An MSNBC blog ran a story yesterday on how Bristol Palin owes much of her Dancing With The Stars success to political conservative fans of her mother's. People without any sense of ethics and completely lacking in integrity who are gaming ABC's voting system to keep Bristol on the air despite numerous poor performances while more talented contestants fall by the side.
That particular species of cheatus-scumbagus is more commonly known as Republican.
You can't blame the girl herself unless she asked people to cheat on her behalf, but given her pedigree, that's hardly a stretch to suggest. ABC on the other hand deserves at least as much blame as the losers cheating on Bristol's behalf, for creating and ignoring such an easily exploitable voting system.
But that doesn't excuse the behavior. A person is not obligated to cheat simply because they can, and the ease with which a system can be gamed doesn't justify abandoning your existed-from-birth ethics – assuming you had any to begin with. Nor is it at all surprising that conservatives of all people would jump at the chance to help the hypocrite daughter of one of America's most loathed political figures win a meaningless vanity contest.
If a person can so easily engage in unethical and immoral behavior, it makes sense that they'd also care so much about a vain, mind-numbing contest to see which celebrity can embarrass themselves the most for the amusement of the commoners, and thus be exploited by a TV network more interested in producing illiterate programming than quality, engaging entertainment.
"Lord have mercy, I voted for 3 hours online! I got 300 [votes] in", one classless loser admitted online.
Such is the case with people who embrace winning at all costs. The only thing that interests them is who can cheat more than the next person. Forget the consequences, the people who worked harder and played by the rules. It perfectly mirrors the conservative's approach to politics, in a way. It doesn't matter who gets stepped on, which laws or rules are violated and what the negative consequences are for everyone else.
It doesn't matter how low they must sink so long as the result is victory. Character, credibility, integrity, honor, and everything that sets humans apart as good and honest beings goes out the window.
The actual outcome of a contest loses all meaning. It doesn't matter if Bristol is the best dancer, or if Sarah is the best leader. Not so long as they can high-five each other when it's all over and party like adolescents how incredibly awesome them are, and laugh at how the good guys lost again, because they were so stupid not to cheat their way to the top.
That is the conservative movement in a nutshell, and so it makes perfect sense that the Palin family embodies it to the fullest.
UPDATE: I noted in comments the following, which I think better explains the reason for this story than one might glean from the story itself:
Generally speaking, I'm pointing out how cheating and dishonesty is endemic on the right. Not just for important things, but even for trivial things. It's one thing to write about cheating and dishonesty in very important situations like Presidential elections and whatnot, but you can only glean so much about a person's motives, character, and mentality when the stakes are high enough that a lot of people might do bad things they know are wrong, with good intentions.
A lot of people will lie, cheat, steal and abandon their core values – values intrinsic to humanity that border on natural instinct – if the situation is important enough to them.
But when they do bad things they know are wrong when the stakes are very low, that says more about who they are and why they act they way they do. It shows that cheating isn't wrong to them -- in any circumstance -- which explains how they can criticize cheating on one side while ignoring or outright engaging in it themselves when it benefits them. That mentality spills over into other intellectually dark realms like hypocrisy, serial lying, a tendency for self-victimization, and experiencing literal delusions.
UPDATE 2: Found this story this morning:
At first, having Bristol Palin participate in 'Dancing With The Stars' seemed like a brilliant idea. Just like Kate Gosselin before her, casting an admittedly bad dancer who was shrouded in controversy has raked in big ratings and tons of press. But now the joke is on the show's producers, as they fear Bristol is actually going to win this thing.
"This will be a disaster for the show if Bristol wins," one TV insider tells me. "Any creditability the show had will be over. It will go from being a dancing competition to a popularity competition where whoever has the most rabid fan base will always win no matter how little talent they have."
And while it's true Bristol's dancing has dramatically improved since the season began, no one with working eyes would put her in the same league as the other remaining stars, Jennifer Grey and Kyle Massey.
"Another problem the producers foresee is that after Bristol wins no one in Hollywood will ever want to be on the show again," a well-placed ABC source tells me. "Why would a real star want to compete and lose against someone like [former U.S. Senate candidate] Christine O'Donnell or Levi Johnston. It's humiliating. The producers know they are in big trouble for sure."
UPDATE 3: Since so many people still don't seem to get it, again from the comments:
It's not about the TV show, folks. Read the first update.
A person can be so concerned and overwhelmed by the seriousness of a situation that they can justify doing nearly anything, no matter how evil, immoral or distasteful they might consider such behavior in a different context. A person may be dead set against killing in all situations, but if it's kill or be killed, the mind has mechanisms to allow those principles and core values to be ignored.
That's just a part of human nature. A person does what they need to do under duress and stress to get the outcome they believe absolutely must happen.
The point illustrated in my story (perhaps poorly) is that when a person does these immoral, distasteful things -- abandons their core values, precepts of fairness -- when there are no consequences at all, that reveals how morally corrupt and unethical they truly are.
A person willing to do bad things in dire times can rationalize the need for that behavior and we can easily understand why they would do it.
A person willing to do bad things all the time is by definition a bad person that actually lacks morals and common sense entirely.
Conservatives cheating to help Bristol Palin win a reality show is a doorway to exploring that issue. I'm just saddened that so many people are incapable of understanding that.
The text of this article is Copyright © 2010 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by full name and original URL. Follow me on Twitter or subscribe via RSS or EMail. :: Newsvine is an open-submission site that allows anyone to publish a story without fact-checking or editing of any kind. Racist and hate-speech filled stories are the opinion of their respective authors, and do not reflect the opinion or consent of this author.