Grit, Tenacity and Fortitude

Editor’s note: We at HUMAN EVENTS are pleased to bring you this week a series of profiles from the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute.  These are profiles of influential and prominent conservative women who have made a tremendous impact for the better on this great country.

I repeatedly get asked: “Why would you make a movie about Sarah Palin–what could we possibly not already know about her?”

The answer is quite simply, “everything that’s important.”

Sarah Palin is what I describe as a “McLuhanesque” figure—one of the most media-saturated people in the world, relentlessly covered by the 24/7 news cycle, yet her real story is there hiding in plain sight, never having been told.

And what story exactly is that? The rise of a woman from complete obscurity to national prominence through her own force of will and sense of justice.

When The Undefeated starts in the late 80s, Sarah Palin is working on a small commercial fishing vessel she co-owns with her husband Todd, who is a blue-collar union member, working on the North Slope. The daughter of a school teacher, she is not part of the social, political, or cultural elite in the remote Mat-Su Valley, 40 miles northeast of Anchorage. In fact, Alaska at that time, was still a wilderness with the rough-hewen culture of a frontier state.

She is essentially out of the loop in a state that is out of the loop.

Sarah Palin is the little guy in “Walmart Nation:” just as obscure, just as powerless, just as insignificant. And that is precisely why she is a role model for young men and women. She didn’t have a rich daddy, she didn’t marry a wealthy or connected husband, she doesn’t have an Ivy League union card. What she did have was the grit, tenacity and fortitude to accomplish great things against almost insurmountable odds.
It is those attributes that are the underpinnings of the American frontier and our success as a country: the “can do” spirit, and a doggedness that just won’t quit. That’s The Undefeated.

I came to appreciate what Gov. Palin stood for as I made the Tea Party Trilogy: ‘Generation Zero’, ‘Fire From the Heartland’, and ‘Battle for America’; a series of three films about the financial collapse of our country and the rise of the Tea Party.

I had never met Gov. Palin, but had filmed her innumerable times at big rallies and Tea Party events—from the dustbowl of Searchlight, Nevada, to the Nashville Tea Party convention, and everything in between.

From a distance, I saw not merely a charismatic leader, but someone who had a very plainspoken way of connecting with the working men and women of our country. Sarah Palin didn’t simply electrify crowds, she moved them.

And that is unique. Particularly in today’s cynical, media-trained, camera-ready politician.

It was during that time that I heard also from those in power on Wall Street, inside the Beltway, and in Hollywood, about how far over her head she was in trying to be a national leader, that she was essentially an airhead, bimbo, and someone strutting far beyond her capabilities. In short the epitome of modern American culture’s “Jersey Shore” politicians.

The establishment’s verdict was in: The meme about Sarah Palin is set in stone: a combination of a divisive airhead coupled with a “Christianist” harpy. Caribou Barbie meets Bible Spice.

After watching the way she spoke to these crowds and the way the crowds responded, it dawned on me why they derided and mocked her: They feared who she was, what she represented, and what she said. Sarah Palin was an existential threat to their system.

And that is the simple reason that my team and I made the film The Undefeated.

We now know that even people who have spent years following her and think they know her, are astonished by what they missed. To wit: She is the most anti-establishment figure in modern political history, from her time on the Wasilla city council through her “crony capitalism” speech against the “permanent political class” at the Iowa Classic Balloon Field on Labor Day weekend 2011, this is someone who has stood by the side of the working men and women of this country, at every level, for the last 20 years.

And that is why she is a leader who deserves our attention. Because she is not a stamped-out assembly line political drone, rather, she is a force of nature.

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  • Izzyf3

    Right on… right on!!!

    PALIN POWER… goes on.

  • http://twitter.com/sohali2012 Sohali

    Palin will remain Undefeated despite all the arrows aiming at her.
    She is not a Media creation, so they cannot take her down.

