Palin’s Busy Weekend

Sarah Palin, the failed vice presidential candidate and now internet comments section-caliber Fox News contributor, spent the weekend sharing her near incomprehensible views on world events.

On Friday, the former Alaskan governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin congratulated the “smart Brits,” likening the June referendum to the Declaration of Independence. After all, as she noted in a Facebook post, the citizens of the United Kingdom may have avoided nothing less than the end of the world.

Palin, a Donald Trump supporter, applauded the Leave voters for outfoxing “globalists” who would bring about an “apocalyptic One World Government,” she wrote on Facebook. That is because the European Union, in her words, is a “One World Government mini-me.”

Palin’s comments marked a public embrace of a conspiracy theory popularly known as the New World Order. Palin did not elaborate what, exactly, the apocalypse would look like. But the details of who or what make up the New World Order depend on the theorist — it is a secret organization of politicians, banks, the Illuminati, the media or, perhaps, lizard people. Distilled, the main goal of the organization is a totalitarian regime that will emerge from the shadows: One World Government to rule them all.

Because, apparently, someone with these extra special ideas deserves a seat at a national political event, Palin was invited to participate in Politicon, a convention capitalizing on the frightening entertainment value of modern American politics. (A glance at the list of speakers reveals that Palin might not have even been the craziest person speaking.)

There, Palin engaged in a conversational debate with James Carville. It was then that she humblebraggadociosly (new word!) took credit for the ascent of authoritarian Republican nominee, Donald Trump:

As one of Donald Trump’s earlier supporters, Palin told Carville about the excited “whispers” she would hear from people early in the billionaire’s primary campaign that gradually got louder until he secured the nomination. One moment, she said people “don’t give a flying flip” about endorsements from “has been” politicians like her, but the next she appeared to take credit for his success with her brand of ultra-conservative voters.

“Maybe my endorsement was able to kick off—logistically, I’m speaking, about the timing of everything—kick off and make an empowering movement for other conservatives, other proud clingers to their guns or God and our Constitution, the Tea Partiers, to empower them, allow them to go ahead and support the guy!” Palin said, adding that her endorsement was what really got the “ball rolling” for Trump.

While it would be fun to place the blame for Trump’s rise squarely on Palin’s shoulders, she, like Trump, is likely just a symptom of what Jonathan Rauch calls “chaos syndrome”:

Chaos syndrome is a chronic decline in the political system’s capacity for self-organization. It begins with the weakening of the institutions and brokers—political parties, career politicians, and congressional leaders and committees—that have historically held politicians accountable to one another and prevented everyone in the system from pursuing naked self-interest all the time. As these intermediaries’ influence fades, politicians, activists, and voters all become more individualistic and unaccountable. The system atomizes. Chaos becomes the new normal—both in campaigns and in the government itself.

Our intricate, informal system of political intermediation, which took many decades to build, did not commit suicide or die of old age; we reformed it to death. For decades, well-meaning political reformers have attacked intermediaries as corrupt, undemocratic, unnecessary, or (usually) all of the above. Americans have been busy demonizing and disempowering political professionals and parties, which is like spending decades abusing and attacking your own immune system. Eventually, you will get sick.

Somebody bring me a cool dishrag and an Advil. I can’t seem to shake this Palin fever.

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