Occasionally, the events of the day tap into some universal truths about the human psyche. One such event occurred during the July 4th weekend when, in the midst of the country’s yearly celebration and the death of Michael Jackson, Sarah Palin announced that she was quitting as Governor or Alaska. Her leaving office so quickly after the election with two years left in her term begs the question, what universal truth could possibility by associated with Sarah Palin’s behavior? The answer is: the speed and power of speed and power.
From the moment Sarah Palin was selected as John McCain’s running mate, she was irrevocably changed. The change was immediate. It was if she was injected with new DNA that overrode all previous genetic code. Instantaneously, she became – in the minds of a large segment of the population -an important person whose every word or deed was considered newsworthy. Things she wanted or needed she got immediately . The pace of her world moved – to use Startrekian terms- from impulse power to warp speed.
The instant that the reality of all of this hit home in her psyche, the moment she realized that Sarah Palin was now SARAH PALIN, she got the same rush as a meth addict getting that first “hit.” She was now a power junkie and there was no returning to her previous ego state. The old ego was now in pieces on the floor of consciousness. And when she went back to work as the Governor of Alaska, she was confronted with a set of feelings synonymous with the experience of a drug addict who ran out of dope. Going over the details of the latest changes in the fishing laws in the state of Alaska was not going to satisfy her.
Anybody who has ever moved from another part of the country to New York knows that, once your brain is rewired to the pace of the city, it’s hard to live elsewhere. Speeding up is a lot easier than slowing down. Once acclimated, its difficult to adjust to a slower paced environment without experiencing feelings analogous to drug withdrawal. Anger, frustration and annoyance – all elements of what we usually refer to as “edginess” – typically manifest themselves. Sarah Palin got the “high octane” version of speed and power and she’s hooked. Unfortunately, her political decisions were based on the assumption that she has the talent and intelligence to sustain the kind of “up-tempo” world that will feed these addictions. For if she’s wrong – and all the evidence suggests she is grossly overestimating her skills to do anything – the crash she is going to experience inside her head will make a nuclear explosion sound like a firecracker. Withdrawal is going to be very painful.