Tag Archives: Susan B Anthony

When Reform Takes Precedence over Reputation

by Whitney Pitcher

“Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.” – Susan B. Anthony

Governor Palin’s decision not to renew her contract at Fox News has received a lot of discussion from the punditry  as expected. Some have pretentiously referred to her as a fad. Others wrote her political obituary (just as they did when she stepped aside from the governorship), casting everything in past tense as if she just plans ride off into the aurora bourealis on a snow machine. Of course, Governor Palin isn’t the political equivalent of pogs or Shirley MaClaine, who has had more lives than most cats. Rumors of her political death are greatly exaggerated, which is just how she wants it. As Governor Palin said to Breitbart News on Saturday, ” we delight in those who underestimate us”.

Throughout her career, Governor Palin, just like Susan B. Anthony, has cared far more about reform than reputation. When she was on the city council, she took a stand by voting against a regulation for garbage pickup because it would have unethically steered business to the garbage company owned by other council member. Who was that council member? Nick Carney–the very person who encouraged Palin to run for city council. Reform was more important to her than social standing.

As an oil and gas regulator in the Murkowski administration, she stood up to Randy Ruedrich, a fellow member of the Alaska  Oil and Gas Commission and the head of the Alaska Republican Party, when he did party business on state time and was engaged in other unethical behavior. Palin did all she could do with in her power to expose the corruption, but Governor Murkowski did not act. The only thing Palin felt she could do in good conscience was resign. She gave up a six figure job and risked her political future.Again, reform was more important to her than social standing.

Later, as Governor and following her time as the GOP vice presidential candidate, she was hit with a barrage of frivolous ethics complaints. Defending these complaints cost her family hundreds of thousands of dollars, her state upwards of two million dollars, and her staff eighty percent of their time. Governor Palin thought that remaining governor stood in the way of reform for Alaska, as the money and time suck of ethics complaints stymied progress for her state. Rather than bitterly clinging to power, Governor Palin resigned with the full understanding that it may negatively affect her political future.

Following her resignation, she used multiple media platforms to spread her conservative message. She became a commentator at FoxNews, endorsed and campaigned for reform minded candidates,spoke at Tea Party rallies and used social media outlets to voice her ideas and thoughts on issues ranging from energy independence to foreign policy to government ethics. She used somewhat unconventional outlets, like TLC’s Sarah Palin’s Alaska and appearances Conan O’Brien, to reach new groups and affect the culture beyond the traditional media used  in politics. For much of this, she was mocked. Governor Palin takes to the her Facebook page far more often than the pages of the Wall Street Journal, although she does that on occasion too. However, using such a platform was poo pooed as unserious. In reality, it was a revolutionary way for politics to enter the social media, as people were exposed to energy policy right along side new pictures of their grand children and news of their favorite music artist’s tours. Her travelogue show exposed new people to Alaska’s vast resources and the application of a strong work ethic. Again, reforming the method of marketing conservatism in culture and new media was more important to her than her social standing within a party holding steadfast to a world where white papers, focus groups, and power point presentations are seen as the means to influencing the populace.

Governor Palin spoke unabashedly as a commentator at FoxNews. However, as an outlet primarily seen as the “Republican” channel, commenting at Fox became “preaching to the choir”. As she noted on Saturday, Governor Palin’s message of reform is taking on the “big government enablers” on our side and using opportunities to broaden “the message of the beauty of freedom and the imperative of defending our republic and restoring this most exceptional nation.” Interestingly and possibly purposefully, news of Governor Palin’s departure from Fox and her next steps came as the same time as the National Review held a summit, complete with participation from Joe Scarborough, to discuss the future of conservatism–i.e. the very preaching to the choir that she indicated that conservatives need to move away from. For all this, the mainstream media, many of whom try to cast FoxNews as inconsequential, are now trying to portray Governor Palin as irrelevant without Fox. Yet, if one is truly irrelevant, they usually do not require hundreds of news stories deeming them so. She is so “irrelevant” that a publicly funded university did a study to determine how much money she was paid per word at Fox. There still hasn’t been a study to determine how much money the federal government spends/borrows per word that President Obama reads off of a teleprompter.

Governor Palin’s next step of reform is to expand her previous steps of taking on the party establishment and continuing to broaden the message of conservatism. Reform is in her nature–whether is policy reform inside elected office or conservative messaging reform and supporting reform minded candidates outside of office. As she said in channeling Revolutionary war hero John Paul Jones, she has not yet begun to fight.

 

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When a Woman Votes…

by Whitney Pitcher

Today marks the 92nd anniversary of the day when Tennessee became the thirty-sixth state to ratify the 19th amendment. With this, women were granted the right to vote–a right fought for by many from Abigail Adams in her letters to the Constitutional Convention to pioneers like Susan B.Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

The right to vote is indeed an honor granted by the democratic processes of our Republic outlined in the Constitution. It seems though that in the years that have followed since women were granted suffrage that this   great opportunity has been diminished–not that opportunities to vote have diminished, but that more and more it has been viewed as collective statement, rather than an individual’s opportunity.

Last weekend, I visited the Illinois State Fair and decided to pop into the Illinois Democratic Party tent. It was pretty much your standard political tent with flags, politicians’ photos and literature, but one of the pieces of literature stood out to me– the Illinois Democratic Women’s flyer seen below:

To be sure, any literature from a political party is going to be partisan by default, but I was a bit surprised by the line, “when women vote Democrats win”. With the exception of the 2010 election, the majority of women have voted Democratic in elections. However, there are two things wrong with this type of message: 1) it’s about party power not about improving the state 2) it tries to make a statement about how women vote as a collective–thus diminishing the individual woman.

