by Whitney Pitcher
Yesterday Governor Palin penned a post on her Facebook page expressing her support of Senator McCain in the face of censure by his own party in Arizona. In many ways, it echoed the op-ed she wrote for the Arizona Central when she endorsed Senator McCain’s re-election nearly four years ago. Governor Palin’s support of Senator McCain shows far more of her character than of his merit. As Governor Palin wrote last night:
We live in a time of diminishing virtues because of societal influence towards total self-centeredness. This is unfortunate and makes raising families, conducting business, and governing that much more challenging. I know how important the virtue of loyalty is because in politics it’s pretty much nonexistent. I stand on that most important virtue and answer those asking today: “Yes, I am proud to have been asked to run with him in 2008, and he is my friend.”
If loyalty is essentially nonexistent in politics as Governor Palin notes, how would anyone know what it looks like? One needs to look no further than Governor Palin’s own character and action over the years. Governor Palin has stood by Senator McCain’s side since 2008, in spite of his often tepid support for her and his nonexistent defense of her when she was more or less accused of murdering his Arizona constituents in Tucson three years ago. Governor Palin’s loyalty has been noted by many. For example, Governor Nikki Haley noted in her book about Governor Palin’s continued support in the midst of allegations during Haley’s gubernatorial campaign that she had an affair:
When allegations from Folks first surfaced, Haley remembers having Palin in her corner after just one phone call – a contrast to the way another supporter, Romney, had handled the news.
“Sarah goes with her gut, and I love her for that,” she writes. “Mitt’s team [said] they were going to have a ‘Nikki Haley meeting’ the next morning to decide what to do next.”
Governor Palin again stood with Haley in May of 2012 when a South Carolina union leader beat a pinata with a picture of Governor Haley’s face on it. This came even after Haley’s silence when Governor Palin and the Tea Party was blamed for the Tucson shooting. Suffice it to say, Governor Palin’s loyalty is because of who she is (her character), not because of who the others are.
Support differs from complete agreement, however. Governor Palin has expressed disagreement with McCain either implicitly or explicitly multiple times. As she noted in her Facebook post, Governor Palin parts ways with Senator McCain on ANWR and immigration. She has parted ways with him implicitly too. Her “Let Allah sort it out” approach to Syria is 180 degrees different than Senator McCain’s neocon approach to Syria. In her vintage speech to a Tea Party rally in Iowa in September 2011, Governor Palin mocked Senator McCain, although not in name, for his reference to Tea Partiers as hobbits.
To be sure, Governor Palin has her share of disagreements with Senator McCain, just as some supporters may disagree with her for supporting Senator McCain in this manner. That is the beauty of independence of thought–difference of opinion does negate support. As Governor Palin’s brother Chuck Heath Jr. noted on his Facebook page today:
If I turned my back on every friend and family member who didn’t agree with me 100% of the time, I’d have no friends or family members.
It can’t be said much better than that. We don’t have to always agree, but we all can learn a lesson in loyalty from the one political figure who personifies it.