Conservatives have learned to infiltrate a game being run by liberals and Chicago political insiders and we have played better than them at it. We have protested the government in the streets and at the Capitol better than they ever had when they were the loyal opposition. We’ve gotten our message across at town hall meetings everywhere better as well. From a guy dressed as a pimp and a girl dressed as a prostitute to two guys who score a moment on Fox and Friends to show “Go Sarah” written on their hands, I’m friggin proud of all of you, man (wiping a tear from eye).
But, the movement that is doing so well, and which is leading us to massive 2010 electoral victories is not yet a slam dunk according to Sean Hannity, who warns we can still blow this thing. He fears we will get complacent or distracted. Complacency won't happen. Distraction can. That's where we need to be careful. While we all show a united front against health care reform and at Tea Parties across the nation, there is still a looming battle in the back of our minds that we know needs to be fought within the GOP before we can fight the even bigger battle with the Democrats in 2012.
GOP insiders, elites and even some fringe Tea Partiers may not want to hear this, but if we are going to take this thing back, we are going to need Sarah Palin. Ideally, she should be our leader. But, since we are a democracy, it will be up to the rank and file to make this choice in the 2012 primaries. If they don’t choose her, let’s hope they at least have the courage to put her very close to the head of the table once the seating arrangements are set. If they do choose her, let’s hope they have the guts to fight the smear machine with full brutality and retaliatory presence.
I can argue charisma all day and you can argue intelligence all day, but when push comes to shove, even though Ronald Reagan and Sarah Palin are different people at different times, there is a similar path for Palin and the historical parallels between Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter can't be ignored.
Reagan became great because the people got behind him, even if some of them may have been a little scared at first. Palin can become great if the people just get over the media nonsense and get behind her as well. The people want what Sarah Palin wants and Palin wants what the people want: morning in America, the shining city on a hill. If we are going to get there, Palin should be both our figurehead and our leader in deed as she shares our thoughts and goals with us rather than intellectually guiding us from a pedestal that so many criticize her for not being "capable" of doing.
Ronald Reagan once said “I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things.” For those who complain that Sarah Palin is soft on substance, understand one thing: the substance is already out there. We don't need Palin to diagram it for us. Let Glenn Beck handle all the blackboard work here. Those who wait for Sarah Palin to unveil secret mysteries we don't know about and solve them are either stuck too deeply inside the box of the political science textbook or they just don't want her to win. Substance exists everywhere. Leadership ability is a much rarer commodity. If people stopped wasting time looking for substance and started looking for leadership, they would see the real Sarah Palin more clearly.
Ronald Reagan became what he was because of all of us. We all got behind a B grade actor who was too old to be president and whose foreign policy credentials were suspect. He ended up becoming one of the greatest communicators in American politics; and despite those pesky ole foreign policy weaknesses, he took down the Soviet Union. Would the smartest man at the table, George Herbert Walker Bush have been able to do that if he got the nomination in 1980 instead? We later saw how it wasn't the substance of the tax increase during Bush's presidency that killed him, it was the leadership mistake he made by breaking his campaign promise.
It’s not time yet. But it will be by year's end when the 2010 elections have been decided and the players jockey for the next round. When that time comes, we need to be ready to get behind a hockey mom who is the wrong sex to be president and whose foreign policy credentials, dare we say, are suspect. And we need to ask ourselves where has intelligence and pedigree gotten us? The answer: a financial collapse, terrorist trials on our soil, a nuclear Iran and a nation up to its ears in debt.
My political science degree sometimes clouds my common sense, but my gut once told me go with the guy with the monkey. Now it's telling me to go with the gal with the moose gun.
For those who may still be on the fence, or a little scared of jumping into the water like many of us "crazies for Palin," I'm not going to tell you this is going to be easy. The reality of the situation is that we have a candidate who was severely wounded by the press, almost destroyed by her opposition in Alaska and whose resignation as Alaska governor is still misunderstood by many. That doesn't qualify her to be president. How she withstood that and how she came roaring back the way she has does.
She is the most vetted political candidate in the history of American politics and despite the few blemishes along the way to how she got here, she has not lost her soul. Any weaknesses, real or perceived, pale in comparison to those of all the other politicians who have stepped forward to lead. There will be those who beg to differ with me on this point. They will point to polarization issues, intellect issues and credibility issues. But those issues are contrived by the media and the left. They don't really exist. The only acceptable point that anyone can make against her in a democracy is if they fundamentally disagree with her on policy. And because they can't defeat her there, they rarely try. She continues to demonstrate that her heart is in the right place and that she is moral and ethical. At some point, America is just going to have to trust her.
