Saturday, September 3, 2011
I was not in Indianola today, but I was glued to the television as Governor Palin addressed the "Restoring America" tea party attendees. I continued to watch, too, as she made her way through the crowd afterwards to greet as many assembled as she possibly could--shaking hands, signing autographs, posing for pictures. I was far away in New York, but I've had the privilege a couple times of seeing, up close, the Governor interact in these types of settings, and I can tell you there's a reason people will weather the rain as they did today in Iowa, and the snow as they did in Wisconsin, for a personal moment with her. Indeed, she has all the characteristics and qualifications of a president, yet she has an uncharacteristic ability to connect to people, something Americans increasingly desire to see in their leaders.
Governor Palin's detractors are never short on criticisms, and I imagine they will work hard to come up with something today to feed their various and sundry narratives. One thing no one can accuse her of, however, is presenting a speech rife with vague generalities. On the contrary, she laid out a plan for America that reveals serious time invested in evaluating the best way to move America forward.
I marvel, however, that despite this plan, so clearly articulated, some people continue to worry-wart (Yes, I'm turning "worry-wart" into a verb) about the fact that she has yet to announce she's running for President. I spent some time on Facebook today communicating with some who say they listened to the same speech I listened to, yet it seems they did not receive the same sense I received. You've encountered these people before. They are compelled to believe that Governor Palin must do things their way and in their time. These are the same people who quote polls and pundits who say she shouldn't run, probably won't run, and couldn't win if she did run. Obviously, they missed what the Governor told us about strippers and skiers! The worrying is followed by statements of how much they love her and believe in her. I suppose their worrying is their way of demonstrating that affection.
After going back and forth a few times, I finally had to let them go, quoting the saying, "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still." Some people are simply determined to worry. To those people, you sometimes have to say, "Have at it" and continue on, with the hopes that they will follow.
Of all days to worry about whether or not Governor Palin is running for President, as far as I can tell, today would not be that day. I can't say for sure, as I certainly have no inside information, but I do have common sense. Common sense tells me that unless one has an incredible amount of free time on her hands, she doesn't devise a specific, detail-laden plan for America like the one Governor Palin delivered to the country today, if she weren't planning to implement that plan. Perhaps there are some out there who have that kind of free time, with nothing better to do, but we have all seen what kind of schedule the Governor keeps; she's not one of those people sitting around looking for something to do. Common sense also tells me that she doesn't have to do things our way. In fact, she won't do it anyone's way but her own. Common sense says that if Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton could make their presidential intentions known in November and October, respectively, September is not too late.
So here's my question: Should not common sense tell the worry warts the same thing?
Governor Palin's plan for America, she tells us, is all about empowerment. It is, she adds, "the first step in a long march toward fundamental restoration of a strong and a free market economy, and it represents the kind of real reform that we need." As a summary, her plan involves:
1. An end to expanding the federal government via a respect for the Tenth Amendment.
2. Repealing Obamacare.
3. No more runaway debt. This necessitates prioritizing and cutting spending.
4. Energy independence, an "all of the above energy policy." She distilled it down to this: "America's economic revival starts with America's energy revival."
5. Making America the most attractive country to do business. Included in this is eliminating all federal corporate taxes, which frees up job-creators but requires that they "stand or fall on [their] own."
I can't say I understand those who at the end of the day, at the end of this day, continue to worry-wart about how "late" it is to get into the 2012 race, for I didn't come away from the speech thinking that her plan was the plan of a run-of-the-mill person with no desire to lead this country to a place called Restoration. Today isn't the day to draw that conclusion. It isn't the day to walk away and start talking about getting behind another candidate. And perhaps more importantly, as one soul discovered today, it certainly is not the day to suggest to this American--me--to get behind Rick Perry, or anyone else, for that matter. I've been in this fight for three years, and I'm not about to jump ship now. To those who are feeling their worry-wart temperature rising, I encourage you to remember that she said she'd let us know her plans by the end of September. If you've truly been in her camp this whole time, surely you can wait another few weeks.
One thing I've learned about crunch time over the years is that there will always be people who choke. If you don't believe me, ask Lebron James. Seriously, though, whether in sports, business, or politics, some people simply have a penchant for not finishing what they started--and often it's in the final hour that they lose hope. If this were not so, the poem, "Don't Quit" would never have been written:
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit --
Rest if you must, but don't quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow --
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a fair and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out --
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit, --
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.
-- Author Unknown --
Governor Palin has absorbed the darts and arrows thrown at her in her service to this country. It's not time to quit. She has stood while having her intelligence insulted, her family derided, and her record distorted. It's not time to quit. Governor Palin has supported our military and their families. It's not time to quit. She has embraced special needs children and shouted their worth from the rooftops. It's not time to quit. The Governor has said, as recently as today, that we must take care of our senior citizens and give them what is rightfully theirs. It's not time to quit. She has endorsed candidates who later showed her none of the respect she had given them. It's not time to quit. She arrived in Iowa and took the time to stop by a gathering of people who support her and have her back. It's not time to quit. Governor Palin has laid out a plan to empower America and get Americans back to work. Again, it's not time to quit. I believe she's running for President of the United States, but that's her decision to make. I'm certain that no matter what announcement she delivers, she will have made it with much prayer, reflection, and wise counsel. And I believe that desite all the spin that's been thrown at us, history will tell the true story: whatever path she takes, she has never quit on the American people. She has never turned her back on us, and we must not turn our backs on her.
To those who are getting antsy, perhaps you should remember all she's done and how much she's given of herself. Go back over the plan she unveiled today, and evaluate what it tells you about her commitment to this great nation. Then stiffen your spine and plow ahead.