Looking to crack the code of Governor Palin’s future plans? Everything you need to know may just be written on her bus.
Governor Palin’s One Nation bus tour this summer has been a tantalizing preview of the themes she will no doubt expound upon in her presidential campaign. This bus (i.e. converted RV) may even suggest the exact date she will announce her presidential campaign (if you believe all us crazy C4Peeps who like to predict the unpredictable, right?)
Think of the bus like the DaVinci Code — minus the anagram messages, cryptexes, and Tom Hanks, of course.
What clues does the bus hold?
1) "We the People"
Gov. Palin is sending a message that we as individuals hold the power in this country — and that it’s vital to our economy and well-being to restore the proper relationship between those who consent to be governed and those who govern. She told Greta Van Susteren last May about the impetus of the bus tour:
You know, Todd had this idea. He was reading on an airplane some months ago an article by Thomas Sowell … [He] was talking about our economy and how to get it back on the right track and how much of the solution has to do with the foundation of America.
Todd texted me … [W]e need to remind America about our charters of liberty, about our Constitution, about our Declaration of Independence and how America was built on this idea of individual power within us … We need to remind America how important it is to protect all that’s good about America as written out in our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence. Go around the country and start talking about it.
I did some research and came across a series of articles published last year by the libertarian economist Dr. Thomas Sowell entitled, The Dismantling of America, after his book by the same name. Even if it’s not the exact article that inspired Todd and Gov. Palin, these articles are representative of Dr. Sowell’s thinking. And what light can Dr. Sowell shed on the importance of "We the People"?
In Sowell’s words …
"We the people” are the familiar opening words of the Constitution of the United States — the framework for a self-governing people, free from the arbitrary edicts of rulers. It was the blueprint for America, and the success of America made that blueprint something that other nations sought to follow.
At the time when it was written, however, the Constitution was a radical departure from the autocratic governments of the 18th century. Since it was something so new and different, the reasons for the Constitution’s provisions were spelled out in the Federalist Papers, a collection of essays written by three of the writers of the Constitution, as a sort of instruction guide to a new product.
To get their way, the elites must erode or dismantle the Constitution, bit by bit, in one way or another. What that means is that they must dismantle America. This has been going on piecemeal over the years, but now we have an administration in Washington that circumvents the Constitution wholesale, with its laws passed so fast that the public cannot know what is in them, its appointment of “czars” wielding greater power than Cabinet members’, without having to be exposed to public scrutiny by going through the confirmation process prescribed by the Constitution for Cabinet members.
Hmm … Yes, "We the People" is stamped prominently on Palin’s bus, the first words that greet bus onlookers, so much more prominent than the faint signature that identifies Governor Palin as the "owner" of the bus … and they are the words which open the Constitution. I have to keep reminding my liberal friends … "We the People" is not the same thing as "We the Government" … They just don’t get it! Government is a limited power of force we grant very cautiously and with great discretion for specific purposes as "free" individuals. The Constitution was always designed to protect the people from the government!
On a somewhat side note, it’s not surprising that Governor Palin and Todd felt so inspired by Dr. Sowell. Governor Palin has frequently referenced him when discussing government’s proper role in our economy and its power relative to individuals …
In her unforgettable Death Panel Facebook post …
The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost.
And in her Going Rogue memoir where she outlines her political philosophy …
In A Conflict of Visions, Thomas Sowell explains the underlying assumptions or "visions" that shape our opinions and the way we approach social and political issues. He identifies two separate visions: the unconstrained and the constrained.
[In the constrained or conservative vision] … [w]e don’t trust utopian promises from politicians. The role of government is not to perfect us but to protect us-to protect our inalienable rights. The role of government in a civil society is to protect the individual and to establish a social contract so that we can live together in peace. …
It’s easy [for politicians] to promise free medical care and a chicken in every pot. It’s more difficult to explain how we’re going to pay for it all and to explain why social programs that were supposed to help the poor have ended up hurting them, becoming unsustainable financial liabilities for all of us. Ronald Reagan was the last president to really explain this to us.
