From Crawford to Waterloo
Hitchens asks a necessary question about Michele Bachmann and her presentation of self.
Where does it come from, this silly and feigned idea that it’s good to be able
to claim a small-town background?…Overall demographic impulses to one side, there is nothing about a bucolic upbringing that breeds the skills necessary to govern a complex society in an age of globalization and violent unease. We need candidates who know about laboratories, drones, trade cycles, and polychrome conurbations both here and overseas. Yet the media make us complicit in the myth—all politics is yokel?—that the fast-vanishing small-town life is the key to ancient virtues. Wasilla, Alaska, is only the most vivid recent demonstration of the severe limitations of this worldview.
Not as vivid as Crawford, Texas, given that Palin hasn’t actually been president yet. But no matter, the point is the same. Small-town life is the key to nothing in particular, except maybe boredom. “Vote for me, I was bored while growing up.” Tempting, but no.