-from Liberty’s Lamp
For over two and a half years now, Sarah Palin supporters have been writing their fingers to the bone, speaking out in their communities and standing up against vicious opposition from hate-filled hearts towards her. Some, like Jedediah Bila and Tammy Bruce, have taken to radio and television punditry to advance the cause and stand up for the one person who has taken more slings and arrows than any other politician that comes to mind because they all believe in her. They recognize that she stands for and articulates the core values that have resonated silently inside all of us since the torch was doused with the passing of Ronald Reagan.
The comparisons to Reagan are many; but it’s not about the next Reagan anymore since many are growing weary with the references. It is, however, about relighting that torch and carrying it forward again. People like Michael Reagan and Bill Kristol who once extolled Sarah Palin as the fresh new face of a Republican Party that had lost its way have grown cold having given into the pressure from the establishment within their own party as well as by allowing the false doubts perpetrated by the mainstream media to slowly seep into their heads. It’s as if many in the GOP are giving up on that dream – that belief that we could again have a leader that inspires us to go through the political desert and the dark forest of our current political culture with full faith and optimism knowing that, despite the fatigue and despite the lack of political food and water, if we just keep moving forward we will get there. We will get there to that shining city on a hill once again.
As a Republican, this writer is partisan; but as an unpaid political scientist (this is a euphemism for having a political science degree that doesn’t make me any money) I see all sides and pride myself on understanding the whole mechanism of politics, not just my side of it. Observing as an unbiased analyst, it troubles me to watch a country of people who are all over the place ideologically trying to coalesce behind a leader. We have become a country of what we don’t want rather than a country of what we do want.
Americans didn’t want George W. Bush anymore, so they voted for Obama. Now they don’t want Obama, so they wait until someone handpicks the next opponent (okay, we all know the primary voters are supposed to pick the nominee, but many people sit it out until a candidate is presented to them and they end up making the choice of the lesser of two evils in the general election).
When you consider the evolution of civilized man, we have yet to find a Utopian vision that can stand the test of time and which is impervious to outside forces whether they be man made or natural. This premise leads me to believe that collectivism doesn't work. Thus, I fall on the conservative side not because I picked an ideology out of a hat and blindly followed it, but because I found the place on the political spectrum which most closely matches what I freely believe in. I thank God every day that our Founders created a nation and a Constitution which allows me to do this.
Yet, it appalls me whenever I see people on any side of an issue try to impose their views or demean the person with whom they may be arguing or debating. If we are to move forward as a nation, we need to govern it in such a way that we recognize that everyone is all over the place ideologically and that the only way to govern such people is to maximize the amount of personal freedom they have and minimize their abilities to impose their views and lifestyles on other.
The unifying forces that will keep our nation great lie in our abilities to live and work with each other even if our interests are different. Because of the wisdom of our Founders, we have become a civil society where conflicting interests and competition for wealth and resources is best kept orderly by a government which puts as much power into the hands of individuals, local communities and state governments and limits power at the federal and centralized level.
As long as we have roofs over our heads, food on our tables and a source of income to sustain our basic needs, we should be thankful to our Lord for our blessings. Yet, many on the Left mistake utopia for a place where people live lifestyles free from the natural repercussions that are built into the fabric of existence because all of their basic needs are provided to them without the requirement to labor for them. And, many on the Right mistake wealth and abundance or the lack thereof as permanent states that don’t ebb and flow with the same mobility as the water and the tides.
Some believe that they can argue with others over petty issues as if they are experts on how people should think. Watching both the Left and the Right split over the issue of Libya, for example, worries me not because people aren’t entitled to their opinions, but because people become so arrogant in their beliefs that they are willing to even go after their own because they have to be right.
Winning an argument will not stop the planes from enforcing the no fly zone. Nor will losing that argument do the same. The frustration lies in the inability to grasp the greater picture. The “I’m right, you’re wrong” attitude misses the truth that we are merely fleas on an elephant’s ass – or to put it more delicately we are from dust and to dust we shall return.
Securing the future of our nation and renewing our national ambition and spirit is not a matter of greed. Yes, my business will do better and I will have more economic security personally if my country isn’t going bankrupt and won’t be nuked by a terrorist or even worse a terrorist nation some day. But what good is it to me if others around me don’t have the same opportunities to be free? What good is it to my son if our future is only bright for some people and not others? Government by cronyism frustrates our country because Democrats and Republicans take turns suffering and basking in the economic lows and highs depending upon which one is in power.
Our two party system has replaced the free market with competing brands of crony socialism and crony capitalism. Each wins at the expense of the other while the voters just throw their hands up having been brought to submission by the old adage “well it is what it is.”
