Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin's rambling unfocused resignation speech and decision to resign are truly disappointing. I was excited by her emergence on the national stage last year and by how she energized grass roots conservatives. She should have at least finished her gubernatorial term to augment her public policy accomplishments and not whined about being a "lame duck." In a Nov. 25, 2008 posting to this blog, I urged her to take advantage of the intellectual expertise available from a wide swath of conservative political and intellectual figures to augment her substantive understanding of political and public policy issues facing this country. I hope she follows through on the opportunity to consult with the high caliber intellectual capital conservatives have at their disposal in our academic institutions, public policy research institutions, companies, Congress, and Governors such as Indiana's Mitch Daniels and Louisiana's Bobby Jindal.
Palin, to her credit, did seek to go out and promote a conservative vision at many political events across the country, but it may have occurred at the expense of her conscientiously seeking to fill her considerable gubernatorial responsibilities. Unfortunately, Palin never seemed to progress beyond familiar sound bites to offer credible public policies that would appeal to individuals beyond the conservative base. She also, sadly, decided to play the role of victim whenever she or her family was confronted by adverse press coverage or criticism from popular culture comedians. David Letterman's comments about Palin's daughter and New York Yankeee baseball player Alex Rodriguez were beyond the pale, but Palin shouldn't have wasted her energy worrying about ephemeral late night comedian wisecracks.
I also suspect being the mother of several children and worrying about them took a physical and emotional toll on Palin as well. Having her family in the news in unhelpful ways, as evidenced by daughter Bristol's teenage pregnancy, was not helpful to her political aspirations and message and demonstrates that the more children you have the greater potential there is for disruption to personal and GOP political objectives. This may be unpopular with some segments of conservative Christendom but that is the case. Palin's charismatic Christianity with its acute emphasis on emotional displays of faith also alienated individuals who are not from the conservative base, allowed secularists to continue their practice of ridiculing Christians as intellectual lightweights, and reinforced the beliefs and rhetoric of leftist feminazis that only secularist pro-abortion women are entitled to participate in national political debate and the governmental process. For articulate conservative women to play prominent roles in national political debate and governmental policymaking, conservative Christianity must abandon the heretical belief that women are only suited to be wives and mothers and recognize that they have innate God-given talents and intelligence that demands they participate in the political process to offer constructive and substantive alternatives to the liberal and secularist ethos of unrestricted abortion, gay marriage, the diversity cult, and pernicious vision of women as pathetic victims of an alleged misogynist patriarchal hegemony!
I hope Palin does some serious soul-searching in the months to come and decides to play an intellectually constructive role in the GOP's efforts to oppose the Obama Administration's dangerously misguided social, domestic economic, and national security policies. To do so, Palin must abandon the victim mentality and prove herself to be an intellectually coherent and emotionally stable and resilient figure who communicates a clear and credible message of conservative opportunity that can appeal to open-minded nonconservatives and who doesn't give a rip if her message is attacked by secularist apparatchiks and other liberal opponents. She should "man up" and emulate the examples of successful conservative women leaders as varied as Margaret Thatcher and Jeanne Kirkpatrick and quit whining when there is incoming flak from liberal artillery.