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Subject: Deepak Chopra on "The Palin Effect" rss

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"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 exhorting people to obey their worst impulses. 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 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 heeded.
--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
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There's a lot that I disagree with Chopra on, but this essay hits several nails on the head.
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Chopra's still around?
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Nate Merchant
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Shushnik wrote:
GAWD wrote:
like what?

I see a bunch of psuedo academic handwringing about Palin's affect on "the other" ... meanwhile Chopra spends the entire essay othering Palin.


Let them compare Obama to Palin, GAWD. It just shows that McCain is on a lower crypt.


Fixed that for you.

He can't even campaign without her! Higher eschelon indeed, whatever that is.

 
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Drew1365 wrote:
I love how Palin came out of nowhere a couple weeks ago, and everyone said "WHO?" And by the very next day those same people claim to know everything about her.


That is a good thing. Would you rather she be a mystery?

For Vice President, will you pick Palin? Or... what is behind door number 2???
 
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The 'left' really needs to knock this shit out or they're gonna lose again. First, quit comparing your presidential candidate to their VP candidate. It makes your guy look like a wimp and light-weight. Palin is a true tabloid-ready, celebrity politician and light-weight; do you really want to invite the comparison? Second, small-town America does not equal stupid-backwoods-redneck; keep insulting the electorate and you will lose again. Third, just because I care about my family and wish for a culture that better supported and respected it's 'values' does not mean that I am walling out 'social justice'. Seriously the 'left' needs to learn that they will never, ever win a major national election by dismissing, patronizing, and otherwise disparaging a majority of the voters. The democrats were in a unique position(thanks to the off-the-rails- stupidity of the last eight years) of having an opportunity to win over a whole new portion of the population, yet the bile that the news-media and other 'elites' have heaped on Palin(while insulting all us 'backward yokels' by extension) is doing untold damage to Obama's hopes. They're setting up Palin and her grandpa as the anti-elite populists par excellence and giving Obama the appearance of a stuffed-shirt, Ivy-League snob better suited to Naropa U's humanities department than the presidency. Get back on message, and stay there, or you will lose again.

Hmmm....lets see:

Obama= Long-winded, condescending spiritualists, cosmopolitan journalists, and film actors.

or...

Palin(Who's running for president again?)= Soccer Moms, small-town(and suburban America) and 'family values'.

Keep it up guys. You're doing the Right's job for them.
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diehard4life wrote:
Look at what she stands for:
--Small town values -- 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 heeded.
--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.
--Deepak Chopra


Yeah... that's really different from what we've had over the past eight years. shake

 
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Palin is the real Republican candidate. It's that simple. If she was not, McCain would still be sitting 8 points down (or more) and the election would be over. The Republicans are basically running to elect Palin.
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Checkallday wrote:

Hmmm....lets see:

Obama= Long-winded, condescending spiritualists, cosmopolitan journalists, and film actors.

or...

Palin(Who's running for president again?)= Soccer Moms, small-town(and suburban America) and 'family values'.

Keep it up guys. You're doing the Right's job for them.


According to this logic, Americans would pick Palin over Adams, Jefferson or Madison. Yeah, we've come a long way in 200+ years, haven't we? shake Do people really want to vote for somebody just like themselves? Or do people want to vote for somebody more knowledgable and qualified than themselves?

People vote for the candidate, but his/her running mate had better be able to step up to the place if, god forbid, the President dies.

Sorry, but I have a hard time picturing Palin dealing with world affairs.

 
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lizardbaby wrote:
Palin is the real Republican candidate. It's that simple. If she was not, McCain would still be sitting 8 points down (or more) and the election would be over. The Republicans are basically running to elect Palin.


Republicans sure have come a long way since Lincoln, huh?
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lizardbaby wrote:
Palin is the real Republican candidate. It's that simple. If she was not, McCain would still be sitting 8 points down (or more) and the election would be over. The Republicans are basically running to elect Palin.


Palin is a Republican Red-Herring. Every time she's on the cover of People or the National Enquirer there is a shift in the debate from where it ought to be and allows the Repubs to avoid paying the piper for the last eight years. This celebrity/candidate cult-of-personality that we've seen with Obama and Palin is just hilarious. What a weird election. I think in 2012 the candidates and their VP's should compete on the Amazing Race; we'll decide that way. Deepak can host.
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Drew1365 wrote:
Oh my lord, where to begin? . . .

I love how Palin came out of nowhere a couple weeks ago, and everyone said "WHO?" And by the very next day those same people claim to know everything about her.

In this case, the garbage from Chopra tell us more about him than it does about Palin.

It's like a word association game:

Me: "Small-town"

Chopra: "Small-minded idiots living in Bitterville, clinging to God and guns!"

Me: "Family"

Chopra: "The ultimate form of isolationism!"

Me: "Patriotism"

Chopra: "How the peasants replace the necessary and critcal action of self-loathing."


What a strange little man.


I think you're missing the point somewhat. Republicans advertise "family values" and "patriotism" as if they alone have staked a claim to them. It's a tool they use to fool the ignorant into voting for them.
 
