Sarah may not be running in 2016 – but she’s still a potent force in the Liberty movement, likely to pull some good Congressional candidates across the finish line this year.
We are now in the process of evaluating this year’s CPAC, and that’s something I intend to properly address in a day or two, but meanwhile, I was doing a little housekeeping, cleaning out old emails and email drafts and found one about a person that has been enormously influential, but of whom, very little discussion has been made lately. The main reason perhaps, is that it seems likely that her presidential ambitions, if she had any, have been put permanently in back of the freezer.
But what also prompted me to look at the link I had sent myself on an article written about her in the New York Times, way back in 2011, is that of all the political characters I’ve written about in my columns – Sarah Palin is the one that people most often do searches for and find my articles. It doesn’t hurt that she gave a cool speech at last week’s CPAC, either. If you haven’t seen it – see it, ’twill put a smile on your face. You’ll love her response to the chant, “Run Sarah Run”. Being that it is my philosophy that Job Number One is to write for readers and not simply just to satisfy my own muse – I thought I’d share with you my thoughts on the speech she gave then and now, because much of it is relevant right this very moment in avoiding the same type of Presidential candidates we got shoved down our throats last election cycle. For the record, I was impressed with Mitt Romney as a person – someone I felt was a decent human being, but Mitt as a politician? No – I had to hold my nose and mark the box because he was the last man standing between Barack Obama and a dangerous lame duck presidency that has lived up to everything we feared it would be. We’d better pull our act together and soon – or we’re going to get another fake conservative the GOP establishment will put up as a punching bag for Hill and Bill.
The article in the Times was by Anand Giridharadas and was looking at Sarah Palin and the speech she had delivered a week earlier at a Tea Party meeting in Iowa in September of 2011, from a Center Left perspective. The writer is interesting himself, because he seems to be outside of the Democrat political caste and looking at our political system objectively as opposed to from the typical partisan lens. He’s also interesting to me because I heard him interviewed a while back on NPR, talking about his book, “India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation’s Remaking” – which features a very subversive narrative about success and personal initiative that is antithetical to the victimization politics of the Democrat party. Please don’t ask me right now why I listen to NPR – it’s complicated and would take another entire post to explain it and my habit of digressing is bad enough as it is anyway.
But Mr. Giridharadas, saw something in Ms. Palin that would irritate many on the left to have to acknowledge – candor and a bit of conservative heterodoxy – or so it would seem to some. These are the very attributes of the woman that appeal to me because I don’t conform to a lot of what seems like standard conservative convention either. But here in 2014, Sarah and I are a growing trend on the Right. Anyway, let’s take a look at what Anand found remarkable that received very little attention at the time:
Let us begin by confessing that, if Sarah Palin surfaced to say something intelligent and wise and fresh about the present American condition, many of us would fail to hear it. But something curious happened when Ms. Palin strode onto the stage last weekend at a Tea Party event in Indianola, Iowa. Along with her familiar and predictable swipes at President Barack Obama and the “far left,” she delivered a devastating indictment of the entire U.S. political establishment — left, right and center — and pointed toward a way of transcending the presently unbridgeable political divide.
She made three interlocking points. First, that the United States is now governed by a “permanent political class,” drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people. Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called “corporate crony capitalism.” Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private).
In supporting her first point, about the permanent political class, she attacked both parties’ tendency to talk of spending cuts while spending more and more; to stoke public anxiety about a credit downgrade, but take a vacation anyway; to arrive in Washington of modest means and then somehow ride the gravy train to fabulous wealth. She observed that 7 of the 10 wealthiest counties in the United States happen to be suburbs of the nation’s capital. Her second point, about money in politics, helped to explain the first. The permanent class stays in power because it positions itself between two deep troughs: the money spent by the government and the money spent by big companies to secure decisions from government that help them make more money.
“Do you want to know why nothing ever really gets done?” she said, referring to politicians. “It’s because there’s nothing in it for them. They’ve got a lot of mouths to feed — a lot of corporate lobbyists and a lot of special interests that are counting on them to keep the good times and the money rolling along.”
Mr. Giridharadas went on to marvel at Ms. Palin’s conclusion that there is a difference between the economic practices of Corporate America and Wall Street – who shield their exploitation of government access by declaring it capitalism, and other segment of our business community in America – typified by small to mid size businesses trying to navigate the road blocks and hazards the former throw in their path, when she says:
“It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest — to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners — the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70 percent of the jobs in America.”
Giridharadas concludes by observing, “Ms. Palin may be hinting at a new political alignment that would pit a vigorous localism against a kind of national-global institutionalism. On one side would be those Americans who believe in the power of vast, well-developed institutions like Goldman Sachs, the Teamsters Union, General Electric, Google and the U.S. Department of Education to make the world better. On the other side would be people who believe that power, whether public or private, becomes corrupt and unresponsive the more remote and more anonymous it becomes; they would press to live in self-contained, self-governing enclaves that bear the burden of their own prosperity.”
Sarah Palin is evidently causing some cognitive dissonance among the Center Left with respect to her outlook on how the power centers of Government and Business are not serving the interest of the American people and how the Political Class is exploiting us for their own ends by uniting Big Government and Big Business. Reading her quotes in this article, makes me feel that I have a kindred spirit out there – one person who is articulating the sense I have about precisely what is wrong and has gone wrong in this country. Some others in this run up to 2016, are Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, in slightly different ways and measures.
This is where I would have an argument about what defines one as a Conservative. Are Sarah Palin and I not ‘Conservatives’ because we oppose the interests of Corporate America and Wall Street as it relates to manipulating government to serve their own agenda and interests? Concepts of the ‘Free Market’ are mostly theoretical at the present juncture. Little of it is left in existence at this point and what there is, is endangered. ‘Crony Capitalists’ as Sarah calls them, cannot justify their manipulative actions under the protective umbrella of the ‘Free Market’.
What does the Corporate realm of ‘Capitalism’ promote in the day in which we live? Political Correctness and social engineering? YES. Competition in the Market? NO. Excessive Government Regulation and interference? YES. Why? To limit competition. This goes back to Warren Buffett. Why does Warren Buffett want ‘rich’ people to pay more taxes? Simple – to prevent more people from being able to join his ‘club’.
These people don’t want a ‘rising tide to lift all boats’. They’d just as soon attach limpet mines to most of the boats trailing behind them and see them go under. Many of those ‘boats’ are a threat to their position as rulers of the ‘establishment’. Obamacare is a chalkboard example of this lesson. If you think the prime objective was anything other than establishing a monopoly of only the largest players in healthcare to carve up between themselves 16 percent of our economy – may I interest you in some beach property in Quartzite, Arizona?
What about George Soros? Is he an example of the nobility of exploitive capitalism? If I am pro-Capitalism, must I then be pro-George Soros? If I strongly oppose at least half or more of the political agenda of the United States Chamber of Commerce (pushing amnesty and wage degradation), are my instincts false with respect to Conservative values?
If distrusting certain manifestations of ‘capitalism’ makes me and Ms. Palin less ‘conservative’ – I figure I’m in good company and I reckon I can live with it.