Since Sarah Palin became John McCain’s running mate, she has electrified and energized us in a way not seen in almost 30 years, while eliciting fear and loathing in liberals. Since August 29, 2008 when she officially became candidate for Vice President, Sarah Palin’s kindred spirits nationwide have been smitten with her, and our nationwide crush has spawned a cottage industry of Palin products. For a job once regarded by John Nance Garner as being “worth nothing more than a bucket of warm spit,” (reporters changed the spelling of the original last word!) Sarah Palin’s popularity has in many ways eclipsed the man who is running at the top of the ticket. For over two weeks now – to parody the lines of the infamous Greg Craig (the lawyer who orchestrated the Elian Gonzalez raid), “I’m cranked up on Palin, Dunkin, and adrenaline.” Despite my own personal issues (we all have them, I guess), I have been giddy, jittery, and hyper-active. I have spoken with others who are equally energized.
“Palin Power” is not just some slogan on a tee-shirt. It is a real, palpable force. I have seen postings on a fishing message board where I lurk from guys who want to put her name on engines, motors, turbines, and generators. The reasons she has so captivated us are numerous. There are many components to this thing known as “Palin Power,” and its antipodal, “Palin Derangement Syndrome,” so without further adieu, let’s get into what exactly constitutes, “Palin Power.”
Those of you who either have MBAs or are MBA students will immediately recognize Sarah Palin as a classic transformational leader to the core. From my University of Phoenix research paper Leading Change:
Both transactional and transformational leadership methods were “developed by James McGregor Burns and expanded by both B. M. Bass and B. J. Avolio” (weLEAD, 2006, Â¶60). Chang, 2006 coined the acronym, “VITAL” to describe the elements of effective transformational leadership: establishing a clear vision of organizational direction; inspiring; building effective teams; achieving the desired result; and leveraging resources to “keep the cost of doing business at an optimal level” (Chang, 2006, p. 17).
Sarah Palin’s methods as Governor of Alaska, Mayor of Wasilla, in her fishing business and anything else she has done fits the VITAL acronym perfectly. Even her most vicious enemies recognize this: Sarah Palin inspires, leads by example, and gets results. While some have negatively viewed her house cleaning when she became Mayor of Wasilla, anyone who understands transformational leadership knows that Sarah Palin did the right thing. She could not possibly be effective in office with a cadre of people who dedicated themselves to the purpose of undermining her. Leaving them there would have defeated the whole purpose of her existence in that office.
Authenticity — Standing up and Doing the Right Thing
She is authentic: to her constituents and kin of spirit, the usual formalities have long been dropped. She is Sarah. Her word is her honor.
She stands up and does the right thing regardless of personal cost. While some view “Troopergate” as a scandal, Sarah Palin never fired her ex-brother-in-law Alaska state trooper Michael Wooten. Among 13 separate instances of policy violations and illegal activity (Demer, 2008 Â¶16), Wooten used a taser on his 10-year-old stepson, drank beer in his patrol car, illegally shot a moose, and threatened to shoot his father-in-law (Demer, 2008 Â¶17-19). Quite frankly, she would have been perfectly justified in firing Wooten.
The matter of the State Police Chief related to not meeting goals established by Sarah Palin. She offered him the opportunity to transfer (and not lose his income), and he chose to leave.
She taxed the oil companies and gave every Alaskan resident an annual $1,200 rebate check. Once learning about the “bridge to nowhere,” she refused it. It is Sarah Palin who wants to open a tiny bit of ANWR up to oil exploration. She supports the war in Iraq and her son, Track deployed there on September 11, 2008. She auctioned off the state jet, and leading by example, drives herself to work and flies Alaska Airlines. She journeyed back to Alaska from a governors’ conference in Texas to give birth to Trig. Sarah Palin doesn’t just talk the talk; she walks the walk and in every aspect of her life. When her daughter Bristol was pregnant whilst unmarried, she came clean and owned it. When Sarah Palin’s enemies tried to make an issue out of it, they grossly miscalculated. They figured on evangelicals writing a scarlet letter on the Palin clan. Instead, her support grew all the stronger.
Her family life inspires, because she didn’t take the easy path and neither did her daughter. Sarah and Bristol Palin stood up and did the right thing. That’s Palin Power.
The Resurrection of Ronald Reagan…in a Woman’s Body
For years, “Republicans In Name Only” (RINOS) ran amok and the Republican Party became virtually indistinguishable from the Democratic Party. The conservative base yearned for a leader and fruitlessly searched for the next Ronald Reagan.