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Checkallday wrote:
This celebrity/candidate cult-of-personality that we've seen with Obama and Palin is just hilarious. What a weird election.


I am still undecided on my vote, so I don't really have an axe to grind either way. What I find slightly odd is when I read statements from people (mostly women, for what it is worth) who attend Palin's campaign rally or watched her pre-acceptance speech. There are numerous people who said that her speech(es) are so moving that it brought them to tears -- I am just not connecting on that level, and believe me, I am searching for reasons to connect to either candidate.
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I think we're totally getting away from (what should be) the main point of discussion around Deepak Chopra's article:

Are there any hoary political ideas which can be re-justified with a sufficiently hazy interpretation of quantum physics?

I say yes. I'd like to predict that Chopra's next book will be Quantum Jerrymandering: How the Cutting Edge of Science Justifies Chicago-Style Politics.
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Drew1365 wrote:
Or who can use the term "family" without qualifying it.


I agree with most of your post, Drew, but I don't think this part is really fair. I think most left-wingers care about their families just as much as right-wingers; they just have different ideas about what important aspects of raising a family.

In common with many folks on the left, I do on the other hand often find myself qualifying the term "family values." A lot of what some people on the right consider "family values," I consider troubling manifestations of government will. Do I care if two gay people want to get married? Unless they're taking my girlfriend away in the process, then I don't. But some people consider this a "family value," so that's why qualifiers sometimes come up.

Quote:
It's this lack of any genuine feeling or true sentiment that divides us. The only thing genuine remaining on the left is a genuine hatred of anyone not like them.


Hatred might be a little strong, but it's unfortunate that both sides tend to take hard lines on issues that then calcify into core beliefs without any discussion or common ground. This could be a group on the far left deriding people from small towns for their bibles, or it could be a group on the far right preaching on the corner about how the sinful big city folks will be burning in hell. From the way the discourse goes, everyone on the right is a warmonger and everyone on the left is a terrorist sympathizer. Everyone on the right is a corporate shill, everyone on the left is a communist who wants the government to take their kids' lunch money.

I promise you we get both kinds where I live, and it's really unfortunate that any real discourse is so muddied by this kind of thing.
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"Patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first." - Ambrose Bierce

As far as "family values", that's a wholly subjective term. It means something completely different depending on your race, class, status and / or sexual orientation - not the political party that you subscribe to.
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Here are some family values for ya.
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mrspank wrote:

I think you're missing the point somewhat. Republicans advertise "family values" and "patriotism" as if they alone have staked a claim to them. It's a tool they use to fool the ignorant into voting for them.



Deepak is telling us that having family values and patriotism is something to be scorned. Are the Republicans claiming ownership of the terms or are spokesmen from the left thrusting it upon them?

Edit: spelling
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mrspank wrote:

I think you're missing the point somewhat. Republicans advertise "family values" and "patriotism" as if they alone have staked a claim to them. It's a tool they use to fool the ignorant into voting for them.


And the Left claims that they alone get to lay claim on social-justice, intelligence and rational thinking. Then use that as a tool to try to convince people that only narrow minded fools wouldn't vote Democrat.


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mrspank wrote:

I think you're missing the point somewhat. Republicans advertise "family values" and "patriotism" as if they alone have staked a claim to them. It's a tool they use to fool the ignorant into voting for them.



There it is again-
That idea that if you vote Republican, you're an idiot.

Keep it up!

I WANT those games from CapAp!

Darilian
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MrSkeletor wrote:
Deepak Chopra, never heard of this twit, but I thank him (?) for demonstraiting so wonderfully why Obama lost the election.


Skelly-
He's an idiot who wrote a really terrible book trying (The Tao of Physics) to link New Age mysticism to Quantum Physics.

That, and Oprah likes him.

Darilian
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MrSkeletor wrote:
Deepak Chopra, never heard of this twit...


He's a fucking idiot. A mercenary doctor who preaches a New Age mysticism that has ethered up the same dumbasses who proclaim belief in God as ignorant.

No reason you'd know anything about him unless you hang with the crystals & Birkenstock crowd.
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Holy Crap! Darilian! We both used the word's "idiot" and "New Age Mysticism" at the exact same time. Woah! Maybe there is something to this Chopra and his body/mind/soul/worm-dimension connection eh?

I think I'm gonna Tivo Oprah, sit on a few crystals and go "ooooommmm" until my lottery numbers hit and my hair quits falling out.
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I must agree with Tripp here (shock!). Chopra's line of business is conning people out of their cash using mystical bullshit. He's about as relevant to meaningful debate as Michael Crichton.
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What's the difference between a crystal and an imaginary friend again?
DWTripp wrote:
MrSkeletor wrote:
Deepak Chopra, never heard of this twit...


He's a fucking idiot. A mercenary doctor who preaches a New Age mysticism that has ethered up the same dumbasses who proclaim belief in God as ignorant.

To me he looks awfully similar to any schmuck claiming imaginary friends in the sky are to be taken as facts.

Same shit, different pile.

sbszine wrote:
Chopra's line of business is conning people out of their cash using mystical bullshit.

Sorry, did not notice sbszine already pointed out the similarity. blush
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