In politics, polarization (or polarisation) is the process by which the public opinion divides and goes to the extremes. It can also refer to when the extreme factions of a political party gain dominance in a party. In either case moderate voices often lose power and influence as a consequence.
The word is being applied to Governor Palin in an effort to marginalize her by people who don't really have her best interests in mind. I've read it more than once from so-called "moderate Republicans," whose main purpose in life seems to be convincing the left that they're not all those nasty things leftists calls conservatives. I have a newsflash for those "moderates"... Leftists still hate you, and I have no idea why you care.
Moderation has nothing to do with kissing the behind of the extreme left. You can be civil with them. Work with them when possible, but when their worldview approaches the territory where their actions (based in good nature or not) hurt the nation, you have to put your foot down. That is not "extreme," that's commonsense for anyone who cares about this nation. If you look at the national debt, health care, economic uncertainty, and a host of other fine examples the Obama administration has provided for us, you can see that my comments pertaining to their worldview are not hyperbole.
Then there is the irony of the Lamestream media placing to word "polarizing" in the headlines of stories they write about Governor Palin. They do this for the same reason you see left-wing pundits touting the "polarizing" meme. It's politics, plain and simple. Marginalizing Governor Palin in a way to make people who consider themselves "middle of the road" want to stay away from her. They want those people to ignore what she has to say, because she's not selling the lefts agenda. It's a play for the middle - the independents. Instead of telling those 'middle of he road' people why they think leftist views are correct, they just tear down their ideological opposition.
How is it possible that this former governor, the subject of the second entry on Google when searching the word "polarizing" (Pelosi in number one), had an 80% approval rating in Alaska, nineteen months after being sworn in? How did someone so 'extreme' manage to gain such high approval numbers and keep them for so long? Is Alaska full of 'extremists?' ... Ah, no it's not. To me, this shows that there is a disconnect between a perception of how "polarizing" Governor Palin is and how non-polarizing a public servant she actually was.
Sheya posted an excellent piece in August titled "The Polarization of Sarah Palin," where he wrote extensively on false perceptions versus reality. You can read that piece here, I highly recommend it.
More proof of the disconnect between perception and reality was the Rasmussen poll that came out back in September that said, "Voters feel closer to Palin than Obama, 52/40." It states:
Fifty-two percent (52%) of Likely U.S. Voters say their own views are closer to Sarah Palin’s than they are to President Obama’s, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.That poll was taken to determine the amount of people who agreed with Governor Palin versus Obama on the issues as opposed to perceptions of each political figure. Clearly the American people are more polarized by government takeover of industry and medicine than say... asking the federal government to live up to it's end of the contract it has with the people. That being the Constitution. You see, commonsense, Constitutional Conservatism really isn't that controversial.
Just 40% say their views are closer to the president’s than to those of the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate.
Among the Political Class, however, 68% say their views are more like Obama’s, while 63% of Mainstream voters describe their views as more like Palin’s.
It appears that Governor Palin agrees. When Mary Hart from ET interviewed her last month, the governor spoke about being labeled "polarizing." She said:
"That is a bit perplexing because I think, what is polarizing or extreme about believing, politically speaking, in the United States Constitution? And our Declaration of Independence, and all those things that it stands for? And what our founding mothers and fathers in this country meant for America to keep building upon? Those are the things that I believe in. What's extreme about that? How is that polarizing? So I'm still perplexed by that, that characterization of the polarization."It's clear that Governor Palin rallies Conservatives, and it is well documented that the far left fear and loathe her. However, I find no reason given the governor's standing on the issues and constitutional beliefs, that people in the middle can't also rally behind her. What matter of substance would keep those people away?
The "polarizing" meme is just another weapon the left uses to try to damage Governor Palin. Hopefully the American people can start to see that the people giving this label to her have a motive to do so. In other words, consider the source. As far as the people who mindlessly repeat the meme go... I can only ask that they look at the issues, the records before you speak. Then you tell me who are the real "polarizing" figures on America's political stage today. Do you call Barack Obama polarizing? If not, why not because his record easily proves that he is.