  • idesign2


  • Magdalene51

    I was in Indianola, IA, for Governor Palin’s speech, and like the rest of the rain-drenched crowd, was on my feet cheering most of her speech. What were we cheering? Run, Sarah, run! Her ideas have lit a fire under young and old and in-between. And she has walked the walk. Far from being a campaign ad, the movie The Undefeated lays out the way she broke the back of crony capitalism in Alaska, how she governed the state, fulfilling all her campaign promises in the 2-1/2 years in office, how she resigned the office so that she would not be ruined, leaving the state in the capable hands of her lieutenant, and how she has been reviled by the left-wing syncophants who have called her every vile epithet in their vocabulary. The release of 12,000 of her gubernatorial emails showed her to be a capable, witty, concerned, and determined executive in managing the state, winning for the citizens an annual stipend just for living there. When she was selected to run for vice president, her approval rating was 88%.
    Whats not to like?

  • aaron66krohn

    Steve, you of all people should be the one pushing Sarah to change her mind and run in 2012!!
    Watch your own movie, man!!
    You show us a woman who ran for or accepted EIGHT titles……yet she keeps saying “You don’t need a title to make a difference!!”
    But could “private citizen Sarah” have gotten AGIA, ACES, and ethics reform passed??
    Could she have gotten Randy Ruedrich exposed, kicked off AOGCC, and fined $12,000 without the TITLE she held at AOGCC?
    Could she have made Wasilla the 4th largest city in Alaska without having been Mayor??

    And how can she possibly endorse this crowd of “whatchamacallits” the GOP is trying to pass on to us??
    She’d be a flaming hypocrite if she endorses any one of them!!

    Why did she opt out?
    So she could “restore America” by making speeches and writing op-eds??

    Let me remind you:
    Only the POTUS can sign Executive Orders, sign treaties, influence the G-20 leaders face to face, use the POTUS bully pulpit to repeal Obamacare, create a strong border and immigration policy and put it to work, be a Commander-in-Chief our military would be proud to serve, be able to VETO 100′s of billions from the Federal Budget (and prioritize that budget), finally start drilling in THIS country, and open up her beloved ANWR, and be an inspiration to millions of women and girls throughout this nation and around the world as the first female U’S. President!!!

    So come on, Mr Bannon!!

    You produced a fantastic movie!!  (I’ve watched it 13 times already since October 4th!!!!!)
    But watch it again!!
    Grab a beer and some popcorn and watch The Undefeated!!

    Then go knock on Sarah’s door!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sue-Lynn/1831312967 Sue Lynn

    Sarah sad she was not seeking the GOP nomination…but it is WE THE PEOPLE are seeking her for the GOP nomination for President!!!!

  • bizwhiz


    I think you’ll get nothing but excuses if you get anything at all. This pitiful wish-of-a-docu-drama was so devoid of facts contrary to the Palin legend that she created for herself, but only objective, critical thinking folks would care to notice. Palin is a non-player, a blow-hard that no one who is a serious candidate will consider letting on the stage with them.

  • hmstrtch

    That IS the point – MY point. You don’t have to like it. Nor do you get to dictate the parameters, “Comerade Alexyovich”.

  • hmstrtch

    Oh, those wonderfull polls –  The indispensable escape hatch for all zombies. Without them, how would you know WHAT to believe about ANYTHING?

  • AgTrotter

    “Wow…… such an original phrasing”

    Too funny! What a typical leftist turd response: use their own words, and they crap themselves.

    “he has a brain and uses it before speaking”

    Really, Alexis? Does the brain kick in AFTER he’s done with the teleprompter? Or, is it after the 50th “ahh” and “umm”?

    Come on, Alexis, we really want to know. /s

  • AgTrotter

    “Obama: constitutional lawyer.”

    Umm, that’s actually a lie (but, you knew that). The Man-Child was an Associate Professor (read: grad student) and nothing more. If you will check his record, he never actually practiced law, let alone Constitutional law.

    Oh wait, you must be one of those idiots that considers that cottage industry of “modern civil rights” as actually practicing law.

    Come on, Alexis, you’re getting pelosi-slapped tonight.

  • http://alexandermilne.co.uk/ Alexander Milne

    Emerson -

    Replying to your longer reply (19 hours ago) regarding the Austrian School, Romney etc……. I think I can agree with you that economics became too quantitative at some stage but to blame Keynes is somewhat unfair.  Didn’t he also talk about qualitative factors (“animal spirits”)? Surely monetarism, Friedman-style, was the quants’ dream, driven by short-term obsession over the money supply figures?  Certainly the UK experience in 1980-85 was unhappy as Maggie T’s advisors concentrated on various measures of money supply while arguing, futilely, that growth, employment etc were of secondary importance and that deindustrialisation was “inevitable”.  Strict monetarism was quietly ditched in 1985 (millions of permanently-lost jobs later) and policy indicators once again focussed on business expectations and other (qualitative, Keynesian) measures.

