Palin and the Culture of Liberty

Most of America, via the health care debate, has now been treated to a taste of the derision that Governor Palin has experienced on a daily basis. Though Americans will not soon forget they were fed such bitter fare by their elected leaders, the malicious slander sent their way is a badge of honor. Generation after generation of Americans have walked this same ground and have been scorned from far higher thrones than these. Consider for examples both Governor Palin and President Reagan.

The political elite's caricature of Sarah Palin is remarkably similar to Ronald Reagan's. Perhaps that is why she began her post-gubernatorial journeys by speaking at the Ronald Reagan library. Both Palin and Reagan have been criticized as unintelligent. Reagan because of his long career in acting rather than in the brainwashing institutes of “higher learning,” and Palin because she is the mother of five and simple hearted enough to practice the things she claims to believe. Palin, of course, has had additional elements of her gender thrown into the characterization of her intellectual merits. Despite the academic abuse of the English language, what the effetes criticize should not be confused with a lack of intelligence. Even during his life, Reagan's photographic memory was well known, and despite his collegiate love of football more than books, he could read the newspaper at five (Dutch 27).

Although the intellectual lights in the varsity ranks of the educated ignorant have, of late, taken a pass on criticizing Reagan publically, they have treated him like the great Black thinkers of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. They, in keeping with their love of darkness, have simply excluded his words from “intellectual life.” This is hardly a surprising tactic since it would be unwise to bring up, even in derision, the brilliance of his words as heard at Normandy or as thundered from the base of the Berlin Wall. Perhaps Reagan was “blind” educationally, graduating from a small unknown college deep in the Mid West during the depression years and holding no more intellectual ambition than to read and dog ear page after page of the great conservative writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. If so, he was a modern Tiresias (line 430), and like the prophet, as independent of the lords of elite intellectualism as that ancient seer was of Oedipus.

Truth has its own authority, and it is this writ that has won the day for the American patriot through the years. Ben Franklin with his coonskin French diplomacy, the military reject Washington who won a war with almost no victories on the battlefield: from the minutemen of Concord to the American pilots at Midway, the genius of America is its courageous belief in liberty. It's a courage born of love. America, Americanism, and Conservatism are like Melchisedec of old, “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life” Don't look from an intellectual pedigree from Sarah Palin. Listen for the authority in her convictions and the rumblings at Jericho.

In late 18th century England, Edward Gibbon, penned his tome The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and blamed the end of Western Civilization on Christianity. During that same period, reading the same source material, Thomas Jefferson, in a rural obscurity so dense that England thought such men deserved little more than shackles, learned that the lack of checks and balances condemned liberty to Imperial destitution and eventual destruction. Without permission and without endorsement and without the approval of any elite English editorial panel, he authored the Declaration of Independence and the framework for the United States Constitution.

Sarah Palin's distinct accent and disinterest in the citadels of intellectual enlightenment are not disadvantages to the pursuit of American political liberty, they are, if history is to speak, prerequisites. Indeed, every time this mother of five, speaking in colloquial English, topples a tyrant of the intelligentsia with the simple truth, America cheers. We who are of Lincoln's party cheer when she, self-tutored, bests her Stephen Douglas with her Middle American parlance. We love it when with the passion of Fredric Douglas she actually reads a bill and speaks her mind with an insight lost on those of the priests of Egypt who love title more than truth. That is America. That is conservatism. That is the crisp sound of liberty ringing in the morning breeze.

Sarah Palin, unlike Ronald Reagan, is yet largely untested in the greater arena of national politics. Even as recently as two months ago it was even money whether she had just quit on her role as governor or whether she had beat a strategic retreat. Such things must, of course, look alike. For instance, at the Battle of Cannae, when Hannibal's center retreated, history only understood the Carthaginian's genius by the astounding number of Roman dead. Perhaps the vanishing language on rationing and death panels is only coincident with the voices of the American people. On the other hand, perhaps that distant thunder is, after all, the Nubian cavalry sealing in the reckless ranks of the statist academics and their media sycophants. Time will tell, but the visceral outrage of petty tyrants at an ex-Governor's little Facebook page may just be the first sounds of an historic massacre.

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