Submitted by: Dominic D. Salvatori, Esquire
At every critical juncture in American history, God has called forth great leaders. Our dear friend, Peggy Noonan, describes leadership in her recent Washington Post column, when she says: “But it’s a great mistake when you are in a leadership position to want to be like everyone else. Because that, actually, is not your job. Your job is to be better, and to set standards that those below you have to reach to meet. And you have to do this even when it’s hard, even when you know you yourself don’t quite meet the standards you represent.” Or, as Alan Keith of Genentech put is, “Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen.”
Thus, when all seemed lost in December of 1776, George Washington rallied a rag-tag group of rebels to victory at Trenton and Princeton. When slavery threatened to destroy the promise of America, and tear the Union asunder, Abraham Lincoln led a reluctant North to victory against the slave power. When economic depression and then seemingly insurmountable totalitarian ideologies challenged us like never before, it was Franklin Roosevelt who rallied a nation and led us to ultimate, unconditional victory. While we legitimately criticize the unprecedented (until then) expansion of government, we respect that FDR encouraged and inspired Americans to “fear nothing but fear itself.”
Truman and Eisenhower prevented the Cold War from destroying what we had just won, and set the stage for the ultimate triumph over the “Evil Empire” that was to come. Which, of course, brings us to Ronald Reagan. Who in 1979-1980, with mortgage rates of 15%, and America literally held hostage by a group of foreign thugs, did not believe our greatest days were behind us?
Now we face another critical juncture. We face an enemy in Islamic Jihadism that is unlike any other in our history – no uniforms, no structured armed forces, and no territorial boundaries to attack and destroy to shorten the conflict. At home we have a government run amok – crushing deficits and taxes, and regulation of all aspects of our lives – from the doctors we see to what kind of light bulbs we can use to how much water we can flush our toilets with.
And we face a most difficult enemy from within – an “enemy” (sadly, that includes friends, colleagues, even family) that truly believes in “progressivism,” even “socialism.” We have political and cultural elites that worship at the altar of political correctness–they would rewrite the classics of Mark Twain, and ban cookies in the school cafeteria, and drive religion out of public life. The right to “choose” becomes sacrosanct, and must be paid for by all, impeded by none.
It is 2006. A 42 year old “hockey” mom gets elected governor of Alaska. Suddenly corrupt legislators are headed to jail, not the first tee, state expenses are being slashed; a long awaited natural gas pipeline is finally in the works. Her popularity skyrockets. She is the most popular governor in the nation, perhaps the most popular politician. She is an expert in energy development and environmental preservation. In the midst of all this she gives birth to a fifth child – a very special child.
Assume she had never run for vice-president. She is undoubtedly re-elected governor, and serves another 4 years. It is now 2015. Barack Obama is well into his second term. Obama Care is entrenched in law. Deficit spending continues unabated. Taxation and regulation continue to suffocate economic development. We continue to insult our allies abroad in a futile effort to get our enemies to like us. Islamic Jihadism is unabated. The Russian bear roars again.
She returns home and her days are filled with being a mom and grandmother. Perhaps she returns to broadcasting. Or maybe her talents are recognized by a new president (Jeb Bush?) in 2017 and she is named Secretary of Energy.
Instead, fate (the hand of God?) intervenes. She is called from the Alaskan wilderness to be John McCain’s running mate. She takes the nation by storm, rallying a flagging campaign. She steals the thunder of THE ONE, and with a month to go, her ticket actually leads in the polling. Then – near economic calamity – and a weary nation decides to take a chance on the promise of hope and change, and elects a heretofore unaccomplished Chicago politician 44th president of the United States.
The hockey mom does not go away, however. She goes home, finishes the pipeline deal, and then, realizing her state and country would be better served with her in another role, steps aside – contrary to all conventional political “wisdom.” She says “if I die, I die.” But she does not die – she rises, and becomes the unofficial spokesperson for a grass roots movement that sweeps the country and radically alters the political landscape.
Does she spout details about Medicare reimbursement rates like Karl Rove? No. Is she suave and sophisticated like Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani? No. Does she have a complex plan to cut the federal deficit by 10 per cent a year over 10 years like John Thune? No. Does she know Washington inside and out like Newt Gingrich? No. Why, the woman clubs fish and shoots Bambi on national TV.
What she does have though is heart, courage, guts, faith, an indefatigable spirit, a clear vision both of and for America – and the greatest political instincts of the times.
Rudy, Newt, Mitt, Tim, Huck – they are not bereft of ideas. But they are politics as usual. America is fed up with corrupt, egotistical, self-serving, stone deaf politicians of all stripes, of all ideologies. Palin is the Anti-Obama, at a time when no one but the Anti-Obama can defeat his radical “transformation” of America and both preserve and restore our uniqueness as an American people. Obama is the political and academic elite, the governing class, the same old, same old Washington. Palin is the PTA member who decides to get off her duff and do something about things. Obama is one of my law professors. Palin is my best friend Jack’s mom, who would invite you over after school and insist you stay for dinner even though she already had 10 mouths to feed.
Would anyone “crawl on our knees through broken glass” (as an earlier post put it) to elect Huckabee or Romney or Pence or Thune or Daniels? But we will crawl through that glass, and trudge through the snows and the rains, to put Sarah Louise Heath Palin in the White House. Why? Because she gets it, like no one else in recent memory.
She’s not “radioactive” my friends. But she is on fire. Let’s make something extraordinary happen.