On Palin and 2012
“Is a title worth it? Does a title shackle a person? Are they — someone like me, who’s a maverick — you know, I do go rogue and I call it like I see it, and I don’t mind stirring it up in order to get people to think and debate aggressively, and to find solutions to or the problems that our country is facing.
Somebody like me — is a title and is a campaign too shackling? Does that prohibit me from being out there, out of a box, not allowing handlers to shape me and to force my message to be what donors or what contributors or what political pundits want it to be? Does a title take away my freedom to call it like I see it and to affect positive change that we need in this country?” –Sarah Palin, 09/28/11
One of history’s greatest myths is that its most remarkable events are revolutions and that its most remarkable people have titles.
We know that isn’t true. Simple events like independence days in the US and Mexico required a great deal of process, happened on various days, and didn’t simply explode into a set 24 hours of pomp and circumstance. And simple, everyday folks did more to influence the tiniest slivers of history more than all of its titled elites combined.
However, we see how liberals thrive off the perpetuation of this myth. Their movements must be carefully-led revolutions (October, French, even American), their leaders must have titles (King this, Prime Minister that).
The Tea Party is the most notable modern refutation of this myth. Here’s a movement that started based on the comments of a news anchor about fiscal responsibility. To date, it has no leader, it has no direct dates when its followers set to “occupy” some sort of territory, and it has been, despite efforts to characterize it otherwise, decidedly grassroots and of the people, and evolving constantly.
Sarah Palin is the second refutation of this myth. Here’s someone who, through her experience as a wife and mother, started on a school board in one of the most remote states in the country, and slowly worked her way through the system at a remarkable pace to clean out the corrupt leadership and special interests that were running politics in Alaska. When she resigned from the office of Governor, people on both sides were outraged. How could this woman ever think she has a future in politics without a title or an office to hold? Yet she continued to serve her community without a title, promoting tourism to her state with a popular TV show (Sarah Palin’s Alaska) and continued to promote the natural resources that her state was willing to provide to the nation. She gained even more influence out of office: endorsing candidates across the country who caused a historic sweep in the 2010 midterm elections; writing frequent Facebook policy updates on energy independence and crony capitalism which made instant headlines; and going on a national bus tour to articulate American values.
But Sarah Palin has shown us something more. She’s shown us that it doesn’t take a title to make a leader. Leaders exist at every level, in every community and household across the nation. Those who waste time and efforts on ensuring they remain in power and hold their titles are those that our nation stepped away from two centuries ago. Those were monarchs. Those were people who believed they were greater than other people by virtue of title and class. Those were the people who passed the laws, got the kickbacks, and ran up the tab expecting the American people to foot the bill. Those are the people we have in office today who want to drive us into fiscal ruin and fracture this great nation for their own personal gain.
So rather than breaking barriers in the traditional sense (becoming the first *WOMAN* president) Sarah Palin decided to do it in a different way, as she has done her entire career. She has decided to work outside the halls of power to break barriers, to show that feminism is not having a female in a certain position but inspiring women across the country to choose their own goals and exerting their own unique influence.
The holy grail of modern identity politics is the ‘glass ceiling’, that once a member of a certain race or gender or orientation reaches a position, that suddenly everything changes for the better. And if we’ve learned anything over these past two-plus years, with an African-American president, and with African-American unemployment and imprisonment at its highest rates, it’s that it simply…doesn’t. By choosing not to run, Sarah Palin has made the most powerful refutation of the Obama ideology thus far.