Ruben Navarrette says Sarah Palin's critics challenged her because of prejudices about small-town values.
SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) -- During the presidential election, some Democrats demanded to know how I could defend Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Simply put, Palin is my people. She's small-town folk who wound up in the big leagues.
Because I grew up in a small town with a population of less than 15,000 people, I was disgusted by the insults and condescension coming from those who think of themselves as the enlightened elite. Meanwhile, in small towns, I detected great affection for Palin. People talked about how she was "a real person" who "reflected their values."
The most significant divide in America isn't Red State vs. Blue State, it's rural vs. urban. The country mouse and the city mouse are still slugging it out.
In 1982, New York Mayor Ed Koch ran unsuccessfully for governor of New York. Some say the deciding factor was when Koch described life in upstate New York as "sterile" and said he dreaded living in the "small town" of Albany, if elected. That didn't play well in rural areas.
Now comes Colin Powell. During a recent appearance on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Powell attempted an autopsy on the Republican Party's failed presidential bid. He went after Palin, accusing her of pushing the party so far to the right that it went over a cliff.