Thursday, November 22, 2012
I've seen it happen time and time again. A goal is set, victory eludes, and all you know what breaks loose. As a teacher, I've seen collaborative learning groupmates turn on one another in an effort to place blame after a project falls short. As a coach, I've seen my starting five chew one another out during a timeout in a game where the best laid plans dropped to the hardwood unmet. As a political observer, I've seen it most recently in the 2012 presidential election when the incumbent should have been easily sent packing after four years of failed policies, high unemployment, rising gas prices, looming scandals, and a lack of regard for the United States Constitution.
Infighting. Blame. Speculation. Collapse. The Grand Old Party is the master of such things. No one throws anyone under the bus faster than a member of the Republican party. It's true. Even when we know that words, motives, and actions are being misrepresented, we acquiesce to the false narrative, turn on the brother or sister, and call out, "Off with your head!" It's almost like we feel the need to prove ourselves to the left, which is ludicrous because there's no proving anything to people who play by a whole different set of rules--their own.
After Mitt Romney lost, there was no shortage of fingers pointing at him. And perhaps he deserved as much. I'm not here to debate that, not now. What I do want to point out is the reaction to the loss. All of a sudden Republicans began to cave. Immigration. Taxes. Social issues. Everything we've believed and stood for...no longer sacred. Everything for which Republicans campaigned...subject to reconsideration. It's pathetic, weak-kneed, and disgraceful.
Understand that I am a firm believer in messaging. It's not just about the message. It's about the method, the delivery. This includes assertive, widespread, and enthusiastic articulation of that message. As Governor Palin has often said, the planks in the Republican platform are fine. We've got the right message. We need to improve the messaging. We must have open, honest, and ongoing conversations about what that looks like. However, mere hours after the loss of an election, prominent voices in the party weren't just talking about shoring up messaging, but altering the message. Pathetic.
This is precisely why Governor Palin is so needed in the conservative movement.
Following the election, people sensed sheep without a shepherd and immediately began to ask who the leader of the Republican party was. Is it Governor Palin? some have wondered, while others have tried to ignore her altogether. I can't speak for a Republican party that forces its idea of an "electable" candidate upon us, shuns a common sense conservative voice unwilling to bow before its self-erected throne, and never seems to learn from the failures of its past. As far as I'm concerned the Republican establishment has made its bed.
As for conservatism, however, as for the movement of free people and thus limited government, there is no need to wonder. And what separates Governor Palin from the establishment, what separates, in this case, the woman from the boys, is her refusal to bend, blend, or back down out of pressure. From her days in elective office in her state of Alaska, to campaigning for national office, to being a private citizen-leader, she has steadily articulated the same message. Her message is always one of reform, respect for life, and restoration of our founding principles. She has not veered from championing fiscal responsibility, energy independence, and a strong national defense. She always encourages standing by allies, not bowing to enemies, and unapologetically embracing American greatness. She unceasingly begs us to consider future generations, incentivize small business, and support our military. She is not prone to flip-floppery.
Governor Palin is the epitome of what America has needed, and despite the best efforts of haters to dismiss her out of fear, jealousy, or just plain ignorance, she remains what America needs. Her record in Alaska demonstrates, too, that she can be steadfast and principled while having the respect of people on both sides of the aisle. An approval rating of 90% at one time clearly speaks to the fact that she was in office to serve the best interests of her constituents. If that meant calling out her own party--and it did--then so be it. Perhaps that is precisely why many in the Republican establishment would prefer she leave the room or at least take a seat. If I were a betting woman, however, I'd place my bet on her doing neither.
The GOP political elites seem hell-bent on caving, selling out principles, and watering down the message. Wrong answer. While the messaging could be improved, the message is right--and we already have the best messenger, if we'd be so wise as to acknowledge as much. The Republican establishment will have to determine its course, but my focus is on common sense Constitutional conservatism, and Governor Palin is just what the conservative movement needs--now more than ever.