Ronald Reagan’s son – who once said to abandon all hope of anyone like his father ever appearing again in this lifetime – ate his words and did so publicly.
I’ve been trying to convince my fellow conservatives that they have been wasting their time in a fruitless quest for a new Ronald Reagan to emerge and lead our party and our nation. I insisted that we’d never see his like again because he was one of a kind.
I was wrong!
Wednesday night I watched the Republican National Convention on television and there, before my very eyes, I saw my Dad reborn; only this time he’s a she.
And what a she!
In one blockbuster of a speech, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin resurrected my Dad’s indomitable spirit and sent it soaring above the convention center, shooting shock waves through the cynical media’s assigned spaces and electrifying the huge audience with the kind of inspiring rhetoric we haven’t heard since my Dad left the scene (Reagan, 2008, Â¶1-5).
“Shooting shockwaves” and “electrifying” — that, my friends is pure, unadulterated Palin Power! I’m surprised the Twin Cities didn’t send her a bill for all the glass she broke when she hit Mach 1, then Mach 2 at the convention .
I had been feeling that for days before he wrote it. But once he wrote his article, her theft of my heart was completed.
A Real Woman…A Real Feminist…
Sarah Palin is unmistakably a beautiful woman and is not afraid to show it. By now you’ve probably seen her in that tee shirt that says “I’m flat broke, but I’m not flat busted.” Yet, she fishes, hunts, and shoots – activities that we normally associate with men. Does her contrasting beauty qualify her to be VP? Of course not. But it undeniably is part of the reason why she has captured our hearts and is a major component of Palin Power.
Heretofore, most women in politics were co-equals with men, largely by virtue of being de-sexualized via age and looks. Feminism was long defined as eradicating the differences between men and women, thus we were treated to over 18 years of Hillary Clinton’s gender-neutral pant-suits. The idea was to create equality through asexuality, and where possible eradicating all vestiges of the maternal instinct.
Sarah Palin smashes that asexual stereotype. Sarah Palin’s physical beauty beguiles her supporters, while generating loathing in her “feminist” enemies (Young, 2008, p. A21). This is a complicated double-edged sword. Naturally, her enemies will use her own beauty to make Sarah Palin an object of derision. By debasing her to the level of an object to be lusted after, Sarah Palin’s enemies disqualify the real strengths she has to do the Vice President’s job and be ready to assume the President’s job in a heartbeat. The numerous Photo-shop jobs of Sarah Palin’s head put on the bodies of women clad in bikinis, cocktail waitress outfits, or nothing at all are purposeful attempts to debase, demean, and ridicule her.
But Sarah Palins supporters, can unwittingly do the same thing with some of the hyper-sexualized terminology sometimes used – inappropriately – as terms of endearment for her. We need to remember that Sarah Palin’s physical beauty is not a qualification for the job of Vice President, but rather it is her executive experience, her leading by example, her authenticity, her reform-minded politics, and her conservatism that qualify her for the job. A true supporter recognizes Sarah Palin’s beauty is a significant component of “Palin Power,” but enjoys it with the respect that is due to her as a woman, a married woman, a Governor, and as a Vice Presidential candidate.
A Living, Breathing, Human Guardian Angel…a Woman who can Do, and who puts Country First…
In 2007, Sarah Palin took a trip overseas to visit our troops in hospitals, training facilities, and barracks. One stop in Kuwait was immortalized almost as soon as her candidacy was announced. There, Sarah Palin went to a rifle training facility and fired the M-4 Carbine. Her M-4, as well as those of all the soldiers there, were actually part of a Meggitt Training Systems (formerly Firearms Training Systems) simulator (Meggitt, 2008, p. 2). The sim does not in any way devalue her experience there. It is highly accurate in almost every respect – to include felt recoil – except the ejection of brass. She handled the M-4 like it was part of her body. Being a moose-hunter, she is perfectly capable of handling the far more powerful .308, .30-06, and probably the .300 magnum, .338 magnum and .375 magnum calibers. These rifles have heavy recoil, complete with considerable muzzle climb (since the force goes back and up with these traditional designs) and a nice right-ward torque for good measure. For Sarah Palin, the M-4 is a child’s toy.
For her supporters, the photos and videos of this event show a woman who is dedicated to preserving our Second Amendment rights, who is eager to learn what our troops (of which her son is one) do and to partake in some of their activities (leading by example once again). I would have absolutely no problem with her answering that phone at 3 AM. For her supporters, that immortalized photo of her shouldering the M-4 symbolize a living, breathing, guardian angel standing watch to protect the country she holds dear to her heart. Of course, Sarah Palin’s enemies – the gun-grabbers, vegans, and “animal rights” activists — loathe that picture.