This is where we stop dreaming. Here’s where we stop striving for more as both a nation and as individuals. It’s the fatalism, the pessimism and the negativity which drives our country closer to the edge of the cliff faster than the liberalism or the conservatism. We are not a nation of liberals versus conservatives. We are a nation of cry babies and whiners versus optimists and believers.
Sometimes it is what it is, but it shouldn't mean stop trying to turn it into what it should be. We’re arguing over the drapes when it’s really the color of the walls and the placement of the furniture that’s the problem. We focus on too much little stuff that we miss the big picture. We major in the minors when we should be minoring in the majors.
It’s our responsibility as individuals to learn two things: what we need to know that’s technical and specific to our own daily lives and what we need to know about our greater world around us. Changing the greater world around us starts with changing the technical and specific stuff we do as individuals, and not the other way around. The world cannot be changed from the top down; it can only be changed from the bottom up.
In order to rally around positive change, we need to seek out coalitions and find like minded people who may sometimes disagree on the specifics but are willing to work as allies toward the general. As the Republican Party seeks its next presidential nominee, we're seeing a disturbing picture. We're seeing the reemergence of self interest at the expense of the common good. We are seeing backstabbing and the turning of friends and supporters on each other.
We watch as the Republican establishment bends over backwards to tell us who not to choose as our nominee, but we don’t see them offering a better alternative. It’s this sickening negativity that drives me to wonder am I really a Republican anymore?
I’ve considered myself a loyal person. As such, I don’t run to any bandwagon that sets up outside the party each election like some do. And that’s okay if you’re honest about being an independent. But for those within the party, if you can’t work with a party system that requires building coalitions that respects the opinions and candidacies of all, don’t be a member of a party! This particularly is aimed at some in the GOP establishment who feel that going along to get along is okay when it comes to dealing with the opposing party, but that it’s all or nothing, my way or the highway, when it comes to selecting its own nominee.
Since I came of age during the Reagan years, my vision of the Republican Party has always been that it is the party of Reagan and Lincoln. When I see the party establishment reject candidates who see that same vision, I scratch my head and wonder what really motivates some of the party leadership. Then I realize it’s them not me. I’m loyal. I’m not leaving the party. The party is leaving me!
Since Reagan left office, the Republican Party has slowly drifted back to the Left. Again, the spot on the political spectrum where I am chose me. I did not choose it. My belief system matches well with that spot on the spectrum where conservatism shares a border with libertarianism. My political party has always been somewhere reasonably close to that spot but lately it’s been moving away from there.
I’m okay if my party’s a little left of me or a little right of me. Anyone who seeks perfection or complete unity of thought with a candidate or a party will easily be let down or frustrated unless they are lucky enough like me to have been graced with having a political “meeting of the minds” with both Ronald Reagan and Sarah Palin. It’s rare, sometimes non-existent, that a constituent can be so closely aligned with a candidate that there is nearly total agreement on not only issues, but the entire world view.
It was not a problem for me to vote for George Herbert Walker Bush, Bob Dole or George W. Bush. My party came to a consensus on candidates who were not exactly me or with whom I’d agree with all the time. But it wasn’t ridiculous. The party never shut out a better candidate those years and we voted for what we had. The country wasn’t on the brink then either.
I admit I struggled with the idea of John McCain being the candidate in 2008. As a Romney supporter then, I was looking for more conservatism and less “maverick-ness.” I knew Romney wasn’t perfect and understood his flaws reluctantly. But there was no one better available at the time.
Having watched the failure of a past administration in taking care of the Iran problem and having watched a past administration which had an admirable view of the free market but which still allowed the maggots of socialism and liberalism to undermine the housing and banking industries, my hours of darkest despair regarding of the future of our country were never more pronounced than when it looked like John McCain would be doing rallies in fields of crickets while Barack Obama was drawing hundreds of thousands who were fainting and getting thrills up their legs.
When John McCain selected Sarah Palin to be his running mate, it was as if just as I was about to turn off the light and close the door behind me, someone yelled out “leaving so soon?” Suddenly it was as if I had to turn around, put the lights back on, fire up the computers and call everyone back in. Wheel in the drinks and start the food going again. The party that was just about over wasn’t over anymore. Even though we lost, I was still reinvigorated by the VP candidacy of Sarah Palin.
So, here we are two and a half years later. Our country’s a mess. The Republican Party is wandering around like a dog chasing its tail. Yet, the people… the people are vibrant and optimistic. The Tea Party believes we can get our fiscal house back in shape if we just listen to them. The Tea Party believes that we can be that beacon again, that shining city on a hill. There are a lot of Americans who really want this to shine again – enough to win the next the presidential election if we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot.
Yet, we let the negative ones drag us down. Negativity is a communicable disease. It infects the GOP. It infects the Tea Party. It infects our entire body politic. It’s our optimism, the Tea Party’s optimism, the Reaganite optimism that is tainted by the negativity. We are strong healthy groups of people willing to unite behind common causes, but then we can’t pick a leader or even worse we put some of those who want to be our leader down?
