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, and they dragged the poor father of the baby onto a national stage. (Don’t forget that no one would know about the pregnancy if the girl had had an abortion.) She’s pro-life. She wants to drill. Todd’s a womanizer. She had an affair. She can’t take care of her children if she’s vice president. She’s too ambitious. She’s too inexperienced. For crying out loud, she’s just a heartbeat away from being leader of the free world and commander-in-chief of the armed forces! The pressure is too much for her. Just watch ” she’s going to withdraw. And then there are heaps of moose jokes and small town jokes.

Keep it up, says the Angry White Man, and better yet, his Angry White Woman, as well as all the angry blacks, Latinos, Indians and just plain angry Americans. Please, I beg of you, just keep it up.

Sarah Palin’s family sounds like a normal American family, one that has had its challenges, successes, failures and joys. Is half of this crap true? Maybe, maybe not. Who cares? It just serves to make Sarah Palin more human to the average working American. All those city dwellers who are so disassociated from the world that they think meat begins as a shrink-wrapped package in the grocery store may never connect with Sarah Palin, who knows how to cut the throat of a downed moose to bleed out the carcass. Barack Obama, the guy who still can’t define what he did as a “community organizer,” and who, as a two-year junior Senator, looks woefully inexperienced for the job of commander in chief ” is perfectly packaged for emotional urban sensibilities.

Any guy who has ever hunted whitetail deer has dreamed of hunting moose in Alaska. Anybody who has ever fished for bass or trout would jump at the chance to course the waters of Bristol Bay with Todd Palin in search of salmon. Any guy whose adrenaline goes up with the sound of racing engines will respect a guy who is a four-time world champion racer. The Palins are average Americans ” working hard, making the world a better place, raising a good family, and going to church ” just like the Angry White Man and his wife. The Palins are all that, with a little bit of hero status thrown in. The more they try to knock down Sarah and Todd Palin, the more the Palins’ stock goes up.

The Palins are just what the Angry White Man was looking for, and he and his wife are going to vote that way in November.

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