    I see what you say about Alaska but…… really……. the idea that Palin is some kind of expert on Austrian School economics is simply implausible.  Maybe she has a basic grasp of the main (and hardly difficult) concepts such as “sound money” etc.  But Alaska’s Aaa rating is driven by the presence of oil reserves; for that reason it was upgraded to Aaa in December 2010, long after Palin had cashed in her chips as Governor and headed south.  Furthermore, at that date, another 14 US states also had AAA ratings, according to Moody’s.  


    The Alaskan state receives 90% of its revenues from oil; the USA, to which Mrs Palin ludicrously felt able to lead, does not.  An entirely different skillset is required to be a national leader.

    As for Romney’s managerialism: well, you might be right about that, but on the other hand, judged by the usual conservative criterion – profit – he seems to have made an awful lot of good judgement calls and ended up a serious billionaire.  BTW Are you sure that strategy management is a defunct concept from the 1970s?  It seems to me that businesses are taking it more seriously than ever; some have even appointed CSOs (Chief Strategy Officers).

    Anyway, thank you for your careful, well-reasoned and insult-free reply.  What a change from the usual responses I get on Human Events!

  • http://alexandermilne.co.uk/ Alexander Milne

    Also, good answer re: Romney’s acceptability (or otherwise) in the eyes of mainstream Christian conservatives.  Interesting; thanks!

  • http://alexandermilne.co.uk/ Alexander Milne

    Yes, good point – because I share a name with a children’s author, I am one of his characters.

    Excellent logic!  In the playground.  

    I guess this is the sort of reasoned response I can expect when challenging the irrational cult of Palin……

  • http://alexandermilne.co.uk/ Alexander Milne

    Whatever.  Stick to the point – the thread is about Palin’s abilities or lack of them.  BTW It’s “Comrade” Alexyovich, if you don’t mind ;-) .    Not “comerade”.

  • http://alexandermilne.co.uk/ Alexander Milne

    What are the polls saying about Palin?  

  • http://alexandermilne.co.uk/ Alexander Milne

    Nope, AgTrotter.  Wrong again.  The phrasing copied by one of your fellow Palinistas – and the one I was mocking – was Mrs Palin’s: “How’s that hopey-changey thing workin’ out for yah?!”

    NOT “my own words”.

    I am surprised that you forgot those sacred words from the Gospel According to Sarah ;-)

  • http://alexandermilne.co.uk/ Alexander Milne

    Revisionist nonsense.  Obama is a trained lawyer and a well-educated man from a modest background.  He was a professor at the University of Chicago Law School. 

    Get over it!

    As for me getting “Pelosi-slapped” (whatever that means), why am I so curiously unmoved?!  The only conservative on this thread who has framed any kind of decent, well-argued response to my blasphemous disbelief in Mrs Palin’s abilities is Emerson_C.  The rest of the responses are 99% comprised of the screaming and screeching of her groupies.  Which doesn’t count as reasoned argument.

  • Emerson_C

    My point about the overuse of Keynesean solutions in the post War years up to the 1970s, is that it tended to protect the inefficient, who otherwise would have been forced to slim down or otherwise change. When you say that Mrs Thatcher’s policies destroyed million of jobs permanently, it is worth looking at what those jobs actually were. In reality large sections of British Industry were grossly overmanned, and the policies pursued covered up what was really a classic case ‘hidden unemployment’. Keynesean ‘stimulus’ might have kept this going for a while longer but Britain and its economy was headed for the toilet. She will probably always be hated for it, but Mrs Thatcher administered the pain and flushed all this out. I know a lot about this for two reasons. My Ph.D was in the causal path relationship between employment, labour productivity and profitability. But at that time I also did some strategy consulting with a British aerospace firm, while at the same time I was doing similar work with a company in Ireland in the more traditional low-tech sector of food production. The productivity of the British company was £12.500 per employee (value added per employee) while in the company in Ireland was £85,0000 VA per employee. The British company was grossly overmanned and that was the scene through the British engineering industry at the time–including the once prestigious car industry.

