By Patrick S Adams
-from Liberty’s Lamp
When Ronald Reagan was dubbed “the Great Communicator,” it ushered in an era when it became cool to be a conservative again. During the rise of liberalism during the 1960’s and 1970’s, the “silent majority” was made to feel as if their views were antiquated and outdated. We were moving into the modern age and we were expected to be “open minded” and “sophisticated.” Conservatives were considered stuffed shirts. We’ve come a long way. We have a new communicator who demonstrates that the conservatives of today are really the fresh minded thinkers while liberalism is becoming old and stale.
When conservatism was on the ropes in 2008, there was a false sense that our country was moderating – moving to left. The election of Barack Obama created a moment when progressives came out into the open declaring an end to conservatism’s “outmoded dogma.” Even Republicans had been gravitating toward the center and taking more moderate positions out of this false sense that we were becoming a more liberal nation. The Republican Party nominated John McCain whose ACU rating of 83% had him straddling conservatism lite and moderate centrism.
Talk after the 2008 election was that the Republican Party would have to move more toward the center if it wanted to forge majorities necessary to win elections. This writer and many other conservatives disagreed. It has always been my position that the Republican who could best articulate the conservative philosophy would be the best person to lead our nation. Their articulation would allow the citizenry to continue clearly understanding the philosophy as younger people who were not alive or were too young to remember Reagan were entering the electorate (and it had better be explained to them correctly if it was not to be perverted, watered down or misunderstood).
Between 2004 and 2008, we lost our way. The conservative philosophy was not properly articulated. Yes, we had talk radio. But most of our political leaders were looking for different ways to box it up, market it, hide it or simply give it lip service. It was during those years that this writer can honestly say he saw the philosophy slipping away.
On September 3, 2008 in Minneapolis, MN, the demise of conseravatism was halted and the restoration of the Reagan philosophy had begun. We heard one of the greatest articulations of the philosophy ever given since Ronald Reagan gave his final speech in 1992. Just when I thought conservatism was dead, that speech changed my mind.
The speech was given by a woman who speaks with a funny accent and uses colloquialisms in conversation. One wouldn’t think that the next great articulator of the conservative philosophy would be someone who speaks with a working class Alaskan accent whose conversation is more down home regular folk than it is the king’s English. Could we really get the best articulation of the conservative philosophy from a person who sometimes has a tendency to talk really fast when she gets excited or has had one too many Redbulls? You betcha.
Put a pen or a keyboard in her hand or put her on stage in front of thousands of people and she is as articulate and electrifying a speaker as anyone you will find. When she gave her VP acceptance speech, her cadence was correct, her pitch was perfect and she even navigated a tough part of the speech without a net after the teleprompter froze on her. She never missed a beat.
Sarah Palin is a trained broadcaster and journalist who understands how to communicate via both the spoken word and the written word. Her speech in Minneapolis was as Reaganesque as they get and her Facebook esponse to President Obama’s comments about her Statement on the Current Health Care Debate was written like a post graduate college paper.
When her emails were released, analysts found that she wrote on a level that is excellent for a chief executive.
When you go back to footage of her as a broadcaster (she did the sports on a local television station), a city council woman, a mayor and a governor, the professional Sarah Palin was always able to put the redneck away and speak clearly and concisely when required. This is not new for her despite the comments of many that she is more polished today than she was four years ago. When Sarah Palin, the private citizen who some mock for her speaking style steps into a business situation, it’s like she takes the gum out of her mouth and becomes this clear, consise and straight to the point crowd rallying speaker.
She has mastered the art of the sound bite. Death Panel. Hit me baby one more time. Palling around with terrorists. Don’t retreat, reload. All of these are intentional articulations that her detractors mistake as the words of a gum chewing redneck. She is in fact masterful at the art of communication. If she wasn’t so good at explaining her conservativism, the liberals wouldn’t be so afraid of her.
Jedediah Bila explains why Sarah Palin is so effective.
