Great Palin supporter and Iowa O4P volunteer, Phil Arnold, has written an informative piece on how to approach folks who may have bought into the false media narrative on Governor Palin. As Ralph Nader even admitted after her speech in Indianola,
Don’t confuse me with the facts; I’ve already made up my mind.
That may sound like just a line from an old joke, but I suspect we fall into that mentality more often than we realize. It is easier to form an opinion based on the perceptions we receive from others than it is to dig in and get the facts for ourselves. Back in the 1960s, when the Chrysler Corporation had made a name for itself by offering the longest warranties in the business, I became a “Chrysler person”. A friend I knew back then often said that Ford meant “Fix-Or-Repair-Daily”. For nearly 30 years I was unwilling to even go into a Ford dealership to shop for a car, because I had made up my mind that Ford stood for Fix-Or-Repair-Daily.
I had fallen into the trap of “Don’t confuse me with the facts; I’ve already made up my mind”. I was unwilling to check out any facts about Ford quality until I became dissatisfied with the service I was getting at the local Chrysler dealership where I was living. I started taking my Chrysler vehicle to the local Ford dealership for service, and have been purchasing Ford products from that dealer ever since. The last vehicle I traded in was a Mercury Villager that was 10 years old and had 317,000 miles on it. Obviously, my perception that Ford stood for “Fix-Or-Repair-Daily” was grossly incorrect! However, I had gone for nearly 30 years being totally unwilling to even question its validity. I had made up my mind, and I was not the least bit interested in considering any evidence that my prompt me to change my mind.
My point here is not to suggest that Ford products are better than Chrysler products. I believe that both companies produce fine products. My point is to illustrate the kind of faulty thinking that kept me from even considering purchasing Ford products for all those years. I have also caught myself using similar defect logic to avoid giving serious consideration to political candidates based on first impressions that make no more sense than my avoiding Ford products based on the four-word put down of their products that likely never was true.
In 2008 I wrote off one candidate because I did not like the looks of his hair, and another because I got the impression that he was using his religion for political gain. Does that make any more sense than my reasoning concerning cars?
I’m afraid that far too many of us fall into the trap of making up our minds about political candidates based on our first impressions before we have had an opportunity to learn enough about them to form a truly informed decision. If our first impressions are negative, it can be very tempting to close our minds to any new information that might challenge our first impressions. In other words, it is very easy to fall into the attitude of “Don’t confuse me with the facts; I have already made my mind up.” That is probably why it is often said that no one ever gets a second chance to make a first impression.
In August of 2008, John McCain introduced us to a politician few of us had ever heard of before. Even fewer of us knew anything about her record of accomplishments in Alaska. When McCain introduced us to Sarah Palin as his pick for a running mate, even his campaign staff was unprepared to properly introduce her to the nation or the national press. That allowed McCain’s opponents to shape the narrative about her, while the “wizards of smart” running his campaign kept her hidden away.
The McCain campaign people tried to transform Palin from who she really is into an image of who they wanted her be on the campaign trail. They dressed her up in expensive clothes that she did not want or need. They refused to allow her to do interviews with friendly media while they worked to script her for her first big media interviews. Then they sent her into interviews with not so friendly media where the media outlets were free to edit the video any way they wished. The result was a total disaster.
Is it any wonder that many intelligent, well-meaning, and open minded people got a very negative first impression of Sarah Palin? If you are one of those people, and you have not followed alternative media, it is very likely that you are convinced that you know all you need to know about Sarah Palin. You probably wonder what people like me can possibly see in Sarah Palin to make us believe that she would make a good President. One of my favorite quotes from Sarah Palin is this:
“I don’t blame people for not knowing what I stand for. If I believed everything I read in the media, I wouldn’t like me either.” Sarah Palin of Fox News Sunday August 1, 2010
Now there is a relatively easy way for anyone to be reintroduced to Sarah Palin if they are open-minded enough to get past their belief that they already know all they need to know about her. The movie “The Undefeated”, which was released in a limited number of theaters in July, reintroduces Sarah Palin in the way the McCain campaign should have introduced her in August of 2008. It is presently available on Pay-Per-View and Video-On-Demand, and will be released on DVD on October 4. The DVD can be pre-ordered through Wal-Mart and Amazon.com.