Does her shooting qualify Sarah Palin to hold the second highest office in the land? Prima Facie….no. Indirectly, absolutely! Patience, discipline, holding steady, leaning into to it, never flinching – those are traits when translated to her work are perfectly suitable not only for the second highest office in the land, but the highest one.
For the firearms fans out there, I will write separately to analyze Sarah Palin’s shooting session in Kuwait.
Moving on….Sarah Palin plied her trade as a commercial fisher – the second most dangerous job, with further aggravated risks by virtue doing this job in Alaska (Khan, 2008, Table 1). Each of her moose-hunting trips could have lead to her untimely demise (Smith, 2008). According to a CNN Special, “Sarah Palin Revealed,” she played basketball with a fractured ankle and led her team to victory. It is no wonder that her career is rising faster than an F-16 in full afterburner in a vertical climb loaded with nothing more than a pilot and fuel. That is Palin Power going full-throttle.
Sarah Palin can and should hold her head high in the face of the criticism she has received from three different female “celebrities” over the past few days. The three of them: Lindsey Lohan, Pamela Anderson, Cintra Wilson are women whose lives – how do I put this kindly? – are far less than wholesome, and certainly not examples that even many liberals would want their daughters to follow (I find it hilarious that trollops and porn stars see fit to criticize Sarah Palin). Quite frankly, none of the three have contributed anything worthwhile to this country and none of them: Anderson, Lohan, and Wilson — are even fit to breathe the same air Sarah Palin breathes.
Hillary Clinton was once an object of derision among us conservatives – now she is almost a sister in arms! After all Sean Hannity had the “stop Hillary express.” Rush Limbaugh used her for Operation Chaos. When I had a Jeep, I almost crashed it into a pillar at Lincoln Center trying to lunge for the radio dial when her voice came on. But Obama managed to alienate 18 million of her voters. It was Obama – a fellow liberal Democrat, not conservatives who destroyed Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. One night, I sat with my wife and blurted out that I actually wished Hillary Clinton would have won that primary… I’d rather lose to her than to Obama? What happened? Did I actually say that? Yes…I did. Because Obama makes left-wing Hillary look like a right-winger. Obama thinks Hillary is going to be his attack dog against Sarah Palin. But Hillary Clinton will not do it. She has unwittingly become Sarah Palin’s wing-woman. Even Biden admitted Hillary would have been a better choice for Obama’s VP, but it’s too late now, unless Biden leaves on his own. For Obama to change VP candidates now would be dishonorable, and it would show him as flinching under Sarah Palin’s power. Further, Obama doesn’t trust Hillary and his wife detests her.
This places Obama almost in a checkmate position. I hope John McCain looks at Sarah Palin with approving eyes and allows her to finish the job on the Obama campaign.
Transformational leadership, the Resurrection of Ronald Reagan, a Real Woman, Strong but Loving…these are all the components that constitute what is known as “Palin Power.”
Coming next, is what I believe Sarah Palin needs to do to make this power an unstoppable force.
Chang, R. Y. (2006). Being an effective transformational leader. Chief Learning Officer, 5(8), 17. Retrieved February 24, 2007 from EBSCOhost database.
Demer, L. (2008, July 27). Is Wooten a good trooper? Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved September 13, 2008 from: http://www.adn.com/politics/story/476430.html
Khan, K. (2003, October 14). The 10 most dangerous jobs in America. MSN Money. Retrieved September 15, 2008 from: http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/invest/extra/P63405.asp
Leadership terms and philosophies. (2006). WeLEAD Corporation, Â¶60-61. Retrieved February 24, 2007 from: http://www.leadingtoday.org/Leadership_Philosophies.htmlT.
Reagan, M. (2008, September 4). “Welcome back dad.” Human Events, Â¶1-5, 17. Retrieved September 4, 2008 from: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=28389&s=rcmp
Small arms trainer. (2008). Meggitt Training Systems, p. 2. Retrieved September 15, 2008 from: http://www.fatsinc.com/docs/MTS_Small_Arms_Trainer.pdf
Smith, E. (2008, September 15). “I taught Sarah to shoot and butcher a moose…Washington won’t scare her.” The Sun. Retrieved September 15, 2008 from: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/the_real_american_idol/article1687959.ece
Young, C. (2008, September 15). “Why feminists hate Sarah Palin.” Wall Street Journal, p. A21. Retrieved September 15 from: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122143727571134335.html?mod=googlenews_wsj