Impressions from the Land Down Under
Recently returned from Australia, a DBKP writer had the opportunity to gauge the feelings of the Aussies towards Governor Palin's selection as McCain's Vice-President. The impressions--and that is what they are--were extraordinary.
For context, a little background is necessary. While Australia has the persona of a wilderness, in fact, the vast majority of people are urban--much more so than America.
Nevertheless, they are extremely proud, as well they should be, of their humble, rough-and-tumble beginnings. This continent made early American and Canadian wilderness look hospitable. The Aussies have carved for themselves a wonderful and worthy nation in spite of those beginnings.
But they are Unionists and Socialists for the most part. The Aussies dislike America, despise Bush and Cheney, and the museums hang art ridiculing Reagan and Nixon as if they were still presidents. In fact 30% of Australians under 30 recently selected America as the most dangerous country in the world...to Australians.(huh?)
This bizarre belief is a reflection of academia, Labour politicians and the Aussie MainStream Media, where being anti-American is taken as a sign of intelligence. These challenged souls are convinced the film On The Beach actually happened.
But Aussies have no problem with individual Americans. American companies, or culture, are everywhere. In fact it appears that Americans are emulated--far more than Brits, for example. TV is replete with American shows and (good) copycat shows. Americans are welcomed wherever they go. It is not hard for an American to make friends with the Aussies.
So. How was Palin received?
At first, the major newspapers were curious. A few stories on how Americans chose someone from the American "outback". The subtext was that Palin "really was not of the political class" and lacked "polish". Then she gave her speech at the RNC, and a few editorialists opined that they were intrigued. But it did not end there. These were in widely read papers. And the population seemed to mull over her selection. And a sort of consensus was reached--primarily, over the attacks on her family and kids.
It was a "hmmmmm" moment. Then it was apparent.
The women liked her. A lot.
Editorials in The Sydney Telegraph (a gossip sheet), The Australian (the NYT of Aussie land), The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, started speaking favorably.
They liked her. They really liked her. They voiced the liberal criticism and ridiculed it. Sort of on the order of: 'When was Obama mayor of a 'small' town? And BTW, can Obama make a campfire?, Shoot a Moose? Cook?'
Then there was the female issue. That simmered slowly. The girls loved that anyone who would break into this gal's rec room had made a mistake; that she was not only a mother, but was fully-sexed; that her love for children and family was clearly not faked.
That she would kick an abusive brother-in-law right in the ass.
But it hit a peak with Obama's lipstick comment.
Until then Palin was a fun, chat-worthy, element to the American campaign for President: an Obama given. The Obama lipstick comment struck a note. While most did not assume that Obama meant it personally, no one could believe he was so stupid as to think it was not personal. It was replayed over and over again.
Invariably, by women newscasters who laughed on TV--at Obama.
Palin was their gal. And as far as her family's sex life, touch it at your death. As far as the women was concerned, Palin was made of steel. No doubt about it. And if the MSM wanted to call it a shot gun wedding, so be it. And if they feel Trig should not have been carried to term, let them kill their newborn. The Aussie women were firm.
So DBKP went to the local pub to survey.
It was not easy.
Liberalism and such causes are deeply embedded. But after 3 hours or so of hard drinking and general discussions of America's faults , the poll was held. Time to speak up or be silent.
"Do you like Palin as the VP choice or not?"
Unanimous. A slow start transcended into...."we love her."
Did I say 100%? Because that is what it was--and not a coat, tie or brief in sight.
"Her 17 year old? Hands off."
"I was discussing her with my parents last night."
"I love American Democracy. I want you to know that."
"A breath of fresh air"
"Wish she were here"
And as the ice broke, so did the damn.
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