Categorized | Commentary/Editorial

Not Forgotten

Whitney Pitcher wrote, "Last weekend, Governor Palin gave a measured and thoughtful speech at the Western Conservative Summit, speaking primarily in the tone of the "forgotten man"–"the hard working middle class man who can’t catch a break". She also used a masterful analogy of the "calloused hand that built America."

Firelight and I shook some wonderfully calloused hands last weekend at the Western Conservative Summit, and we had a chance to speak with a few downstairs in the hotel lobby. Derrick Wilburn founded The Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives, a Colorado based grassroots organization with a mission to bring conservative principles of governing to minority groups.





Photo credit: Jimmie H. Butler, Colonel, USAF, Retired.

They’re a well respected, hard working group of grassroots folks and in addition to calloused hands, I bet possess some well worn soles from block walking and convention working. I can only imagine the headwinds they face, not only for being conservatives in a blue state, but for being black conservatives. Listening to their stories, it reminded me of the scene from "Miracle," when Kurt Russell’s Coach Herb Brooks tells his players, "When you pull on that jersey, you represent yourself and your teammates. And the name on the front is a hell of alot more important than the one on the back!" Yes, they’re proud to be members of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives, but for them, they’re playing for Team USA.

Speaking of soles, Firelight and I were privileged to watch a moment where some very beautiful souls came together. The President of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives Denver chapter, Casper Stockham, and his wife, Cheryl, introduced Gov. Palin to their daughter, Faith. Amid the scrum of well wishers and camera phones, Jimmy Butler captured a moment of calm between Faith and Gov. Palin.


Photo Credit: Jimmie H. Butler, Colonel, USAF, Retired

Politicians like to talk about their concern for "middle class," and the "hard hats and hairnets," but lately they’ve been doing it from the dias at exclusive fundraisers or in slapped together spam emails sent out by unpaid interns. Concern, noted. One of the reasons why Gov. Sarah Palin resonates so well with the grassroots (much to the bafflement of GOP, Inc.) is because she spends so much time out in the field with them. Grassroots work is hard and  it’s not glamorous. The weather beats on you, the mornings are early, the days are long and the voters get cranky. To top it off, the party you’re doing it for is ungrateful and barely conceals its contempt for you. So, imagine looking out at a get-out-the-vote rally for a candidate, and Gov. Sarah Palin is in line serving ribs under a stamp sized tent in Missouri heat and melting like the rest of us. I don’t know if these GOPers have ever really lead people before, but when your Team Captain is sweating alongside you, that does wonders for morale. To DC, these grassroots folks may be among the Forgotten Men, but for Gov. Palin, they’re the Essential Men.

I hope getting to talk with Gov. Palin gave the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives more fuel to continue their good work in Colorado and the rest of the country. I know sharing a parent-to-parent moment with Gov. Palin put a big smile on the faces of the Stockham family. They’re good folk, as Texans say.


Photo Credit: Jimmie H. Butler, Colonel, USAF, Retired


Press on, RMBC, Team USA needs you to.

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