Ecstacy of the Demagogue: Is VP Pick Sarah Palin America’s New William Jennings Bryan?

Like the early 20th century populist William Jennings Bryan, Sarah Palin is also, apparently, a young earth creationist, and her 2008 Republican Convention speech shows that she has an unusual gift for stirring populist emotions.


A quote from William Jennings Bryan:

The people of Nebraska are for free silver, and I am for free silver. I will look up the arguments later.

A quote from Sarah Palin:

I told the Congress “thanks, but no thanks,” for that Bridge to Nowhere.

If our state wanted a bridge, we’d build it ourselves. When oil and gas prices went up dramatically, and filled up the state treasury, I sent a large share of that revenue back where it belonged — directly to the people of Alaska.

She was being misleading, by the way, about the Bridge to Nowhere federal project. See here:

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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2 Responses to Ecstacy of the Demagogue: Is VP Pick Sarah Palin America’s New William Jennings Bryan?

  1. Joe says:

    I started searching for a blog to give me truth… I get so sick of both sides spinning either the negative or positive and in the process it is impossible to know a balance of truth to understand the issues. This blog is no different, it has an agenda and it’s against McCain… I just want to know the real truth not your blurred truth. I have been researching the ‘bridge’ issues and it is clearly more complex than ‘she was for it before she was against it’. I’m an senior engineer and as such I often have to do trades to take proper decisions between complex options. Sometimes I have taken a position and later, after more logical trades, change direction for the greater purpose. I simply desire to find a place where I can get a fairly editorial free report of the facts. I don’t expect to find it at the RNC or DNC… know where I can find balance truth?

  2. santitafarella says:


    I don’t appreciate scurrilous attacks on the integrity of my blog. I call things as I see them—and with regard to Palin, I think she is a poor choice for so high an office.

    I offer my honest opinion here—not something designed to manipulate.

    I have been hard on Palin, and stating my opposition to her in emphatic terms because I hope that people will think about what her selection as VP means for the country.

    And I’m not sure why you say the “bridge to nowhere” issue is particularly complex. She favored it as a candidate for governor, and when she became governor, and it became a political liability for her and the Republican party, she opposed it.

    Where’s the complexity in the options before her?

    Could you explain?

    As for your being an engineer—meaning that you are trained in the sciences—are you comfy with Palin’s young earth creationism—and what that means in terms of her scientific comprehension?

    Isn’t young earth creationism as ridiculous to believe in as astrology?


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