San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Palinphobia Strikes Youth

I recently diagnosed myself with threephase “Palinphobia,” a chronic, haunting fear of Sarah Palin.

Victims undergo three phases: Fear of the Wild Card, Fear of the Unknown, and Fear of the Apocalypse.

The Wild Card stage is defined as the stage in which “Barack stars” and “Obama mamas” begin to fear that Sarah Palin could steal the election. It is triggered by McCain gaining a lead in the polls and increased GOP enthusiasm as a result of Palin’s nomination.

Fear of the Unknown follows shortly and is marked by doubt. Once initial shocks settle, victims start to question Palin’s aptness.

“Who the heck is she?” and “Is she prepared?” are common questions for victims of Palinphobia in the second phase.

The subsequent Apocalypse phase is the most intense. Symptoms include a severe fear that Sarah Palin will ruin the country and a sudden desire to move to Canada.

A person in this phase may be seen arguing with Republicans, preaching the virtues of Joe Biden and unconsciously repeating, “What if that woman were a heartbeat away from the presidency?”

They say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” and while Palinphobia didn’t exactly threaten my life, I think I may have benefited from it. I guess you could say, “What doesn’t completely drive you insane makes you more self-aware.”

I, for one, learned a bit about myself through the harrowing experience of Palinphobia.

For starters, I am one self-examining geek. The fact that I actually diagnosed myself with three-phase Palinphobia shows I am highly analytical (if not just a bit crazy).

Secondly, apparently I have pretty strong convictions. I was really perturbed by Sarah Palin, and I didn’t exactly hide it. Instead, I told just about anyone and everyone who would listen how I felt. When I care about something, it comes out, one way or another.

Lastly, I get carried away sometimes. Was I justified in berating Palin the way I did? Probably not. In hindsight, I personally attacked her and made unfair assumptions about her character and intelligence. But luckily, I’ve had the good nature to admit it and move on. I don’t love her, but I respect her. Does that mean I’m likely to become a fan of her on Facebook or attend a rally for a 2012 Palin presidential bid? Not likely. Palinphobia is treatable, but it isn’t curable.

U.S. citizen Soren Armstrong Nelson, 17, is a student at the MarianBakerSchool in San Ramón de Tres Ríos. He lives in Santa Ana.


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