As a member of a grassroots organization that has been working to pave the way for a possible run for the presidency by Sarah Palin, I have been working to set up showings of “The Undefeated”. Some of my friends who are intelligent and otherwise generally open-minded have seemed to display the Don’t-confuse-me-with-the-facts-I’ve-already-made-up-my-mind attitude. Some don’t like the sound of her voice; some don’t like one phrase or another they have heard that she said; some just say she isn’t “presidential”.
Our country faces serious challenges. For far too long our government has been dominated by corrupt politicians of both major political parties who will say whatever they need to say to get elected and once in office use their power to spend our money to buy the votes they need to get reelected. In their effort to keep themselves in power, many are more than willing to sacrifice the future of our children and grandchildren by running up levels of debt that future generations will never be able to pay back.
They are happy to take plenty of campaign cash from any entity that will give it to them, and then they repay those entities that supported their campaigns with sweetheart deals paid for with our money. And in the process many of them manage to get rich themselves. This is crony capitalism and it is leading to unsustainable government debt. It actually will do great harm to many of the people these politicians claim to care about.
The other major source of problems for our country is the fact that current government policies are driving up the cost of energy for everyone. We notice that most often when we see what it costs us to fuel our vehicles, however rising energy costs drive up the cost of everything we must purchase. Rising energy costs also make it harder for employers to afford to hire workers, adding to the problems of unemployment.
Sarah Palin has a proven record of taking on these issues. She took on corrupt politicians of her own party and broke up the unholy alliance between the Republican Party big wigs and the big oil companies in Alaska who were lining each other’s pockets with money that belonged to the people of Alaska. She has long been an advocate of ecologically safe and responsible development of Alaska’s natural resources. She went after one big oil company that had for over 30 years failed to fulfill its contract to develop production capabilities on land to which it held leases that required it to develop these resources. They gave in and started to develop these leases only after Palin started proceedings to pull the leases. She also went after BP Oil for poor maintenance in some of their facilities where pipes had become corroded and were likely to cause an oil spill. Instead of waiting until a major oil spill to occur and going after BP as the federal government did, Sarah Palin and her team took preemptive action to insure that BP was required to correct these sources of potential oil spills before a major spill occurred.
Sarah Palin also went after waste in the Alaska state budget and used the line-item-veto to slash state spending to a degree that no previous governor of Alaska had ever done.
Unless you have been paying attention to alternative media or have been doing your own research, you may know nothing about these aspects of Sarah Palin’s record in Alaska. You may have a very bad impression of here based on nothing more substantial than the F.O.R.D. mime that kept me from considering any Ford product for nearly 30 years. You may not like the way she talks; you may think some of her one-liners are dumb; you may think she is all fluff and no substance; you may think that she is not serious about policy issues.
If you have not been reading her postings on Facebook and have not listened to her speeches except for short quotes that make it into the mainstream newscasts, it is likely that you have very little idea how much of a policy wonk she really is. If you can get past the belief that you already know more than you need to know about Sarah Palin, and can get to know her apart from the failings of the McCain campaign in 2008 and the biased reporting of the mainstream media since then, you may be as surprised by her as I was when I finally learned that Ford did not stand for Fix-Or-Repair-Daily.
If you are as open-minded as I hope, I would like to challenge you to watch “The Undefeated”, and at least give this documentary about Sarah Palin’s accomplishments in Alaska a chance to reintroduce her to you. It may or may not change your mind about anything, but at least it will expose you to some information you likely have not seen before.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and considering my challenge.