Intellectual honesty requires me to disclose this. I don’t put down any of the other GOP presidential hopefuls on my blog or in my tweets. I may be critical of them occasionally and if so I do it in a civil and light hearted way. As we get into the primaries, I will be more critical because this is the selection process. This doesn’t mean I won’t be fair. It also doesn’t mean I won’t be slow to draw the rhetorical sword on anyone who acts traitorous to the conservative cause or treats mine or any other person’s candidate in an unfair or underhanded way.
Therefore, it bothers me when even people on my side who support my candidate speaks of another Republican in a harsh way. This is not to say they shouldn’t do it if it serves the purpose of advancing the cause. But, I prefer to not personally fight this battle as an anti-Romney guy or an anti-Huckabee guy.
I prefer to fight this thing as a pro-Palin guy. And, I will not tolerate anyone who says that Palin can’t win, shouldn’t run or she’s this or that if they can’t deliver their argument in a civil way and without using mainstream media lies and talking points as their supporting facts. Tell me why you disagree with her position on drilling, fiscal policy or national defense. Don’t tell me she’s an idiot.
All of those on the Republican side who put Sarah Palin down are either purposely or inadvertently getting into bed with the liberal media. The liberal media has made it clear that their smear campaign against Sarah Palin can’t work unless prominent Republicans parrot their memes about her intelligence and her gravitas. And for the most part, there are too many on the Republican side too willing to oblige.
Our entire country’s future is on the line here. Watching people on our side take shots at Sarah Palin while Barack Obama and the progressive movement fundamentally transform our country into a European style socialist democracy as it tenderizes it for its place in the New World Order is no longer just a matter of getting mad at a fellow Republican because they don’t like Sarah Palin. It’s a matter of life and death for the party and the country. Wake up, man!
We fell for the progressive trick once before. They led America like sheep into the slaughter pen in 2008. That time it was for the purpose of feeding their political machine off our meat and clothing themselves off our wool. The next time they do that, they will not be tricking us into voting for a progressive president, they will be tricking us into giving up our sovereignty as a nation.
I’m not an extremist. I would never yell fire in a crowded movie theater if there wasn’t a fire. Ladies and gentlemen, please find the exits because this cinema is ablaze.
As for Sarah Palin, I have only one argument that no one is capable of truly refuting me on. Can you show me a better horse?
I admire true Paul, Huckabee, Romney and other candidates’ supporters because they believe in their guy. They stand up for their guy. But, as for some of the undecided people I meet or chat with online, the conversation ultimately turns to why Palin can’t win rather than why she can. If you weren’t such a disillusioned negative dead butt who didn’t have a candidate of your own, why in the hell would you want to try to convince me that someone can’t do something? That’s infuriating.
I knew a guy who sold business opportunities. When he would speak to a prospect, he would ask them if they would like to become a millionaire. Once he explained the business opportunity to them, he had a sure fire way of qualifying them for it. It was always the ones that asked “what if it doesn’t work?” that told him that the person wasn’t qualified. He’d give them one last chance by asking “Well what if it does?” If they couldn’t see it by then, he knew it was time to move on and find another prospect.
Therein lays the power of positive thinking. Therein also lays the cancer of negativity. If someone can’t believe it or someone thinks it won’t work, it’s a self fulfilling prophecy. Of course you can’t fix your car if you don’t believe it needs a new starter. Of course you can’t mow your lawn if you think you can’t change the oil and sharpen the blades. Of course you can’t elect Sarah Palin president if you think you can’t flip the crony capitalists’ tables in the temple or if you think you have to know someone or be on the inside to take down the progressive establishment.
Obama supporters, liberal kool-aid drinkers and those who aren’t unhappy with the state of current affairs will never vote for Sarah Palin. But, why are so many people - who are disillusioned with Obama, the direction of this country and who actually understand how dangerous big government, insolvency, a caliphate and nuclear armed countries like Iran really are - so unwilling to accept Sarah Palin as a viable option?
We should be working toward forming coalitions and consensus within the Republican Party so that we can unite behind a nominee whoever it may be. This is not the time to disillusion an entire wing of the conservative movement. It would be sheer stupidity for the GOP establishment and the blue bloods to alienate the Palin wing of the party. She has a strong base of support regardless of whether the polls say she can win or not.
I’ll speak for myself here, but I think a lot of Palin supporters may agree. If the Republican Party focuses on stopping Palin when they should be working to defeat Obama, I don’t know if they can count on me to help them in 2012 if they don't do this thing right. Seriously, if my country is going to go down in flames it’s not going to matter what RINO we put in there next.
