The catalyst in all of this is Sarah Palin. When I watched her speak at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, the deal that had been in my mental workings from the day McCain introduced her to us was sealed. Without realizing it at the time, I went all in with an email that I sent to my friends telling them that I was convinced that we had found our next Reagan. I immediately thought to myself after hitting the send button that I may have done something blasphemous. Ronald Reagan, after all, is a god to me (I'm speaking figuratively here). I'd gone decades never giving politicians even the remotest of that kind of comparison or consideration.
I read Michael Reagan's article Welcome Back, Dad and realized that it was not political blasphemy and that I was not alone. If it was good enough for Reagan's son to say it, it was good enough for me. And many other writers were making the comparisons as well.
I drove my friends nuts with my emails. After some begging around election day, I decided to stop sending the emails. I was preaching to a small choir and they were getting bored with the sermon.
With the election over, I went back to just reading political articles like I've always done. I'm a political junkie who somehow made it through the Clinton and Bush years with my conservatism intact even if my cynicism was growing. But I lost it totally when I started reading rubbish about Sarah Palin, who was supposed to go home and govern Alaska and prepare herself for re-election in 2010.
I was stunned by the hatred and vitriol that I was reading in the Anchorage Daily News. I started reading the ADN regularly. I was after all, a Sarah Palin fan. Yes, it kept me up to date on what she was doing as governor, but some of the articles vicious and the comments were downright vulgar. I checked profiles and watched what the commenters were doing. It had all the signs of an AstroTurfing campaign. New screen names would appear and disappear with no profile pictures or bios of any of the members. The ADN was being used by the left to build a negative picture of Sarah Palin because the left knew that people would be following her there.
I am an open minded guy. I read blogs and publications that I don't agree with. I became a member of the Huffington Post. I read Salon.com. Camille Paglia is one of my favorite liberal writers because I think she's a great writer not because I agree with her. But as I began to read some disturbing things online about the role the media and the DNC played in smearing Sarah Palin during the campaign, I traced it all back to a handful of bloggers in Alaska.
Celtic Diva was the official DNC blogger. I traced her associations and found that she had met with or conversed with some people who were in her loop and the loop with Democrat operatives. I read The Mudflats and Just a Girl from Homer and I couldn't understand why these blogs continued to bash Palin relentlessly. Instead of just seeing stories about progressive issues, it seemed like every day was dedicated to putting out some kind of lie or smear about Sarah Palin.
Then I read the Wasilla Project website and got it. The site is no longer online. But there was a blurb on there telling supporters that just because the election was over didn't mean Palin wouldn't be back in 2012. It urged supporters to continue their fight against her. I realized then that this was not your typical end of an election cycle.
Shannyn Moore referred to secrecy and documentarians in a post she wrote for the Huffington Post. I researched deeply and found that there was only one documentarian in Alaska during the election - The Wasilla Project. The Alaska bloggers were in on it. They had to have introduced the filmmakers to the malcontents they used for their documentary because they themselves were partisans and could not appear directly in the film.
I found a website, Team Sarah. As much as it struck me that there were people in the blogosphere dedicating themselves to smearing Sarah Palin, it also struck me that she had a fan base building. I started blogging there.
On November 30, 2008, I had enough of what the media was doing and I started my website. It was nearly a month after the election and the smearing of Sarah Palin was as relentless as it was during the campaign. They were starting to file frivolous ethics complaints against her. The media was questioning her every time she would speak out on a national issue, even though she was doing it in the context of being governor and how the issue affected her state. There was a coordination to this smear campaign that continued long after the election was over.
Ron Devito and Gary P. Jackson were writing some awesome things over at Team Sarah. I picked up my efforts as well and started blogging there as well. A group formed on Team Sarah to target articles where the AstroTurfers were smearing Sarah or where an article itself was a hit piece. We would go on "strafing runs" to post positive comments and to defend Sarah Palin. We were not AstroTurfers. We used our real screen names and profiles and we made it a point that people would know who we were. There was to be no more free shots at Sarah Palin from unnamed AstroTurfers, and the authors of these hit pieces would get their names known, albeit by the 50,000 or so members of Team Sarah.
The counterinsurgency had begun and the online war was underway. We were outnumbered at first, but we were committed to taking back the blogosphere and making it ours. In order to defeat liberalism and Obamaism, we had to defeat the media, old and new.
Other writers and bloggers were coming on board. As the year passed, the Palinosphere grew exponentially. Websites and blogs were popping up everywhere. Conservatives4Palin came online January 15, 2009. They confirmed that Sarah Palin was to be Glenn Beck's first guest on his new Fox television program. I consider that Monday January 19, 2009 as the day that I realized we were building an army. Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin spoke to that army and the rest is in the books now, as they say.
I told friends the war was being fought in cyber space and our army is growing.
After Palin resigned, the army even grew bigger. Stacy Drake was motivated to start a blog October 10, 2009 for the same reasons I started mine. She wrote "We live in a country where the mainstream press is completely corrupt and in the pants of the executive branch of our government." Stacy also became a contributor to Conservatives4Palin.
Sarah Palin has turned her Facebook page into a rhetorical Excalibur. At the same time, her army has been weilding their rhetorical swords for her since the election. She knows we have her back. We know she has ours. With the continuous pounding of the truth and the new ways we now have of getting that truth up the media flagpole to top outlets like Fox News, The Washington Times and the New York Daily News, our message now competes with the liberal memes that once went unchecked in the media.
Our leader grabbed the bull by the horns herself and became a Fox News contributor, gave the Daily Caller the interview which was the coup de gras for the Journolisters and communicates via Facebook in a way that will be taught to communications majors in college for generations to come.
There there is us, Ron, Gary and Stacy, who are the foot soldiers in the Palin revolution wielding our swords for the conservative cause, a cause that now has a leader again.
Gary and Stacy will tell us about themselves and their websites on Wednesday. It will be great to get their perspectives on what motivated them to get involved in the cause. Please tune in.