Sarah Palin’s nickname in high school was “Sarah Barracuda.”
Supposedly, this reflected “her competitive streak.”
How did this happen? How does a child grow up with a grasping nature so extreme that she becomes nicknamed after a vicious carnivorous fish?
There aren’t many clues in Palin’s early biography, which reads like a carefully pruned and polished star cheerleader’s resume…which, of course, it is.
Sarah was born the third of four children. That’s our one clue. Perhaps she had to compete for attention with older and younger siblings.
At some point in Sarah’s life – I’d guess the first five minutes – she decided there wasn’t enough out there for her. At least, not enough out there for her if she was going to share any of it with anyone else.
Maybe it was a sense of poverty. Maybe the Palins were poorer than their neighbors. Or maybe competing with those siblings was enough. But somewhere during that childhood, profound feelings of deprivation developed in Sarah’s psyche, and a famine mentality set in.
After that, all we can do is sit back and watch a mighty appetite gobble everything in its path.
When people are subjected to a severe deprivation, like a famine, they hoard and deny others and generally act in ways they aren’t proud of. During the famine in China that occurred as a result of Mao’s Great Leap Forward campaign in the late 1950’s, widespread starvation led to cannibalism among the rural peasantry. Hunger can drive people to do terrible things. They can turn vicious.
A bit like a barracuda, tearing off hunks of flesh to gulp down its maw.
A bit like Sarah Palin.
Here’s a charming quote from the Barracuda herself: “I love meat. I eat pork chops, thick bacon-burgers, and the seared fatty edges of a medium-well-done steak. But I especially love moose and caribou.”
The mental image is of a gaping mouth, with sharp teeth.
How about her politics? Could they even be considered politics? Mostly, it boils down to Sarah, Sarah, Sarah – and making money for Sarah.
She quit her job as governor to give speeches to the highest bidder, write a book and work on tv – all for enormous sums of cash.
She was willing to speak (and no doubt thrill and inspire) the Tea Party wackos – for many, many thousands of dollars.
Even when she was working for John McCain, it was clearly all about Sarah – her expensive clothes, her big family (she has five children), her gigantic super-church, her enormous state – even the humongous “big box” stores she enticed to the little town of Wasilla to replace its now-moribund downtown.
Something in Sarah’s background left her feeling hungry – deeply hungry – and she is still grabbing up everything at the table. Her “politics” are a philosophy of greed. She can get married – but gay people can’t. She doesn’t want to pay taxes – even to help other Americans survive. She’s got her healthcare – if you don’t have yours, well, tough luck. She’ll drill for every drop of oil in a nature sanctuary until her giant SUV is purring like a kitten, slurping it all down, belching, and demanding more. Immigrants can stay out – this country is Sarah’s, securely stolen from indigenous peoples and guarded with guns guns guns and more guns, wonderful guns. Sarah doesn’t like government – she wants to go it alone, because she’s got hers, and you can worry about yourself, thank you very much.
Sarah wants to get a gun and go out in nature and kill something beautiful and devour it.
A couple more charming quotes:
“If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?”
“I always remind people from outside our state that there’s plenty of room for all Alaska’s animals – right next to the mashed potatoes.”
Sarah is a predator. She’s earning a lot of money chomping her way through a frightened minority of mostly older, white Americans who are terrified of the future and will buy all the double-cheeseburgers, super-size fries and giant cokes they need to maintain a secure perimeter of human fat cells. Hunkered down in their gated retirement communities, clinging to their beloved guns, they crouch by the glow of their wall-size flat-screen plasma tv’s and defend what’s rightfully theirs – which is to say, everything.
Sarah represents insecurity in love. Somewhere along the way, early on, she decided there wasn’t any love out there for her. So she had no love to spare for anyone else.
Kill or be killed. Eat or be eaten.
There’s room for you next to the mashed potatoes.
That’s the barracuda’s creed.