    I never claimed that Gov Palin was an ‘expert’ in any school of economics. I did say that she was knowledgeably and experienced enough to ask the right questions and be able to access and assess the right advise. You
    don’t suppose that Barrack Obama is an expert in economics do you? (or
    anything else for that matter) As for John McCain . . .? I think your
    attempt to deny her the credit for Alaska’s AAA rating is a bit
    disingenuous. Alaska had those oil and gas reserves *before* she became
    governor. It is not a State’s resources that give it a credit rating. It
    is how its Government manages the wealth produced by those resources
    prudently or squanders them. Before: Alaska had a low rating in spite of
    its oil reserves. Palin is elected and serves as Governor, produces
    surpluses. Alaska gets and AAA. Other prudently run states have it too.
    Bully for them; they have had good governors too.

    Obviously being Governor of a state like Alaska does not, of itself,
    necessarily qualify one to be president. But what does? Does being
    Governor of Texas? Or Arkansas? Or Massachusetts? The size does make a
    difference and then there is the fact of real executive experience. But
    why does a couple of years in the Senate qualify Barrack Obama to be
    president? Or Hillary Clinton? Or John McCain? In 2008, among the
    presidential and VP candidates , only Palin had any real executive
    experience, albeit in a small microcosm of a State. But in my experience
    of recruiting executives I have noticed one thing. People from big company
    backgrounds very often have narrow specialised experience, which frames
    their comfort zones. People from small company background are more well
    rounded and have a broader more generalist outlook. More importantly, they
    have been closer to the entire central issue of risk. Big company types
    have been more cocooned. We seem to apply a much higher standard when it
    comes to appraising Sarah Palin.

    I did not say that strategy is out-of-date. I said that a particular
    approach, ‘strategic planning’ was dead as a door nail. General Electric
    was the great practitioner up to 1980, making extensive use of statistical
    models. When Jack Welch took over he sacked the entire strategic planning
    department for two reasons. None of the ‘strategic plans’ ever actually
    happened. The strategic planning process produced no serious innovations
    in product or process. These generally came from maverick executives who
    defied the strategic planners. The gurus who wrote about strategic
    planning at the time gave way to thinkers like Henry Mintzberg and Gareth
    Morgan, who restored the primacy of creativity, innovation and imagination
    to the challenges of corporate leadership.

    You mentioned in one of you posts that you thought I was motivated by
    something like ‘passion’ in respect of Gov Sarah Palin. There may be some
    truth in that, but I rather think that observing the scrutiny directed at
    her in 2008 and since (particularly in contrast to the non-scrutiny of
    Obama) I experience a deep sense of an injustice done. i dislike

  • AtTheRubicon

    You still don’t get it. 

  • AgTrotter

    “NOT “my own words”.”

    But, you replied to me in regards to a post that had nothing to do with Palin’s quote. Get it straight, Alexis.

    BTW, you conveniently ignored my rebuttal of your claim that the Man-Child was never a practicing attorney. Claiming that he is a Constitutional lawyer because he allegedly taught a few classes is akin to claiming that an economics professor is a titan of industry.

  • dmac8889

    Certainly I can’t claim to have Stephen Bannon’s intelligence, or his Ivy League education, but we have come to the same conclusion about Sarah Palin.  If the IVY League politicians, who network and rarely feel the need to socialize outside their gifted and carefully constructed and exclusive club, had done the job Americans have elected them to do, a Sarah Palin would never have felt the need to jump into the crass world of politics. 

    The reason so many millions of Americans immediately identified Sarah Palin as a leader is because her Grit, Tenacity, & Fortitude were so evident.  This is a women with political talents so immense that the average Ivy League bred, Northeastern Networked politician can’t get even a wit of the attention that Sarah gets. Isn’t that what every politician clamors for?  In fact there are entertainers who are star struck at the magnitude, even Icon status, that Sarah Palin has achieved.  Matt Damon through thoughts of fear immediately recognized that Sarah Palin could be President, of course with unkind words to follow.

    However, what Stephen Bannon recognized and so bravely stood up to among his world from NY, La, & Washington, is that Sarah has used her talents to get the message out that of everyday Americans believe in.  That is the Common Sense Conservative, Constitution underpinning message which led to Ronald Reagan being one of the greatest Presidents this country ever had.  That message had been heard on Talk Radio before, but that message coming from a citizen without the ‘Right’ education, a mom, who happened to be a Governor, who actually put the message into her governance, she became as Bannon expressed it “an existential threat to their system.”

