Since Election Day, an increasing number of conservatives and Republicans have written here and on other sites and publications of the need for a new direction. I believe that for our party to move into a new century, it needs to do so decisively and without hesitation. I believe that Governor Sarah Palin is the person to do that.
Whether indifferent or openly hostile towards him, there is no denying that Barak Obama has an undefinable quality about him – a quirk of personality that draws people to him and to his message. Whether we like it or not, personality, likability and magnetism play a large part in our interactions with others and especially in politics. It would be wonderful if the intellectual argument was enough to sway voters but, sadly, it is not. The Democrats remembered this (although some nearly made the mistake of choosing the unelectable Hillary Clinton) and it's about time the Republican Party did as well.There is another quality that is equally important and nearly as forgotten: A conviction and passion for one's beliefs. A seasoned and polished actor might be able to mimic these qualities but they will only be shadows of the real and often quite obviously lacking the depth of true feelings to the electorate.
McCain was clearly a mistake for the GOP. There was something lacking in him even during the early days of the primary that made me ask myself why this man wanted to be President. He seemed to have no solid beliefs beyond a love of corporate and big money interests, questionable intellectual depth and a complete lack of passion for the long road to Election Day and beyond. In the last few weeks of the campaign, he gave off the appearance of a man who is resigned to his fate – unfeeling, uncaring and waiting for destiny. His antics after his defeat, especially the unleashing of his people in a barrage of attacks against his running mate, have more solidly defined him as the bitter, nasty and vindictive person that the whisper campaign said he was. It was all true.
So where do we go from here? All the leftovers from the primaries are unelectable. Wall Street's favorite son, Mitt Romney, might have the business acumen but lacks any passion that I can detect. I also suspect he is directing the current smear campaign against Palin, if the rumors are to be believed that the McCain staffers involved are formerly his. “America's Mayor”, Rudy Giuliani, is just too socially liberal to be elected and also has the stain of exhibiting some of McCain's nastier personality traits. Huckabee has a nice smile.
There is only one person that has risen out of the current election that exhibits every single quality that I mentioned as criteria for the Republican future: Sarah Palin.
She is passionate. When McCain decided to quit, Sarah wanted to fight. She campaigned tirelessly from one state to the next and was not afraid to take the battle to those states that the pollsters said were already lost. She understood that fighting the enemy on your home ground is called defense, fighting on their ground is called winning.
She has convictions. Deeply religious and with an eye towards family, Sarah knows that good government comes not just from the head but from the heart. She knows that one begins with family and moves outward from that center until all mankind becomes family. That is true compassion and not merely the veneer of a Rovian slogan.
She has personality. There is no person that I know, even some on the left, who did not admit that Sarah is charming and personable. Sarah has that quality that I mentioned above, the ability to draw people to her because she is able to make an instant and invisible connection to them. Look at the crowds that came out for her compared with those of her running mate. I'm talking about the gift to bring people to your side so that they will listen to your message. No other candidate on our side has this – not one.
The Republican Party is currently in disarray. The old themes and memes of cynical politics are not working and are dead. It is a new era, an era of activism aided by technological advances. The Democrats understand this, our side is yet to fully comprehend. Sarah Palin is not just a politician, she is the first true Republican of the 21st Century, guided by what has come before but not afraid to forge ahead. She is modern and embodies a modernity that is the future of our party if we are willing to take the chance. In the coming years, Sarah will hone her craft. She has the curiosity to learn what she needs to learn to become that formidable candidate and President we all have been looking for.
A change is coming to the Republican Party. Those who are not willing to change must, sadly, be exiled. Begin with those who would bring our party down with baseless and near criminal attacks on Sarah Palin. If they would smear her, they would smear us all without blinking an eye. They seek to personally gain from our misfortune and it must not be allowed. Moving forward, we must be vigilant and wary of those in our party that are obstacles to our future and shun them as well. However, we must be mindful to embrace and welcome any who understand that the future belongs to those who are not afraid and who see the light on the horizon not as a sunset but the dawn of tomorrow.
Sarah for the Republican Party. Sarah for the future.