Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sarah Palin, Political Animal

In both Darwinian Natural Right and Darwinian Conservatism, I argue for agreeing with Aristotle that generally among political animals, males are "more hegemonic"--more inclined to dominance--than are females. But I also argue that while this difference in the central tendencies in male and female psychology explains why the highest positions of power are generally dominated by men, some women are temperamentally just as ambitious in their pursuit of political dominance as some men. Women like Queen Elizabeth I or Margaret Thatcher show us that some women can be manly in their spirited desire for political importance.

Sarah Palin is a remarkable illustration of this. She's a political animal who has risen near the top of the American political dominance hierarchy through a combination of persuasive rhetoric, shrewd political judgment, and tough character.

Of course, she is especially remarkable because she has done this while being a mother of five children and living the seemingly normal life of a "hockey mom." Few political women can do this so well. Condi Rice has no husband and no children. Hillary Clinton has one child. Nancy Pelosi has raised five children, but her most intense political activity came after her children had passed out of infancy. For Palin to stand on the stage of the Republican National Convention as Vice-Presidential nominee carrying her five-month-old infant in her arms is extraordinary, and it's obviously part of her powerful rhetorical appeal.

This is as it should be. In a free society, women should be free to compete for the highest levels of political power if they have the temperament to do so. But we can also expect that the natural differences in the propensities of men and women will manifest themselves in that there will generally be more men than women at the top of the political dominance hierarchy. Women like Sarah Palin will be rare. But their rarity only enhances their heroic character as manly women.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

She is not exactly a manly woman - though she is twice the man that any of the Democrat candidates are - she is also hot, oozes sexual confidence, and maternal authority. Just looking at her, you know she is fecund and makes sure her children are well fed. You also know she takes no back talk from them. You cannot get more feminine than that.