Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Promise of Sarah Palin

Thomas Lifson in a recent post at American Thinker, expresses a disappointment in Sarah Palin's lack of ideological depth as she debuted on Fox News last week, and I agree she's not ready yet for prime time, either as a candidate for President, or as a news commentator.  If I have to hear "common-sense conservative solutions" many more times I swear I'll fast-forward to the next segment on The Factor.

Having stated what I take to be an obvious truth, I want to point out to those political cognoscenti who did not grow up during the fifties, that it took Ronald Reagan a good decade to perfect his speaking and thinking skills to produce the speech he gave at the 1964 Republican Convention, one of the greatest political oratories in modern times.

While Ms. Palin gave an electrifying speech accepting the 2008 Republican nomination for Vice President, her lack of ideological depth in defense of individual rights was lost in the fellow feeling of the moment that here, at least, was a politician who understood, if only on a gut-level, the threat posed to our survival as a free society by the knavish election of that mountebank, Barack Hussein Obama, and his low compatriots in what passes today for the Democratic Party.

Fox News will offer Sarah Palin an opportunity to develop the mental toughness that comes from taking the ideological battle to the enemy, learning how to thrust, as well as to parry.  She needs that cold hard steel one saw and so much admired in Margaret Thatcher of England, who relished the title, intended as a jibe, given her by the Soviets, as "the Iron Lady." 

Sarah Palin may fail.  But as Lifson notes, through self-education, she may come not only to see through the false intellectualism of the foolish classes who only pretend to run our affairs of state, but to arrive on the other side with a wisdom purchased by hard thought about how to create a political and constitutional order founded on the protection of individual rights.

Common-sense is fine, but I am afraid Mr. Obama would have a field day slicing and dicing her candidacy.  She appears to be, however, a fast learner, and she also possesses beauty as well as brains.  The beautiful may be bold, yet Americans have a right and a duty to skepticism towards those who put themselves forward to lead, and it is always tempting to dismiss beauty for the simple reason the embodiment in one person of such perfection requires a higher bar, as if to sift out the fatal flaw.

Sarah Palin is almost too much, and that sense I suspect is what fuels the alienation so many feel for her.  We like our political leaders best when they successfully marshal through some great challenge,
proving to us they are worthy of our trust.  We have seen, and shall continue to see what happens to leadership founded on calculated deception and its supporters' willful suspension of the critical faculty.  They will now, having been so sorely disappointed, fall upon the political corpse of Obama with unseemly relish.

The folks likely to support Sarah Palin will want to see the beef, as the expression goes, and now she has a splendid opportunity on Fox News to give Americans hope our current national nightmare will end in 2012.

Do you think Sarah Palin shows true promise?  Or will she be nothing more than a sideshow, a salve to our past electoral wounds, a bridge to nowhere?

Tom Anderson
January 2010

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