Michael Steele’s Introduction
We started with a beautiful and supportive introduction by Michael Steele. “On that Saturday (author’s note: it was actually Friday), when she was announced as the vice presidential nominee for the Republican Party, I was one proud Republican. I was one very happy Republican. I watched this party light up. I watched activists, Democrat, Republican, Independent tune in, and pay attention, and listen. And I watched her take the world stage by storm. She has just begun to write the chapters for this country, its history book and its future.”
This was one of the Governor’s most beautiful speeches. She enunciated her pro-life position from the perspective of a person who had to live through and make the hard decisions. She also briefly discussed energy independence and her concerns about the stimulus bill. In these seven segments, we see a portrait of Governor Palin’s conservatism, and a portrait of her as a human being. She took us on a personal journey through her decision-making process, including the very fleeting temptation to stray from her core values — after all no one would know the difference. But, she would know. No one on either side of the abortion issue can argue that she made her choice and made it consistent with her beliefs.
Not mentioned by the Governor, but worthy of mention — many of the people who call themselves “pro-choice” are “pro-choice” if that choice is to have an abortion. Choose life and suddenly, you’re “anti-choice.” Many of those who call themselves “pro-choice” are in fact pro-abortion. Governor Palin had the legal right to have an abortion. She could have aborted Trig with no one being the wiser. She made a conscious decision to keep her baby. She made her choice. That’s true “pro-choice.” And it’s pro-life.
Many of Governor Palin’s detractors take issue with the cult-like following she has amassed. Supporters like me are called “Palin-bots” (I’m proud to be one). One of her detractors with whom this author had a discussion in one venue where this blog is posted rightfully said that conservative principles are about issues, not about personality. But it is also true that much of politics is show business. Give the same conservative message to Governor Palin and to one of many dour individuals, and people are going to follow one of the two. It will not be the dour individual. Michael Steele echoed what so many of her supporters felt the day of her announcement. Someone has to take that message, communicate it, and convince people to vote for that platform — and convince people that they’re the ones best suited to make that platform happen.
Most conservatives know how to get to that shining city on a hill, but in our federated republic, we entrust a leader to take us there. The Republican Party had lost its way — gotten detoured on its journey to that shining city — and many of us have yearned and longed for a leader we could rally behind. Those of us who love and support Governor Palin see her as the female version of someone who once led us there. Whether she ultimately will, of course remains to be seen. There are still 1,373 days till January 20, 2013. Anything can happen between now and then. There are more battles to be fought and more tests to be passed.