So … Gov. Palin starts her presidential "journey" with a constrained or limited vision of government, similar to the view expressed by the Founders when they wrote the Constitution. In a forthcoming campaign, she will likely continue to show where our government has gone astray from that vision, including in recent years as Republicans have abetted crony capitalism and engaged in the collusion of big business with big government.
Sounds like a campaign theme to me!
And, as we learn more about the Constitution from the Heritage Foundation (this Saturday, the 17th, marks Constitution Day) … it fits in nicely with the point Governor Palin made in her speech in Iowa about the separation of powers and the 10th amendment … a critical plank in her plan to Restore America.
[A]lthough national powers were clearly enhanced by the Constitution, the federal government was to exercise only delegated powers, the remainder being reserved to the states or the people. Despite the need for additional national authority, the Framers remained distrustful of government in general and of a centralized federal government in particular. "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined," Madison wrote in The Federalist No. 45. "Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite." … "This balance between the National and State governments ought to be dwelt on with peculiar attention, as it is of the utmost importance," Hamilton argued at the New York state ratifying convention. "It forms a double security to the people. If one encroaches on their rights they will find a powerful protection in the other. Indeed, they will both be prevented from overpassing their constitutional limits by a certain rivalship, which will ever subsist between them."
Here’s Governor Palin’s number-one point in her five-point plan as she revealed in Iowa:
We must stop expanding an out-of-control and out-of-touch federal government. This is first: All power not specifically delegated to the federal government by our Constitution is reserved for the states and for we the people. So, let’s enforce the 10th Amendment and devolve powers back locally where the Founders intended them to be.
All of this makes me wonder if President Obama, the "Constitutional Law" lecturer, ever read the Federalist Papers, when he matter-of-factly told a joint session of Congress in 2009 about his bizarre deduction that the Founders would likely have supported mandating the purchase of healthcare …
"[T]hey … understood that the danger of too much government is matched by the perils of too little."
Really?! The Founders who risked their lives to escape the tyranny of monarchy were equally concerned about the perils of too little government? That’s a whopper!
2. "One Nation"
The next clue on the bus is the name of the tour itself, One Nation. This phrase obviously derives from the Pledge of Allegiance, which Gov. Palin also wrote about in her memoir, Going Rogue, reflecting on her earliest childhood memories:
A [patriotic] feeling stirred in me as my class recited the Pledge of Allegiance. I felt proud and tall as we pledged on our hearts every morning. Early on, I gained great appreciation for the words we spoke: "… the United States of America … one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." I knew those words held power.
The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress in 1942, at a time of crisis and war. The idea of the pledge was to unite people in a common purpose, to bring together people of diverse backgrounds, faiths, birth nationalities, and political views under one flag, our banner of American exceptionalism. The "Under God" part of the pledge, while added in 1954, actually derives, arguably, from the Gettysburg Address, where President Lincoln, famously said:
[T]his nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
It’s easy to forget that the United States has seen much worse times of division and conflict. But right now, we appear to be a hopelessly divided nation. We need someone who offers a real hope of uniting us in a common purpose. Governor Palin suggests, as did Lincoln, that our common purpose is liberty. Her bus displays the Liberty Bell as a symbol within the phrase "One Nation." Governor Palin knows how to reach out to people of all backgrounds and political persuasions. She did this in Alaska when her major initiatives passed with overwhelmingly bi-partisan support. Governor Palin is uniting us all now by focusing attention on the devastating effects of crony capitalism that harm every American regardless of political party. Indeed, crony capitalism is an attack on all decent Americans, same as if an enemy were launching raids on our shores or flying planes into our buildings.
