Sarah Palin recently raised the issue of whether all so-called Americans are real Americans: “We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation.”
While she does not directly assert that people outside of small towns (the majority of Americans-assuming we should call them that) are not real, patriotic or pro-American, this does seem to be a clear case of innuendo. After all, if city folk are real, patriotic and pro-American as well, why should she make such a distinction between what she calls “the real America” and the rest of the country?
While pandering to certain voters and their illusions is all part of politics, insinuating that the rest of America is not real, not patriotic and not very pro-American is both insulting and divisive. There seems to be no evidence to show that there really are two Americas that are divided clearly between the unreal cities and the real small towns. Hence, the claim also fails to be an accurate claim as well.
In these times, we need to work together and be united. Such divisiveness and insulting rhetoric is not helping the country at all and might be harmful if people take it seriously. Obviously, we do not all agree on critical moral and political issues. But, most Americans believe that we are in trouble; mostly because we are. These are the times when we need leaders to help bring us together to face our common problems. We do not need any rhetoric that tells the majority of Americans that they are not real. I can only assume that Palin means that a real American is one who agrees with her. However, that is not what it means to be a real American. I disagree with many of my fellow Americans, but I do not think that makes them any less real, patriotic or American.