Like 37,000,000 other people, I heard Sarah Palin’s speech at the Republican National Convention last week. I was listening to the Yankees game on the radio, and I heard A-Rod hit the home run that made the first-ever instant replay in MLB happen, and then the Yankees won and the game was over right about the same time that Sarah Palin was supposed to read the speech that someone else had written for her. So I didn’t see Sarah Palin’s speech, but I heard it on the radio. I was listening to her, and about 10 minutes into it, I suddenly thought, “Oh, shoot! This woman sounds just like my Aunt Karen in Omaha!”
I love my Aunt Karen. She is awesome. She married my Uncle Bikey when they were super young—17? 18?—and they had three kids on not much money, and she kept it all together when everything was chaos and my Cousin Lanny was always breaking his arm or something and my one other cousin was running away from home. Aunt Karen even lived through my Cousin Derrick becoming a Dallas Cowboys fan. She was always looking on the bright side, and everything always turned out okay. She was an absolute rock, and she was very good at cooking and tole painting and other creative stuff, plus she also had that hot school teacher thing going on. I totally admire my Aunt Karen—but I don’t think she’s qualified to be Vice President.
So I was listening to that speech and thinking, “How many of the 37,000,000 other people listening to this think she sounds just like their Aunt Karen?” and it scared the crap out of me. Because how many of them were thinking, “Oh, it’s just like in a movie! If we vote for her, it’ll be like making Aunt Karen Vice President of the United States!” Won’t that be wacky and fun? It’ll be like one of those movies where some girl’s going to high school and then she finds out she’s a princess! It’s like a TV show, it’s like a sit-com, it’s like reality TV. It’s something we can all vote for, the way we vote for American Idol. And it scared me, scared me, scared me, because I think that’s what a lot of people think this election is, they think it’s like a reality TV show. And it is, except that reality shows aren’t real. But the politicians keep talking about the candidates’ “stories,” and about how they’re trying to put together “compelling narratives,” and now the Republicans have cast Sarah Palin as everybody’s Aunt Karen, America’s Hockey Mom, and how are you gonna vote her off the island?