Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Risks and Rewards of Sarah Palin

There was a time when Sarah Palin was like a moose out in the open. The local ankle biting bloggers and frivolous ethics violation filers, the local and national media and her political opponents on the Left were the hunters who riddled her with shots taken with ease during the post election Obama euphoria. Smartly, Palin retreated into the darkness of the woods and, hiding behind the rock of a self imposed exile, began the process of reloading. She emerged not as the hunted, but as the hunter who was about to go on the attack. In shining her light on the sludge and corruption that infects our political system, she would be startling beasts that would instinctively attack and she took on that danger willingly and aggressively.

Media on both sides, the pro-Palin and the anti-Palin, have been engaged in a vicious battle for the hearts and minds of Americans who are too busy working and raising families to be engaged enough to understand what's going on except for what they hear or read in a blurb here and there in the mainstream media - which normally does not show Sarah in a positive light. But even for those of us who are engaged, we can sometimes miss key elements that should be communicated to the public to make them more aware of just how incredible this leader from Alaska really is.

It began to strike me the other day when I wrote about what happened when Sarah Palin was videotaped by a creepy stalker that this woman is taking incredible risks for America. The heart dropping thought of "losing her" crossed my mind again like it did after Mark Sanford went missing and when she resigned. I put these thoughts out of my mind as quickly as possible because I don't want to manifest them. But, it's a demon I battle regularly as I hope and pray that my country will be saved from the disaster that is now destroying it.

It only takes one Sirhan Sirhan to literally destroy a country's dream. And it only takes one Dean Scream to figuratively destroy it. As I watch Sarah Palin walk the tightrope of American politics, the stalker who shot only with a camera on this occasion reminds us that Sarah Palin is not a moose in the open anymore, but a politically armed hunter who is becoming a target now not because the Left is on offense, but because they are on defense. And, like a cornered animal, they are most dangerous now because they are in self defense mode. The existential threat to the ideology of liberalism (I must always credit Monica Crowly on this talking point) that Palin poses is "life threatening" to them and they will "kill" to protect themselves.

Taking shots at Sarah Palin is no longer a sport to be handled by the likes of Tina Fey or Kathy Griffin. It's life and death for the Left.

The physical threats to Sarah Palin will have to be addressed and security will have to be increased. She is a modern day Bobby Kennedy, albeit from the other side of the spectrum. History dictates that she be protected.

The political threats to Sarah Palin must be addressed differently because they occur in the arena of ideas and competition where winning and losing is not physically life threatening per se, but simply part of the fair game. All is fair in love, war and politics. In a New York minute a misspelled potato, a poorly timed photo on an aptly named boat, a ride on the wrong tank at the wrong time, an improperly timed scream recorded directly through the recording board without the context of crowd noise or the wrong political endorsement in one's home state could spell doom to the aspirations of the courageous ones who seek the golden ring of the presidency. The rhetorical Sirhan Sirhans of this world are the wolves at the door waiting for that one unguarded moment. Though the rhetorical gunshot will not snuff out the physical life, it could mean the end of a political life as we know it.

As our country heads into bankrupcy, economic collapse, military decline and social decay, we need someone to get us out of the mess. And just as Sarah Palin took a risk with her life when going through the airport , she took a major risk with her political life when she endorsed Joe Miller. She walked unsecured through the political airport of endorsements and credibility. She has stared political death in the face many times and she has yet to flinch. She is, as she has said, willing to "politically die" trying to save this nation. She is incredibly and amazingly unafraid. She knew endorsing Joe Miller could have killed her and she never told us.

Had Joe Miller not won or sent the Alaska GOP Senate primary into overtime, Sarah Palin would have opened herself up to legitimate criticism that she was no longer powerful in her home state of Alaska. This would have been one instance where the left would not have to rely on the lies and nonsense that populate their otherwise empty bag of legitimate criticism for the former governor.

Columns, blog posts and television pundit talking points were already written in advance of "Murkowski's landslide." The left would be able to celebrate the election of a liberal (albeit a Republican) and simultaneously give creedance to the notion that Palin could not win a national election if she was so weak as to not even garner respect or consideration from residents in her own state.

Let me explain the kind of risk Sarah Palin took in endorsing Joe Miller more bluntly: Mitt Romney could have won the 2012 nomination Tuesday night.

With this risk, Sarah Palin demonstrated not only an incredilbly high level of faith in God, but in the people themselves, not just the people in Alaska. John Dickerson of Slate explains:

Palin now has more support for a favorite story line of hers: The pundits and so-called experts said things were going to go one way but she had faith; she knew the real deal. This is part of her larger pitch: that she understands something fundamental about conservative voters. That, in turn, is what voters believe about her, which makes them think she has a special light to guide the country out of the muck.
To that, all I can say is "yup."

Sarah Palin beams the light of liberty's lamp as she joyfully walks through the minefields of detractors looking to film a "gotcha moment" and politicos who lambast her on the op ed pages of their local newspapers when she endorses "dogs" like Bondi and Ayette who supposedly should have no chance of winning. She draws forth the anger of a Bob Ehrlich when she endorses Brian Murphy just as easily as she draws forth the anger of a Lisa Murkowski when she endorses Joe Miller. Palin shines a spotlight on the sewer rats, even when they are in her own party. When they show their teeth she takes them out with their own negativity and a helpful nudge from her Facebook page.

This leader, who sometimes can appear to be leading us into a dark woods with no guarantee that we will make it to the other side, tells us confidently that our nation will be great again. She tells us to hold our powder when she knows we're within inches of reacting for our leader in a way our leader doesn't want us to react. We adore our leader, but do not blindly follow her like Obama's people did. We know her. She is us.

Like a mother who tends to her cubs, she leaves the cave to navigate the arrows and bullets of the hunters and becomes the hunter herself as she destroys those who threaten her cave and at the same time gathers the political food we need while boning up on the issues that she will have to handle with fingertip precision come campaign time. When she returns to the cave, her detractors think she merely took a Mary Poppins walk and her cubs don't even realize that she nearly got herself "killed" preparing them for the political adulthood of power where we will all be thrusted into in 2012.

The existential thrill of being as close to glory as to death is something she hides from us. She tells us constantly not to worry. Even when she resigned, she said not to worry, "it's a good thing." Even when the left is slamming her, she watches as her army fights desperately to protect her and laughs as she hits the send button on her computer that will put a Facebook note online that will slaughter her enemies like the Excalibur sword.

When a business associate laughed at me because I told him that Sarah Palin was smarter than I am, he meant it more as a compliment to me than a slight of her. But it told me right then that this guy doesn't know what I know, and maybe - just maybe - my greater intelligence is the result of knowing who the real Sarah Palin is and that the strength of what he sees in me as a businessman is rooted in my ability to study successful people like her and learn from them.

And because Sarah Palin does the things she does, she continues to evoke the loyalty, faith and love of her followers. We have no more room in our hearts for how we feel about our great leader, yet she makes us love her more. We have no more patience for those who want to destroy her, yet she makes us wait for her to handle it. We are sick as dogs about what's happening to our country, yet she makes us see a shining city on a hill - a vision of something that we can embrace during a period where unendurable madness would prevail if she was never here.

ASIA - Sole Survivor

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