Palin and Passivity

Ever since my host has shown me the ancient debates of about four months ago, I’ve been pretty enveloped in the 2016 election. This shouldn’t be the case. As a brain slug, I shouldn’t have any interest in Earth’s political systems. All they’re eventually going to do is maybe delay our inevitable invasion, and that’s a big maybe. With that being said, though, this year’s presidential race is chock-full of fascinating and entertaining characters.

For example, we have Donald Trump, a candidate so full of cartoonishly bad ideas that it’s a surprise he doesn’t twirl a Dick Dastardly mustache at his rallies. His complete disregard for political correctness is partly to blame for his own party wanting nothing to do with him, despite him dominating the Republican polls. As the world learned a few weeks ago, though, he does have at least one big supporter. She hails from the very state we live in.

When I first learned of Sarah Palin, she seemed harmless enough. She has a lot of followers, but a lot of the things she says seem to be fluff. However, when I poked into my host’s brain on a whim for more information about her, the story of Sarah Palin turned out to be pretty tragic.

My host has lived in Alaska long enough to know that Palin was once one of us. She represented the everyman — or everywoman, I suppose. While she did make some pretty shady moves before moving to the national stage, she was still incredibly popular. She supported things like education, and she called Ted Stevens on his own shady moves.

She then moved to the national stage and became a laughing stock. The American public descended on her personal life like space locusts. Later on, she went rogue. “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” became an inaccurate, red-tinted lens into Alaskan life. She joined, left and rejoined Fox News. Now, she endorses Donald Trump to supposedly make our country great again.

It’s a shame, really. I didn’t arrive to this planet in time to know a pre-national-stage Palin. Now, whenever my host or I go vacation somewhere, the first thing we’re bombarded with is:

“Whoa, Sarah Palin’s from there!”

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The statement is either followed by wonder or disdain, depending on who’s commenting. Before 2008, we would’ve said something along the lines of, “Yeah, man, that’s right. Want the autograph of someone who’s been within in the same 70 square kilometers of her?” Now, we would say something along the lines of “Don’t touch me and stop talking. You can still have my autograph, though.”

The point is, she fell from grace, appealing to the rightest and most evangelical end of the right wing, like a bizarre reverse Lucifer. That’s sad. That’s very, very sad.

Nobody cares anymore.

When my host and I ventured to Pennsylvania, nobody acknowledged Sarah Palin’s existence. Whenever we told a stranger about our home, they never brought it up. It’s neither cool nor embarrassing to admit to having known her at any point, because nobody cares anymore.

The timing of this column is hilariously bad. She made waves on social media when she announced her support of Donald Trump, but after a day or two nobody talked about it. It would be the same as hearing that Mel Gibson supports Donald Trump. You’d think, “Oh, that’s pretty weird,” and then keep doing your homework like the good little college student I know you are. This column is no longer newsworthy. It could have released the day after Palin’s announcement and it still wouldn’t have been newsworthy.

Not that anything I’ve dictated about has ever been newsworthy, aside from humanity’s invasion from your inevitable Slug overlords, but you get the idea.

Regardless of how you feel about Palin, you know that that lack of attention has to be weighing on her, especially since her time in the sun. She was Alaska’s underdog, starting as a councilwoman in a small Alaskan town and winding up being in the center of the political spotlight. Imagine being in her shoes — all of the attention you could ever want, with the opportunity to express your views and ambitions to the world, only to have all of that snatched away from you, to the point where people only pay attention to you for seconds at a time in their Twitter feeds. It sounds like an existential nightmare.

It’s a sad inevitability in our modern world. Even with the world vastly connected, you can only be a hero to so many people, and at that point, you’re lucky if people pay attention to you for more than a — oh crap, a multiplayer mod for “Fallout: New Vegas!” It’s like they’re reading my mind!