Sarah Goes South

Having just watched bits of the Sarah Palin speech at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, it’s worth confirming what was already known:  She has charisma.

Palin opened her speech with a “thank you” to the service industry employees of New Orleans who have been helping the conference to run smoothly, taking note of the hardships endured by the city after Hurricane Katrina.  She followed up with a “Who Dat!” rallying cry; a phrase that became popular in the city during the New Orleans Saints’ recent run to the Superbowl.

She has a knack for humanizing herself, winning over her audience with charm and down-to-earth fellowship.  While this sort of posturing is often routine in the political realm, Sarah’s seems genuine.  This certainly adds to her appeal and sets her apart as a political figure.

On the surface, Palin has the makings of a great potential candidate.  Unfortunately, substance is what dictates policy and the civic future of our country.

While espousing the ever popular right-leaning talking points of limited government and the horrid intrusion of federal power, Sarah displayed a haphazard misunderstanding of the substance which she purports to champion.

Short of a comprehensive dissection of Palin’s speech at the SRLC, there were two glaring holes in the schema of her “political principle.”

First, she emphasized “our” friendship with Israel.  Anyone who truly understands the role of government as derived from the philosophical principles inherent to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution knows that it is not the role of public policy-makers to impose any sort of interventionist foreign entanglement upon the constituents.  

If she had been endorsing the voluntary interaction of sovereign individuals and institutions with Israel, then that would have been acceptable as a personal prerogative and cultural advocacy issue.  However, her intention seemed undoubtedly to fortify the role of the U.S. government in Israeli affairs, which would be promoting a distinctively inflated and inappropriate use of federal power. 

Next, Palin proudly proclaimed that the GOP was finally coming back to it’s roots, reclaiming it’s identity as the party of Reagan and… Lincoln.

Sarah’s Tea Party Express Tour should consider making a pit-stop at a Barnes & Noble, where she can pick up a copy of Thomas DiLorenzo’s book, “The Real Lincoln.”  After she reads about how Lincoln’s presidency was a far cry from the storybook fantasy account taught in elementary schools and propagated on the west-end of the National Mall, it would be interesting to see if she changed her tune.  As the book outlines, Lincoln was a big-government tyrant.  He completely undermined the Constitution and induced the bloodiest war in American history in an attempt to secure federal funding through the imposition of tariffs on the reluctant southern states.  Slavery was a tangential issue in the war, having more to do with crippling the economic corpus of the South than moral integrity and respect for human rights.  It’s worth noting that slavery was ended peacefully in many other parts of the world via financial rationality and the technological onset of the industrial revolution.

Sarah is an emotionally positive force, and while liberty-minded candidates would do well to take a few pages out of her playbook, here’s hoping that she takes more than a few notes from Dr. Ron Paul as he addresses the crowd in New Orleans on Saturday afternoon.

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