Palin and Pegler
Marty Peretz - 13.09.2008
Among the trite bromides delivered by Sarah Palin to the Republican National Convention was this: “We grow good people in our small towns, with honest and sincerity and dignity.” Wow, these sure are powerful words, certainly not the verbiage of ordinary people or even ordinary speech writers. Palin certainly didn’t write her speech, and even her distinctly dismal assembly of words in her ABC interview with Charles Gibson were probably not hers. Apropos the wisdom about small towns, her staff also did not trust themselves to do a sentence approximating the thought. So they went to… well, not a treasury of great quotations. It is, after all, a rather banal thought, banally expressed. They went to Westbrook Pegler.
You have to be pretty old to know that Pegler would be a treasure house of right-wing populist jargon. The fact is–and I’ve been checking this all day–no one under 65 with whom I spoke had the slightest idea who he was. So who, then, would know to breeze through the writing of Westbrook Pegler, of all people, in search of what is, after all, just a cliche? Surely only someone knowledgeable (and sympathetic to?) native American fascism.