I’m accustomed to being the odd man out when it comes to political opinions, and I’ve become accustomed to taking some flak on that basis. I’ve read a number of very good articles offering the reasons why Sarah Palin should run for President, and given her departure from Fox News, there are many who are already speculating about a 2016 Palin run for high office. Various writers have mentioned her blue-collar appeal, her record of fighting corruption, and her ability to stand apart from her party when doing that which is right had demanded it. As a campaigner, she’s an undeniable phenomenon and her record of endorsements turns out to have been much better than those who claimed her endorsement wasn’t “worth snot”(as Steve Flesher reminds us,) but with all of that in mind, there’s something that has bothered me about the idea that she would run. You see, even as I watched her deliver a barn-burner of a speech in Indianola, Iowa in the September of 2011, and again as I watched CPAC 2012 via C-Span, while each crowd broke out into chants of “Run Sarah, Run,” I looked at the humble but forthright soul standing alone before the multitudes, thinking to myself that despite her fitness regimen, she isn’t really the running type. In my mind on both occasions, the words echoed: “She won’t run. When the time comes, she will do as she’s always done: Sarah Palin will stand.”
Politicians talk a good deal about running for this office or that, and since the election of 2012, I’ve noticed a number of politicians making some noise about running in 2016. Running is something politicians seem to do quite well, but in evaluating Governor Palin’s record, what I’ve noticed is that she stands. It might seem to be a trivial distinction, but I believe there’s something to be said for the difference. She stood against corruption from her earliest days in politics until the day she left public office in 2009, but even out of office, her stance on such matters has not changed. She stood on her record of opposing corruption when she decided to stand for election in her state’s gubernatorial race.
It was Sarah Palin on a field in Iowa who raised the issue of “crony capitalism” that rattled the primary season’s entrants as they all scurried to avoid branding with that label. The corrupt President also felt the heat on the issue as the Solyndra scandal, along with others related to his phony “green jobs initiatives” were exposed. She still warns of the corruption that seems to multiply where governmental power and money intersect, but as much as that may mean to we conservatives, having stood firmly against corruption on both sides of the political divide, she hasn’t earned so many friends in Washington. That hasn’t deterred her,as stand she does, irrespective of her detractors, even when it has meant standing alone.
Many politicians love to talk about compassion, but when it comes to acting it out, they employ the coercion of government as the means to their allegedly compassionate ends. Governor Palin is one of the very rare politicians who has said on numerous occasions that it is the voluntary compassion of Americans that she favors. Thinking about the difference inherent in this notion, permit yourself to wonder at what a better world it would be if compassion in America was once again restored to the province of personal choices made by millions upon millions of individuals acting out of love, rather than coerced by statist goons at the point of a gun.
Some politicians run on notions of “compassion” that rely in the first instance upon a government boot on the necks of all Americans, irrespective of their personal travails of the moment, or the strains under which individuals find themselves in the pursuit of their daily lives. Instead, Sarah Palin stands for a compassion that is real, and unifying, but against the fraudulent “compassion” that divides so much of our society. She speaks to the true compassion in the hearts of conservatives, a form of generosity that rings like Reagan’s message that compassion isn’t measured by the number of people languishing on government programs, but instead by the number who no longer need them.