Is Palin Taking a Cue from UK Conservatives?
David Cameron is one of the sharpest politicians in the world, he has managed to broaden the Conservative Party in the UK without abandoning Thatcherism. He has embraced being “green” without embracing leftist socialist environmental policies. The UK Conservative Party is considered the “greener” party of the two major parties. They’re also percieved to have a better grasp of the issues facing every day Non-Londoner Britons. Cameron learned his tricks from former Prime Minister Tony Blair who did something very similar with the Labour Party when he took leadership of it in the early 1990s. Cameron was initially seen as a joke, a young upstart with not alot of steam. As Labour’s poll numbers rose late in 2007, many members of the Labour Party where waiting for Cameron to step down as the leader of the Conservative Party. Come 2009, it is entirely possible that the United Kingdom will have a Prime Minister David Cameron by the end of this year if not this year, next year. Cameron has transformed the Conservative Party.
Of course there are huge differences between the Conservative Party in the UK and the Republican Party in the US. While most evangelicals in the UK usually support the Conservative Party, they’re not the influencial force on the party that evangelicals are on the Republican Party here in the US. Thus, the Conservatives in the UK are usually much more liberal when it comes to issues like abortion, gay marriage, and stem cell research and often scratch their heads and hide in embarrassment when they see us social conservatives over here in their US sister party as we’re shocked at the debauchery of our UK sister party. (I’m being entirely sarcastic.)
But from Palin’s posturing over the past couple of weeks it looks like she could be taking a cue from David Cameron and the Conservatives. Palin has always been an advocate in energy independence, but expect her to be more comfortable talking about green technology. She will of course advocate an “all of the above approach” including oil exploration and drilling, but expect her to emphasize solar, wind, hydrogen, and nuclear energy. She won’t buy into the global warming/climate change cult, but she will stress the importance of environmental stewardship, clean skies, clean water and conservation.
She has already begun doing this, last week she presented a plan that would have 50% of Alaska’s energy come from renewables, a plan more ambitious than the one from the self-declared “greenest governor in the country” Arnold Schwarzenegger. Her new PAC website looks like it could be an environmental group’s with nature imagery, blue skies, and snow capped mountains.
Some analysts are speculating this is a move to cast her as a more centrist candidate as she prepares for a 2012 presidential bid. It’s a smart move if that is indeed the case. As long as she doesn’t buy into global warming hysteria and left wing cap-and-trade policies as John McCain did and presents conservative alternatives, I think alot of conservatives would be open to such policies. Conservatives care about the environment, we just don’t like the global warming hysteric’s policies as we believe they’re just a dressed up version of socialism. Palin will find a conservative way to address people’s concerns about polution.
Palin has also acknowleged in several post-election interviews that the GOP has a problem with Hispanic voters. Will Palin embrace a John McCain-style amnesty plan? She seemed to endorse the plan several times on the campaign trail, but I don’t think she will in her own campaign. Like environmental policy, Palin will look for a real conservative alternative policy other than the unrealistic “60 days to get your affairs in order” plan Mitt Romney revealed as he realized amnesty would hurt his campaign. She will strengthen the GOP on policy, and soften the GOP in approach to legal, hispanic voters. A must for the future of our party. She will find a conservative solution to the problem and use conservatism to appeal to hispanic voters, a bloc with alot of conservative potential.
Sarah Palin, like David Cameron, looks to lead a party that can win again. There have been two solutions presented to Republicans: pigeon-hole ourselves in ideology and shunning all others, which seems like a bad a idea and the reason Democrats lost throughout the 90s and 00s or embrace moderatism, which has not worked for us the last two election cycles and sure as hell won’t work for us again in 2012. Palin knows it is going to take embracing our principles, the principles that founded our country and have lead our party to landslide victories in the past. There are solutions to every problem, and ways to appeal to every voting bloc by sticking to real, conservative principles.
Expect 2012 to be an interesting year, in which it could be President Barack Obama vs. Governor Sarah Palin the most popular Democrat in the country versus the most popular Republican. This death match will make 2008 look like touch football.