Wednesday, November 18, 2009
As someone who is completely sold on her, it is very difficult for me to understand how anyone outside of absolute liberal ideologues can not get the whole Sarah Palin thing and not like the woman as much as I like her.
The self-described 'hockey mom from Wasilla' has more real world human substance and experience to her than the vast majority of U.S. Senators and Congress persons, and had more executive experience at the time of last year's elections than the Democratic presidential candidate and ultimate victor Barack Obama.
The fact is that Sarah Palin is viewed publicly through two lenses, the two that have the American public as polarized as they have ever been at any time in the nation's history since the Civil War.
On one side are the former mainstream media outlets such as the majority of the nations daily newspapers, weekly news magazines, and it's network television outlets such as ABC and CBS. These outlets became partisan shills for the Democratic Party in general and ultra-liberal, sometimes communist and socialist world views decades ago.
On the other side are large swaths of the new media, including talk radio and much of the internet. Ultra-conservative talk hosts like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and conservative websites such as TownHall.com present Palin favorably, sometimes heroically.
Meanwhile the 'fair and balanced' folks at Fox News channel walk a middle line, but because they don't outright dump on her or present her unfavorably, as those old school network news programs will do regularly, Fox is seen as cow-towing to the Right.
The fact is that Sarah Palin, no matter what her political future might hold, is the single most influential woman in America today not named Oprah Winfrey, and that galls many liberals. The reason that her popularity causes them so much consternation is not so much her political potential, but her personal beliefs, her unwavering public presentation of those, and her popularity in lieu of those positions.
The former Sarah Heath is a family woman, first and foremost. She is said to have eloped with her high school sweetheart and husband of 21 years, Todd Palin, back in 1988. The two have what is described almost universally as a strong, solid, loving marriage. They have five children: sons Track (20) and Trig, who was born early last year with Down syndrome, and daughters Bristol (19), Willow (14) and Piper (8) years.
Born a Roman Catholic, Palin has tried a couple of different Christian churches in adulthood, and has been an outward Christian her entire life. She has also always been a champion for the cause of life, highlighted by her own personal decision to have Trig even though it was known that he would be born with Downs.
You would have to go a long way to find someone who is more socially or politically conservative than Ms. Palin. She has described abortion as an "atrocity", supports oil exploration in ANWR in her home state of Alaska, opposes same-sex marriage and embryonic stem cell research, supports the death penalty in most cases, and is a lifetime member of the NRA.
Since most Americans describe themselves as 'conservative', and since the majority of Republican Party members have demonstrated since last year's election that they share Palin's position on these key issues, it is not very hard to figure out her popularity with real people.
People who describe themselves as conservative like Sarah Palin a lot for these reasons. Many others respect her, even when they disagree with her politics, because she is a strong wife, mother and female role model who stands by her family and her convictions.
They also see her dealing with many of the same problems that they themselves have had to deal with, from her oldest son entering and serving in the military, to her oldest daughter becoming pregnant as a teenager, to her young baby born with a disability. People see Sarah Palin as a real person.
Her detractors have very little to stand on in the way of substance. They claim that she lacks experience, but voted a man into the presidency with none of the same concern, even though he had even less than she. They say that she is from a 'hick' state, or challenge her education credentials, as if they only people who qualify for national office are from New York or California or some other big state, and who graduated from Harvard or Yale. Some even hold the fact that she is extremely attractive against her as well.
Perhaps her biggest problem or challenge to overcome is her handling of that former mainstream media. She seems to have failed to grasp that people like Katie Couric and Barbara Walters not only do not share her political and social views, but would like to and are in position to torpedo her message. She continues to allow interviews where these networks do not broadcast live, and instead edit her to the worst possible outcome, pandering to their dwindling liberal audience.
Sarah Palin has just released a book titled 'Going Rogue' that has been a #1 best seller for months, even though the book was just officially released and went on sale yesterday. The pre-sales broke records for a reason: because a huge number of Americans not only like her, but also relate to her and are intrigued by her personal and political journey.
Sarah Palin may never become the President of the United States. She will most certainly always have her detractors because of her political and social positions. But if she maintains those positions she will remain wildly popular, and she will indeed be a force in the 2012 Republican Party challenge to reclaim the highest office in the land. It will be Sarah Palin's people power that keeps her in that position of influence.