SHE’S SCARY BECAUSE SHE’LL ACTUALLY DO WHAT SHE SAYS. That’s right, folks. They know she’s the real deal. They know that if she says it, she means it. And that scares the living daylights out of them.
She is so masterful at the art of communication that despite nearly three years of being constantly mocked, smeared and made the target of hateful diatribes, it’s extremely rare than any written piece or verbal commentary designed to attack her ever goes near the facts or the crux of her arguments. It’s always personal or about the family. It’s always a twist, spin or an outright lie.
John Kerry and Barbara Boxer tried to debate her in the Washington Post by taking her on in the arena of ideas, disagreeing with her op-ed on Cap and Trade. They lost. Cap and Trade was later killed after emails surfaced showing that scientists were gaming the facts for political purposes. Charles Krauthammer, one of the most intelligent men of our times once asked her to leave the room during a commentary on Obamacare. He turned out to be wrong. Obamacare is in serious danger in the courts and is scheduled to be repealed the minute Republicans get control of the government again all because of a couple of words written by Sarah Palin: death panel.
She owns Facebook and Twitter. End of paragraph.
The liberals and the media that brain washed the American people into thinking she’s a ditz knew full well to stay away from the facts and never let the truth get in the way of a good smearing. But when they did get close to the facts, they would get burnt. Her effectiveness and ability to communicate with her staff and the media was exposed when liberals tried to look for dirt while scouring through her emails from when she was governor. The only smoking gun they would find would be the one they held in their own hands as they danced off the pain of a self inflicted bullet wound to the foot.
She has won every debate she has participated in. She became governor of Alaska with her own version of “there you go again.” The Wall Street Journal quotes debate moderator Christopher Clark’s take on how Palin stayed above the fray during a primary debate with John Binkley and Frank Murkowski:
“Binkley and Murkowski went after each other, almost ignoring her, bickering back and forth,” Mr. Clark remembers. Finally, he continues, “Ms. Palin interrupted and said ‘Don’t Alaskans deserve a better discourse than that?’ It became the defining moment of the campaign.”
So the next time you hear a high pitched voice screaming out “do you love your freedom?” just remember that this is the same woman who could calmly sit before ethics violation committees and be cleared of every one. This is the same woman who could bring a house down in Minneapolis, MN or a desert to life in Searchlight, NV.
We know exactly where Sarah Palin stands on the issues. She talks the talk and walks the walk. She has stood firm in her position on Obamacare and Cap and Trade. More recently, she has not wavered on the issue of the debt ceiling despite the carping of moderate Republicans and whining Democrats. What you see is what you get and what you get is right for America.
Palin’s communication skills are covered brilliantly in a must read article by Bradley A. Smith at National Review Online:
The Sarah Palin who won Alaska’s governorship in 2006 came perhaps as close as any Republican in recent memory to recapturing the Reagan formula. She never wavered in or ran from her conservative positions on social issues, but she addressed them with understanding, compassion, and respect for opposing views. Like Reagan, she emphasized competence, economic issues, taxes, and frugality, and, again like Reagan, her instincts on taxes and spending were libertarian and deregulatory, though not dogmatically so.
She added to this social conservatism and political libertarianism a Reaganesque dose of populism, spotting symbolic issues (such as pledging to sell the state government’s jet) and exploiting an attractive, folksy public persona. Her approach was inclusive, seeking the support of moderates, independents, and Democrats, and it worked. Though substantially outspent in both the primary and the general election, she took out two former governors to become the first woman and the youngest governor in state history.
Sarah Palin is a voice for millions of Americans sick of the status quo business as usual politics of Washington. Hers is the articulation of everything many Americans feel and believe. She can take the hopes and dreams for our country and deliver it back to us in a beautifully spoken or written package. She can explain our frustrations to the press and to the voters.
Her ability to connect with so many makes them feel that pang of total agreement when she delivers our philosophy, the American philosophy, back to us in a way that would make Ronald Reagan proud. He’s the only other great communicator in my lifetime who has ever been able to do that. That says a lot about Sarah Palin, the great communicator of our time.