Sarah Palin’s Unheeded Example for the GOP

By: David Bozeman
A Tea Party based ‘Draft Sarah’ movement has sprung up in recent months,   leading to speculation that the former governor may challenge first-term   Democratic incumbent Mark Begich for the US Senate in 2014.  Palin trails   Begich in general election polling, as well as Governor Sean Parnell (her   lt. governor) in a primary, though both by only single digits, with numbers   varying.
Sarah, however, has retreated to Arizona, at least for now, and has   expressed little if no intention of launching her first bid for elective   office since losing the vice-presidency.  Furthermore, her persona,   whether to her detriment or her benefit, would dwarf any single position,   particularly one in a body of a hundred.  Predictably, and in   their spirit of substantive dialogue, liberal columnists and bloggers continue   their schoolyard taunts:  quitter, moron, trailer trash, opportunist,   publicity seeker, diva, etc., etc.
But Sarah Palin is only the eye of a much larger hurricane.  She is   simultaneously hated as the sole force who briefly threatened the   candidacy of the media’s dream candidate AND as a surrogate for the great   unwashed.  And in the latter lies the truth that continues to elude the   Republican establishment:  you can moderate here, you can compromise   there, you can neglect your base to curry favor with the bloc of the day, but   the bottom line is that the left hates who you are, not how you vote.  In   fact, this beyond a culture war — this is a war for the very soul of   America.
Clearing a path to amnesty, compromising on the year-end budget impasse   (leading to shrunken paychecks for millions of middle-income Americans) and   various & sundry other tweaks of conservatism to make it more palatable to   mainstream thought wins no converts and surrenders any public perception of   principle and backbone. Furthermore, most Republicans seldom comprehend that   the dominant political culture, including the media, will never have to   account for their hatred of Sarah Palin and all her like-minded rubes in   flyover country. The political elites cloak their contempt for   everyday Americans in such fashions of the day as Ivy League arrogance, snarky   Jon Stewart soundbites and gaseous platitudes about their so-called affinity   for the working class.  The left never hates, they only mimic their own   self-proclaimed ‘truths.’  Political discourse resembles high school,   with leftists, priding themselves on their intellectual superiority, blindly   following the edicts of the cool kids as to whom it’s ok to make fun of.
Consider that the editor of Newsweek, Jon Meacham, asked in 2008   if Americans “want leaders who are everyday folks or do we want leaders who   understand everyday folks.”  Never mind that the everyday person in   question boasted a solid record of bi-partisanship and reform.  Then   there’s former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, who quipped that dinner with Sarah   Palin would involve “a nice glass of Pinot Grigio or Mountain Dew.”  Or   how about Canadian Heather Mallick writing for The Guardian about   Palin’s hometown:  “Small towns are places that smart people escape from   for privacy, for variety, for intellect, for survival.”  One could go on   and on, but the overriding fact remains, leftists feel contempt not merely for   Sarah Palin but for the people like her who resist their noble intentions,   i.e. control.
That is the aura that Sarah Palin embodies, and what many observers   mistake for stupidity is her innate belief in herself, untainted by   navel-gazing pop psychology, victimology and political correctness.  Her   so-called lack of gravitas is a competitive, outdoorsy spirit that   doesn’t require the spin of advisors and insiders.  She is   comfortable in her own skin, one time sporting a t-shirt that read “Proud to
be Valley Trash” in response to a snide comment about her community from   an Alaska state legislator.  She recently taunted New York mayor Michael   Bloomberg with a plug of chewing tobacco.  Such antics alone don’t really   win converts, but her spirit can be infectious.
Just as a reminder, Sarah’s days as governor were marked by her   “pragmatic, postpartisan approach to solving problems” (Newsweek   2007).  How, in one short year, did she morph into the hideously   inept caricature created by the smart people in media and entertainment?    Obviously, this isn’t about policy or performance.  This is   personal.  The Republican Party could use her backbone, spirit and   buoyant sense of self identity.  While she may not be the leader that any   elective office needs, she sets a bright example for the GOP’s emerging   leader, whoever he — or she — might be.

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