I don’t particularly identify with any political party. Both parties have made government too big and too full of cronyism and corruption. I grew up in a conservative home, but I’ve voted Republican, Green Party, and Democrat in various elections in the past ten years–even for Barack Obama when he ran for Senate in 2004 (I was in college–youthful indiscretion). In the last few years, my political ideology has solidified as some conservatarian hybrid. Nonetheless, regardless of whether or not I, as a woman (or as an American in general) identify with a party, I’m sick of how the Democratic party projects their beliefs onto all women as if we’re all supposed to walk in lock step. Why did the Illinois Democratic Women assume that women all women vote Democratic? In their laughable attempt to win female votes, why did the Obama campaign’s graphic artist depict “Julia” without a mouth?

Is that because President Obama speaks for her, and she’s not allowed to speak for herself? Additionally, why does the Obama campaign call Paul Ryan bad for women? For a party that prides itself on “female empowerment”, it is certainly hypocritical for them to support the idea that taxpayers should pay for a woman’s divorce between sex and personal responsibility. Why does Code Pink think that dressing up as vaginas will help their cause? Are they simply trying to show which organ they will vote with rather than their brains? All of these are examples of projection of party ideology onto individual women.

Women vote across all party lines, and all parties indeed want their vote. However, far too often the Democratic party gives their collectivist answer without asking the question–what do women want? They assume that women want the government to do things for them, rather than to stop doing things to them. In this “war on women”, too often women have become the grenades. This is true of both major parties. The Democrats raised money off of Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Sandra Fluke, and the Romney campaign raised money off of Hilary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney–both in attempts to win the “women’s vote”. There’s no such thing as the “women’s vote”. There is a woman’s vote; there are tens of millions of these across the country–each with a different perspective and different priorities. I’m so thankful to live in a country where I have the opportunity to vote as a woman.  As I wrote this past spring:

The voice of women has made a huge impact at the ballot box, but the “women’s vote” is not a collective declaration. Rather, the “women’s vote” is a collection of individual women’s decisions based upon their priorities. A CNN poll performed late last month indicated that 54% of women saw the economy as the most important issue with 16% and 14% of women stating that the federal budget deficit and healthcare were the most important issues respectively. The remaining 16% of women thought that either the situation in Afghanistan, illegal immigration, terrorism, or gay and lesbian policies were the most important issues. Suffice it to say, each women has a unique set of priorities when it comes to how they vote, and women’s opinions on how these priorities should be as a means of policy fall all along the political spectrum.

While the Democratic party wish to project their views onto all women, it an individual woman’s choice to cast her vote how she chooses–just as it is for a man. It’s not the women’s vote; it’s a woman’s vote.

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Sarah Palin: Vote!

Today is a very important day in America. Elections are taking place nationwide. They are all important. From the local school board to the highest office contested. We are blessed in this nation to be able to vote, so please exercise that right.

With that thought in mind, Sarah Palin has released an election day message:

It’s Imperative That We Exercise Our Right To Vote Today

“…the right which woman needed above every other, the one indeed which would secure to her all the others, was the right of suffrage.”

Susan B. Anthony used those words to describe the cause she spent her life fighting for: the right of an American woman to cast a ballot for the candidate of her choice. Because of Susan B. Anthony’s tireless efforts and the courage and dedication of countless others, millions of American women will head to the polls today to exercise their right to vote.

When we consider the sacrifices made to give us this right, there is simply no excuse not to vote.

Today, the eyes of the nation are drawn in particular to the three big elections occurring on the east coast. New Jersey and Virginia will be electing new governors, and the 23rd Congressional District of New York will be sending a new representative to Washington D.C. The choices are clear in all three races.

In New York’s 23rd Congressional District race, Doug Hoffman represents the return of the ordinary citizen-politician who is dedicated to bringing fiscal sanity back to Washington, D.C. Doug’s message of cutting spending, lowering taxes, and ending the outrageous growth in the size and scope of the federal government has resonated throughout his district and the country. Voting for Doug Hoffman will send an important message to the powers that be: no more politics as usual.

The governor’s race in New Jersey is a referendum on the failed fiscal policies of the state’s current governor. New Jersey suffers under the highest tax burden in the nation – a burden which has caused many New Jerseyans to leave their home state for better economic prospects elsewhere. Chris Christie is dedicated to ending the reckless spending, the tax hikes, and the corruption that has plagued New Jersey for far too long. A vote for Chris Christie as the next governor of New Jersey will help to lead this great state – “The Crossroads of the Revolution” – back to prosperity.

In Virginia, Bob McDonnell’s commitment to lower taxes and fiscal responsibility make him the common sense choice in the governor’s race. If Bob’s honorable military service and track record as Virginia’s Attorney General are any indications of how he will handle the governorship, then it is safe to say that Virginians have an easy choice to make today.

Candidates like Doug Hoffman, Chris Christie, and Bob McDonnell represent common sense answers to the troubling economic questions facing our nation. They are a vote for fiscal sanity and for leaving our children an American future as bright and as promising as the one our parents left for us.

Please take time today to exercise the right that so many people fought to secure for us. In considering these east coast races, it occurred to me that Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and so many of the women who fought to give future generations the right to vote hailed from these states.

Vote today in honor of our past and with hope for our future.

– Sarah Palin

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