05.07.2013 1

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 U.S. Senate in 2014.  Palin trails Begich in general election polling, as well as Governor Sean Parnell, her former 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 and 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.

Additionally, 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.

David Bozeman, former Libertarian Party Chairman, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer.

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