When I awoke two years ago in Fairbanks, Alaska and heard that John McCain had chosen Sarah Palin as a Vice-Presidential candidate, I felt I had woken up in a never-ending dream, an improbable parallel reality.
(We Alaskans knew she had to be better than the previous governor, Frank Murkowski, but that was a very low bar, given that he had a 20% popularity rating. She appeared to be a bit of a feisty fluff-head, a breath of fresh air — but Vice-Presidential material? This must be a dream, I told myself.)
Apparently this dream-like improbable parallel reality has now continued for more than two years. I tell myself, “I am a psychologist. I work with dreams. If I am ever to wake up out of this dream, I clearly have to figure out, ‘What part of my psyche does Sarah Palin represent’”?
First thing that comes to mind: I have been in a culture that has been male-dominated for centuries, and it is time for a renewal of the feminine. OK. I get that. I’ve read Jung. I’ve seen the Da Vinci Code. I would have voted for Hillary. Yeah, that must be some of it; I want the woman-within-me to have more power.
So what else is it about Sarah Palin so that she inhabits this parallel dream world of mine? Well, she’s pretty, sometimes very pretty. As a male, pretty women kind of make my thinking function go a bit kerwonky. So I had better convince that Neanderthal lower self, We’re talking about a possible President here, not mating material… Just because she looks good doesn’t mean she should be President. It’s not convinced.
And what else? Well, Sarah can kill and gut a moose without being bothered by it. Now that could be a useful skill. At least here in Alaska, anyway. The one time I shot and butchered a moose it bothered me a lot, and I didn’t ever want to do it again. I can be just too sentimental about those beautiful, ungainly creatures. But maybe this killer instinct could be useful in politics. I could think of some politicians that might benefit by being disemboweled. Ah,that must be part of it, she represents the fearless hunter, the no- sentimentality-for-the-other, the hunter-killer-politician within.
Hmm. I wonder what else she could represent. Well, she has said some pretty off-the-wall things. Maybe she is the part of my psyche that isn’t afraid of speaking my mind, no matter how uninformed and idiotic it may sound, even if it takes new words to do so. So that must be more of it — she represents that opinionated part of me that is willing to speak without much knowledge about the facts. I know that part, all too well.
A voice within says, Don’t forget that she identifies with grizzly bears and pit bulls. Hmm. So maybe that grizzly part is my Shadow, my dark side — the aggressive, take-no-prisoners part of my personality. Yeah, I could use some of that grizzly bear/pit bull within. Sometimes I am just too willing to listen to the other person’s point of view.
Uh Oh. I suddenly realize that Sarah is not only a woman, and a pretty woman, but also an Alaskan woman. After 30 years in Alaska, I have learned the hard way never to underestimate Alaskan women. This could be a long dream.