An example of this is comments left on the blog What I Saw in America. John writes:
I have real problems with some of the reasons that McCain nominated Palin (her inexperience, the loose ends that she has in Alaska, her lifelong membership in the NRA), but when those who identified themselves as liberal commentators mocked her family size, her pro-life stance, her faith, and her small-town origins, it touched a nerve. So much so that I will probably be voting for John McCain in the fall, despite the fact that I share most of Patrick's concerns about the McCain/Palin ticket.
He is echoing comments by Eric who raises concerns that Palin represents small-town values he holds and yet Republican economic policies undermine those very small-town economies:
The specific policies mentioned here (restrictive zoning, gas taxes, public transportation) are all Democratic territory, are they not? I work for local government and, at least at that level, they are. When we try to restrict land use to encourage infill development and prevent suburban sprawl, it's the republican land rights absolutists that are against us. When we try to move the county farmers' market to local, sustainable produce, our supporters are democrats. When we try to force the local Wal-Mart to stay in its existing building, rather than move two miles further out and leave another deserted strip mall behind, the local Chamber of Commerce republicans wear us out. When we complete a public transportation center to get people to work, the disgruntled residents are republican tax hawks. And so on, on things from afterschool mentoring to sidewalks to green space in low-income neighborhoods. The point is that whenever we take action to create a uniquely local, self-sustaining, pedestrian accessible community, it's Palin's party that obstructs us. And I didn't hear anything in her speech to make me think she is different.
Here are good reasons for criticizing McCain, Palin and the Republican party. So why not stop there instead of going on to mock her for being part of a culture that hunts and cheers kids on at soccer games. My sister is a soccer mom. Some of my best friends are soccer moms, or hockey dads, or judo parents, or dance moms. In other words, my friends and members of my family love and value their children and make an effort to support them in activities that encourage them to be physically and emotionally healthy. And what about hunting. Unless the people making the snide comments are vegetarians they have no business attacking people who hunt. Some of my family and many of my friends hunt and fish. And they eat what they shoot or catch. In my neck of the woods having a freezer full of moose and venison is common and I know that those animals usually died cleaner better deaths than a lot of the cattle whose carcasses fill our freezers.
Years ago I was at a chaplains conference where a number of the chaplains made snide comments about 'conservatives' much like those being made about Palin. I finally got fed up with cracks about 'red neck' culture and started talking about what it was like working at a college where there was a gun locker in residence so that students could keep their rifles safely and still have access to them if they wanted to go out hunting after class. (I don't know if we still have the locker but it makes sense in a college where one of the big programmes is fish and wildlife). I got irritated at the assumption that right thinking on a host of social and theological issues also involved rejecting anything that smacked of 'traditional' values.
It is frustrating that this also plays into the Republican hands. McCain and his team can pursue policies which undermine small towns, families, and the hunting and fishing grounds of Alaska all they want if they can continue to represent themselves as the icon of traditional values. And the more liberals attack those values instead of attacking those economic and social policies the more successful they will be.