She will rally Americans around the common purpose of preserving our liberty. We can only preserve liberty by refusing to be enslaved by debt and corruption. Every American has a stake in reforming our system of government so that corrupt politicians can’t continue bankrupting our future. Governor Palin is the only candidate who has fought crony capitalism her entire career. She has exposed the backroom deals that use the power and financing of government to enrich those with political connections. She will likely educate Americans about government’s proper role in preserving free market capitalism, competition, and how proper oversight differs marketedly from blank-check deregulation.
This will be a welcome change from Republican business-as-usual politics. I hope she starts quoting more and more from Luigi Zingales, the University of Chicago economics professor who co-wrote Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists, and reminded us:
[Free markets] cannot flourish without the very visible hand of government. The real challenge is to ensure that the government acts to protect the marketplace, rather than protecting those who wish to dominate the marketplace (the greater risk in Republican Administrations) or those who lost out in the marketplace (the greater risk in Democratic administrations)."
Governor Palin mentioned Zingales in her second best-selling book, America By Heart …
"Professor Zingales makes the crucial point that there is a difference between being pro-market and being pro-business. Both political parties are at fault in failing to acknowledge this distinction."
Governor Palin is pro-free market … not necessarily pro-big business. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out last week … she’s found a natural gap in the GOP field in which to plant herself. No one in the field has her credentials on fighting political corruption.
3. Energy abundance …
Speaking of credentials, we all knew that Governor Palin would build a presidential campaign around tapping our natural resources, but this image on her bus says it all doesn’t it?
Good Lord! Is it just me?! In that picture, Alaska looks like a giant gas pump about to "fill up" the rest of the nation!!! And why not? Natural resources are real. So-called "green energy" is a pipe dream that currently supplies less than 2% of our energy needs. Everything on Palin’s bus has a purpose, and I can’t escape the fact that her invitation to "Join the Fundamental Restoration of America" hinges on taking advantage of what God blessed us with here in America. From oil, to natural gas, to coal, to minerals … to a beautiful environment, as depicted by the mountains, forests and blue skies on her bus … it’s all here. Governor Palin has always shown that it’s possible to pursue responsible and ethical energy development, and Whitney has covered it here, here, and here.
4. The announcement date will be …
Yes, that’s what we all want to know. That’s what has provoked internecine battles among Palinistas. Some wanted her to declare last December, or this Spring, or yesterday. (Some believe she already declared informally on July 3, 2009 and everyone should just chill out!) Some believe she should have jumped in before Bachmann and Perry. The real answer, of course, is in Governor Palin’s head. No one knows when she will announce. She has stated it will most likely be in September. Facts on the ground could change that, however. My prediction is that it will be on Constitution Day, Sept. 17, because the race is not just about her … it’s about all of us, and our common American values. But I don’t want to suggest that if she DOESN’T declare then that it will be a huge letdown. She will declare when she declares. I don’t have a problem with it. There are a million considerations, including which timing gives her the best shot at victory, the most important consideration of all.
But logic suggests that she might choose a meaningful day for her constituency, just as she announced for governor on Alaska Day, Oct. 18th. Alaska Day is the anniversary of the formal transfer of the Territory of Alaska from Russia to the United States in 1867.
Constitution Day marks the day, Sept. 17th, when the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787.
It isn’t a particularly well-known "holiday," but here’s what the Governor wrote about it in 2009:
Today marks the 222nd anniversary of the formation and signing of our Constitution. The United States Constitution is one of the greatest founding documents in history because it charted a bold new path in the realm of political theory. Not only does the Constitution establish checks and balances within the federal government, it also divides power among the federal government, the states, and the people. The Founders understood that it is the nature of government to grow at the expense of the people’s liberty; and with that in mind, they established a form of government that would be limited in scope and power in order to maximize power to the people.
Today, let’s also take the opportunity to thank our armed forces. The weight of defending our liberty rests on their shoulders, and because of their efforts and sacrifice, we can celebrate the 222nd anniversary of the formation of our Constitution.
Will Governor Palin announce this Saturday? I have no idea. But if she does … you know what that means, my fellow Palinistas?!
We are five days away from the fundamental transformation of the presidential race!
Catch you all along the trail!