Guest submission by: Stephanie Will
As I watched the seven declared Republican presidential candidates debate each other in New Hampshire recently, I was struck by the fact that there was very little substance to help viewers distinguish one candidate from another. Each one of them articulated the same talking points, took their turns whispering into the ear of the influential tea party movement, and ended up looking like a team united against the liberal agenda by the end. No real winners and no apparent losers.
Since the debate, I’ve been thinking about those who have declared they’re running for president and my thoughts automatically shift to the, yet, undeclared candidate. Even though there are many conservative candidates to choose from in this election cycle, all of them espousing dedication to the tea party movement, Sarah Palin is the one I’ve been hoping would run for president.
Many probably wonder what, at the end of the day, makes her any different than the other conservative candidates. At first, that could be a hard question to answer but as we dig into her leadership of the tea party movement over the last few years, I think the distinction between Palin and the rest of the pack becomes quite obvious.
When McCain chose Palin as his vice presidential running-mate in 2008, it gave her the opportunity to experience what it’s like to take on the Democrat machine on a national ticket—from having to deal with the demanding campaign responsibilities to the convention speech and a highly publicized debate against a long-time senator. This was the up-side to being a part of the ’08 presidential campaign—a campaign that also gave Palin the opportunity to meet many everyday Americans and showcase her impeccable skills as a retail politician.
Some would say the downside to Palin being chosen as McCain’s vice presidential nominee was the “vetting process” the media put her through. Her private e-mail account was hacked into, and her family was constantly mocked on television night after night. But the liberal media “vetting process” Sarah Palin experienced during the ’08 campaign ended up being nothing compared to “thanks” she received from fellow Republicans and Conservatives after the McCain-Palin ticket lost.
Perhaps few if any politicians could survive their own party throwing them under the bus, and many concluded that Sarah Palin had finally withered after she resigned as governor on a summer day in 2009. But over the months it started becoming apparent that Palin wasn’t giving up so easily.
She became more outspoken than ever against Obama’s anti-American policies, being the first one to bring out the death panels hidden in the Obamacare legislation. Palin also stood with Jan Brewer when the going got tough in Arizona’s fight against illegal immigration, and she was the first of the candidates to speak out against QE2 as well as New START.
Time and again Sarah Palin has been the first to stand up against specific Obama policies and many times she’s been the only potential presidential candidate standing against the overwhelming current of transformation. Perhaps no other time captured the steel spirit of this woman than the events surrounding the Tucson shooting when many in the media blamed Palin for inspiring the shooting.
She responded to the accusations, not by lamenting the many death threats against her that were a result of the media’s biased reporting, but recognizing the importance of uniting Americans when hard and divisive times come along. None of the current presidential candidates stood up to defend her or the people she represents during the events of Tucson but remained silent. Once again, many thought that the road of Sarah Palin’s influence had come to an end.
A few months after Tucson, snow fell in Madison, Wisconsin, and Sarah Palin emerged to speak in front of a crowd of faithful tea party patriots as well as a hostile crowd of protesters intent on drowning out every word she spoke. Above the clanking pots and pans and deafening horns, Palin declared to the world that all of the attempts to silence her and the tea party movement had failed to succeed.
“Mr. President, you and your cohorts threw all the hatred and all the violence you could at these good folks in Madison, Wisconsin. But you lost here. And Madison, you defended the 2010 electoral mandate. You are heroes, you are patriots, and when the history of this Tea Party Movement is written, what you accomplished here will not be forgotten. Your historic stand brought down the curtain on the last election. And the 2012 election begins here.
“We will take the courage and the integrity that you showed all of America. We will take it and we will win back our country! God has shed His grace on thee, America. We will not squander what we have. We will fight for America! And it starts here in Madison, Wisconsin!”
Once again, none of the current Republican presidential candidates that so courageously took on President Obama’s policies on the stage in New Hampshire were present in Madison, Wisconsin during the thick of the union controversy, perhaps fearful of the hundreds of screaming protesters they would have to face.
The moral of this story seems to be, many will believe in the right things but few will sacrifice for the things they believe in. Sarah Palin believes in the tea party movement and has stood up for what we believe in even when no one else cared enough to stand and lead.
Where were these current Republican presidential candidates who speak so bravely in front of their allies but observed from afar as Sarah Palin ran into the battles? How many of the current candidates have had journalists move next door to them, have had their home churches burned, and have had 25,000 pages of their emails looked through by a media dying to find an ounce of dirt on them?
Few could survive the vetting process that Sarah Palin has undergone over the last three years and none of them have run into the many battles she has willingly run into.
I like good talking points, but I prefer to support a fighter. This is the difference between all of us and the current presidential candidates. The woman I want to vote for to be my next president may not sound like an American Idol contestant, but she has fought for everything I believe in—even as it has cost her a good reputation amongst the “important” folks in the media and the establishment elites. I will be proud to fight with her to bring restoration to our country.
As for those candidates who have stood silently on the sidelines for the last few years, let them present their talking points and tell us why they would be the best person to lead our country—the rest of us will run into the thick of battle with a leader that has led, not with mere words, but with her actions.