Does anyone have a sock? A cork? A bar of soap, even? Because Sarah Palin will simply not. stop. talking. And I, for one, am willing to try anything that works. For some reason, her siren song of folksiness, labyrinthine sentence structure and downright refusal to be silenced have come together to generate some kind of perfect media storm.
The seamless ease with which Palin bounces back and forth between seemingly opposite and incompatible statements is mesmerizing….or just plain mind-numbing depending on your perspective. It’s the classic example of what’s known in psychology as the “double bind.”
Examples of a psychological double-bind are the mother who says “I love you”, while simultaneously recoiling from a hug in digust, or the father who says “I’m so proud of you, you didn’t screw up again!” The victims of a double bind get two simultaneous and conflicting messages. The feeling we get when we witness, or are victims of a double-bind is visceral. Our senses are telling us two different things. Our mind is in disharmony. Both our gut and our brain tell us there is something very very wrong.
I present for you a case study – Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, ex-VP candidate and double binder extraordinaire. See if you can pick it out of the following clip. It’s right in the beginning. If you want to keep listening you’ll be treated to a huge non-answer about the bailout of the auto industry, and a big “shout out” to George W. Bush.
It would be my honor to assist and support our new president and the new administration, yes. And I speak for other Republicans, other Republican governors also. They being willing, also, to, again, seize this opportunity that we have to progress this nation together, a united front.
Well, I still am concerned about that association with Bill Ayers. And if anybody still wants to talk about it, I will, because this is an unrepentant domestic terrorist who had campaigned to blow up, to destroy our Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol. That’s an association that still bothers me, and I think it’s still fair to talk about it. [snip] I do not think it’s off-base nor mean spirited nor negative campaigning…
It would be my honor to assist and support a terrorist sympathizer. And I speak for other Republicans when I say that.
So what happens to those who are continuously subjected to the double bind? If it’s coming from parents, or someone in a position of power, or someone from whom you cannot get away, the results can be damaging, especially for children. Fortunately for most of the country, Sarah Palin is not someone who wields power, and she is not their parent or our spouse, and they can get away from her with a click of the remote. So my advice from Alaska to the rest of the country is, grab your children and run. Or just push mute.