Sarah Palin faces an uphill battle to win the 2012 presidential nomination. She will still be facing a hostile media, harsh attacks from the left, interference from Republican Party elites and a small block within the Tea Party movement itself that will criticize her pragmatism and commitment to purpose when it conflicts with purity. While the time for criticism and infighting is not now (we have a 2010 election to win), the time for planning has come. We know who the enemies are on the Democrat side. We must come to a better understanding of who we are now and be prepared to stand up for what we believe in, no matter who challenges us.
In preparation, we should note that the internal battle to take over the GOP should be fought quietly and respectfully at first. There will be plenty of time after 2010 to air our differences and come to consensus more openly. We should not bash other candidates, nor should their people bash ours. Now is the time to find out who are friends really are.
All political meaning can be boiled down to how people react to Sarah Palin. By her mere existence and example, she causes people to “cough it up,” whether it’s good or bad. You’ll notice that those who speak highly of Palin share the deepest connections with the values for which the conservative and Tea Party movements are fighting. Those who dislike her respond emotionally, almost as if out some own personal inner negativity, rather than intellectually. Attacks on Sarah Palin don't show disagreements with her on policy, but rather disagreements with her on some personal level.
It's easy to spot the enemy when they go to pieces at the mere mention of her name. Chelsea Handler, for example, called Palin "dumb" during an interview with Jay Leno last night. I didn't know who she was. I do now. The Alaska bloggers hammer Palin every day, even when she doesn't do anything. The mainstream media is highly critical of her as well. Their derangement is partially born out of that inner negativity thing, too, but it is more intentional in design - Palin must be stopped because she is a threat to liberal intellectualism in the higher educational and media systems and because the Democrat party has a lot of writers and broadcasters entrenched in the media who share the party's agenda.
Those on the Republican side who trash Palin are moderates or elitist insiders whose status within the political apparatus is at stake. They will reveal themselves by becoming unhinged as well, sometimes as badly as liberals do. Understand that these people are reacting appropriately. It is a matter of political life and death for them. Their only hope for political survival is to destroy her. Sludge cannot simply disagree with Sarah Palin. It can only hope to eliminate her. Just because there is a lot of sludge in the Democrat party doesn’t mean there isn’t any in the Republican Party. It may be less, but it’s still there and it needs to go. Palin is head of the clean up crew and she is an existential threat to all of that which needs to be cleaned, regardless of party.
This is not to say we should expect everyone to jump into the tank for Sarah Palin. As for the "kool aid" drinkers that hate her, they'll never change and we need not bother. But, there are those in the conservative and Tea Party movements who currently support other candidates, yet share Palin’s true core values of limited government and strong national defense. True allies in the movement will know they can succeed with Palin on top or on tap.
Backstabbers, on the other hand won’t help the movement. Palin supporters will not fight alongside those on the Republican, conservative or Tea Party side of this movement who have no knives because they’re already stuck in Sarah’s back. Palin supporters will, however, unite behind whoever the nominee ends up being if when they look around the bunkers they see friends. For the same reason, we would expect supporters of other candidates to unite behind Palin if she is the nominee and if we conduct ourselves appropriately as well. Eventually, we are all going to have to vote for whoever runs against Obama. If Sarah Palin gets the nomination, it will be the anti-Obama people who will fill that final segment of the coalition that she will need to win.
We recognize that there are a lot of people who are not strong enough to fight for Sarah Palin right now because they believe what the media is telling them. These are the same folks that listened to the media in the 2008 election. We don't need to alienate them. We need to educate them. We need to understand that they are not on Twitter nor do they write blogs the way a lot of us do. They go to work, come home and watch Couric or Letterman trash Sarah Palin. It's all they know! We must be unconventional in how we reach these people. Not everyone blogs or understands our language. There are people out there who still want to like her, but don't have enough reasons yet to actually believe in her.
As for moderates and independents that don't lean left or see her as a threat, they need to look at Palin's record as city councilwoman, mayor and governor and see that she demonstrates how conservatism is not the same as closed-mindedness. Conservatism is pragmatism. It is common sense.
With that said, here’s the strategy:
-Destroy liberals and progressives in the upcoming general elections.
-Defeat Republican party insiders and elites in the 2012 primaries.
-Defend Sarah Palin from attacks, even if they are from Republican insiders or the Tea Party fringe that puts purity over purpose and pragmatism. RINO's no. Moderation no. Pragmatism and purpose yes.
-Define Sarah Palin for those who don't understand her, or are afraid she can't win.
This could be the role of Palin's army as they ready themselves to help the Republican Party take back the "city." If we do this right, Sarah Palin can be at the head of that ticket when we make our final charge up that "hill."