The political and media elites on both left and right are rising up in anger at former Governor Sarah Palin. Stories abound, all negative, about this American citizen whose message resonates with ordinary citizens yet doesn't conform to the current political and media template.
By all rights, Palin should be kowtowing to the media. Doesn't she know that? Instead, this upstart dares to ignore the unwritten rules governing political behavior. Palin is playing by her own rules and that just isn't done.
In the elite world of the old media, any contender for public office must give due deference to the unwritten and ever-changing rules of political correctness. The sacred cows of diversity, multiculturalism and social justice cannot be ignored. And the media is the only one allowed to define the issues (thereby winning the debate by default).
But Sarah Palin has her own agenda. And whatever her agenda is, it most certainly doesn't fit into the template the media and political elites have insisted upon. This is not only unacceptable, it is downright dangerous.
When Palin resigned as Governor of Hawaii, the media immediately defined her decision as a failure to fulfill the obligations of her office. That was only explanation the media allowed the American public to consider. Palin, seeing the writing on the wall after months of negative and scurrilous attacks by the media, rightly deduced that her remaining time in office would be spent countering frivolous legal and media attacks instead of governing. So she quit.
Palin understood that while in public office, one is constrained by politics and media. One must play by certain unwritten rules, rules that would have deliberately silenced or distorted her message. She rightly deduced that she was in a lose-lose situation. She exited the political arena. She refused to play the game, knowing the deck was stacked against her. I call her decision courageous and I applaud her.
Conservative columnist and author Ben Shapiro sums it up best:
"Television made Barack Obama. Television, it has supported bigger and bigger government, from Welfare to health care; pushed abortion-on-demand and the radical gay agenda into the mainstream; it stumped against war and for meaningless buzzwords like diversity and dangerous buzzwords like multiculturalism. Television has done more to change the politics of our nation than simple politics has."
Sarah Palin realizes this. The media is not on her side. And she rightly refuses to give them the ability to define her. She is more than capable of defining herself, through her own words and actions. She has the courage of her convictions and, thanks to social media, the ability to convey them, unfiltered by a hostile press. No wonder the press hates her.
The media, like myself, has no idea what Sarah Palin's agenda is. Lacking concrete facts, the media automatically assumes her motives include gaining political power. They have completely overlooked the fact that Palin already has more than enough influence and political power to participate in (and possibly prevail) in our national debate. That this influence is not subject to constraints from either politician or the media is unprecedented. And dangerous.
I believe Palin realizes that real change is almost impossible within the existing political system. It could be argued that right now, Sarah Palin has more ability to influence political outcomes than does the president of the United States. So why should she play by rules that have been set up by those already in power, rules that are designed to keep them in power? Rules that place her at a great dis-advantage.
Palin is like millions of Americans. Americans who are tired of the futile attempts to change the system from within. I believe Palin's goal is the goal of millions – to bring about positive change. And she has found that one does not have to be an elected official in order to do this. She directly threatens the status quo and the good old boy system. If she continues to prevail, she will prove it is possible to be effective working outside the system. And this can not be allowed.
Palin has rightly decided not to kowtow to the media and political elites. Her tactics and message resonate with a large segment of America. The segment that still believes in the greatness of America and the ability of individuals to accomplish the impossible.
Palin proves it is possible to change the system from without. She proves it is possible for one un-elected American to effect real change. Just think what would happen if others decided to follow her example. No wonder the elites hate her. June 2, 2011
Nancy Morgan is a columnist and news editor for conservative news site RightBias.com
She lives in South Carolina.