The time to stop the bleeding was in 2008. John McCain could have handled that much had he won. But the patient is flat-lining now and if you don’t shock it back into life with an electrifying candidacy like that of Sarah Palin, than you might as well elect Mickey Mouse president. As our economy continues to fall to pieces and our foreign policy makes people yearn for the Carter years, anyone the GOP may nominate is not going to save America if he doesn’t take this country in the direction being put forth by Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.
This is not an ultimatum. I’m a fair guy. If Sarah Palin runs and she loses fair and square, I’m okay with that. If Sarah Palin stumbles on the trail or if another candidate simply outperforms her, I’m good. This is not to point a gun at the head of the Republican Party and say if you don’t elect Palin, I’m going home. This is, however, a demand that they stop the nonsense and let her run fair and square.
In fact, I want her to run because I need to know if all this crap the media has been throwing out about her electability is true or not. The more they say her poll numbers are down and the more they say she’s a lightweight or she’s unelectable, the more skeptical I become about the truth to these claims as I watch Palin’s army grow on Facebook, Twitter, in the blogosphere and in real life. It’s an informal observation. Sheya at Conservatives4Palin sees this too.
Which raises the question: if they really believe she is as stupid and uneducated as they suggest, why not let her run and make a fool of herself? If she’s that dumb, then her stupidity will be on full display during the primaries and the “smart” guy they support will inevitably outsmart and defeat her. Why, then, do they care if she runs? On the contrary, if she runs and makes a fool of herself it will vindicate their argument that she’s in fact uneducated and unfit for office.
The answer, of course, is because they know that she’s really not what they portray her to be, and when the campaign begins in earnest and Governor Palin takes her message directly to the voters, everything the establishment has been saying about her will be brought into question, and it won’t be Governor Palin who’s looked upon as stupid.
We have watched Sarah Palin grow from being a political newcomer on the national stage in 2008 into the political behemoth that she is now. Argue as much as you want about her national starting point. Tell me she was great back then because of her RNC speech, the way she drew crowds and the way she beat Joe Biden in the debate. Or, tell me she wasn’t ready then because of her Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric interviews or because people thought she didn’t know Africa was a continent. Either way, or whatever point in between you want to define as her starting point, tell me honestly and with a straight face that she is not bigger, better and stronger than she was in 2008.
They started tearing her up back then because they knew this was going to happen. She’s always been an evolving candidate. Think about where she was two and a half years ago. See where she is now. Imagine where she will be if you look two and a half years into the future.
Tell me that the Sarah Palin you saw on Greta Van Susteren’s show last night or the Sarah Palin you saw in India or Israel is not up to the job of being president. Come on, tell me that she isn’t at least as qualified as any of the other Republican candidates who may run for president. Tell me that based upon her undistorted record in Alaska that we’d still be better off with Barack Obama if she got the nomination.
Instead of looking for the gotcha, why not look for the possibilities? Why not have faith that she could do a better job about bringing renewal and restoration than Barack Obama did about bringing us hope and change?
If you’re concerned about her resignation as governor, dig deep and be intellectually honest about understanding why she made that decision; and if you still can’t accept it, at least respect her for having the courage to do it or at worst understand her reasons.
Running for the presidency should not be a science experiment. She has said if she does run, she will run to win. But will we ever know how dastardly the mainstream media and the Republican establishment really are if she doesn’t run? Is this the reason they are discouraging her from running? Are they afraid they will be exposed for who they really are if she does well or even outright wins?
There are thousands of pro-Palin bloggers and tweeters who are figuratively getting carpal tunnel syndrome supporting this woman. There are millions of people who buy her books, read her Facebook notes and listen to her speak. Now you can see why I’d be skeptical of a media that keeps telling us she’s not electable. Do the other candidates have this type of a following? Why are they not being barraged with hit pieces everyday telling us why they shouldn’t run or why they can’t win?
Something’s not right here. And that something cannot be righted or fixed until Sarah Palin gets into the arena and does battle. In sports, it’s why they play the games. All the punditry, polls and expert opinions from sports writers don’t choose the winners of the championship games. The teams play for it.
Finally, I want to direct the rest of this piece to Sarah Palin.
As one of us, you seek the next great one. As one of us, you yearn for the greatness our nation is capable of; you seek that shining city with a swelling heart and the tears of anticipated joy in your eyes as fervently as or even more so than we do. You tell us you are considering running but that if there is someone out there who has the servant’s heart and is looking to lead for all the right reasons you will support them.
That person is you.
Like I ask those with whom I argue, I ask you this with all due respect. Do you have a better horse?
Ma’am, if there was someone out there better than you, I’d be supporting them already.
Put your faith and trust in God and let the rest of us out here help you. I realize it’s a huge request, but don’t let the backstabbers and the weasels of the world sway your decision. We got your back.
What if it doesn’t work? You’ll still be Sarah Palin and we will still love you.
Run, baby, run.