    Everything that the Permanent Political Class, Entertainment Industry, and the Financial World had built to having “certain requirements” to take part on the national stage, Sarah just evaporated them.  Sarah is the living embodiment of Mr. Smith goes to Washington.  Everyday her Facebook is the Filibuster Jimmy Stewart fought for the common man.   The Ruling Class, and all its self oratorical, self loftiness simply cannot accept that such a person can exist. Worse yet one that is so polar opposite of what is permitted to be part of the national discourse.

    What the Ruling Class as yet to acknowledge is that the charade is over.  Their Titanic has already hit the iceberg.  That fact that the steerage, the majority of the ship, is no longer looking to the Main Deck, or Dining Hall to find someone who can Captain the ship, has not yet dawned on them.  Many Americans believed Barach Obama was their answer, being that he was black he had to be an outsider.
    Today we know differently.  

    It is unfortunate that Sarah choose not to lead at this time.  She will continue to get the message out at this time instead of having to compromise the message.  Still it is clear Sarah has reached out to those that can help get the message out, and for this potent team she seems to be a step ahead of the Ruling Class journalists that Occupy the Wash. to NY Corridor.  Sarah and Americans need not worry themselves about what the Establishment thinks of them.  We are no longer looking for the best and the brightest.  Their motives to enrich and empower themselves, without sticking to the more noble reasons they entered their chosen field has led them to a reckless course that has endangered us all.  If it is Sarah that wish to lead us to port, than I’m all for it.

  • dmac8889

    DJY,  why isn’t there more young women in this country that see Palin they way you do?

  • dmac8889

    Alexander, I get your point.  You believe she is not smart enough to be President.  Few are, and certainly she would have to prove it through a Primary Run.  However, at the same time you criticize her for not being Presidential, you disparage her for doing what she can do to promote the Conservative message.  She is entitled to make a living out of this effort, if only it is difficult to do so.  Why begrudge her for not wanting her as President and then you attack her for not running?

  • http://alexandermilne.co.uk/ Alexander Milne

    dmac8889 -

    “You cannot be an opportunist if you have nothing to offer”.  Demonstrably bad logic.  It is possible to exploit public opinion for self-advancement (e.g. political gain).  Isn’t that the whole gist of the case against Obama: that he is a hollow man, a lightweight etc?!

    Re: my “world of hate”.  Disliking and disagreeing with one politician – Sarah Palin – is not my “whole world”.  I am lucky to have plenty more positive thoughts and interests.  But I do like to plumb the “lower depths”occasionally, by rattling the cages in the Human Events mutual-support-group (sorry, “debate forum”).

  • http://alexandermilne.co.uk/ Alexander Milne

    Thanks Carole -

    I refer you to the response I posted, about an hour ago, to Emerson_C.

    BTW I suggest you use paragraphs in future.  Obama does.  ;-)

  • http://alexandermilne.co.uk/ Alexander Milne

    Nothing to rebutt.  Obama WAS a lawyer.  A constitutional lawyer.  You know: like Alexander Hamilton and John Adams.  “Elitists” all, of course.

    Get over it! 

  • http://alexandermilne.co.uk/ Alexander Milne

    MaMcGriz -

    I just clicked “Like” on your comment because you’ve just proved my point about Palinistas being part of a semi-religious cult whose only response to criticism is to bury themselves in mythology.

    Thanks ever so much!

    Yours delightedly,


  • AgTrotter

    “Nothing to rebutt.  Obama WAS a lawyer.  A constitutional lawyer.  You know: like Alexander Hamilton and John Adams.  “Elitists” all, of course.

    Get over it!”

    Alexis, you are an abject moron. The Man-Child was NEVER a practicing Constitutional lawyer. He was nothing more than an Associate Professor (with poor performance marks, I might add).

    BTW, “get over it” euro-trash!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YDK4V7RADTVG4DNZN7DQ56QUEE John

    Alexander , almost none of your critique are truly about Sarah Palin’s policies and accomplishments.

    Obama is a polarizing figure and not Sarah Palin .
    The media portray Sarah Palin as a polarizing figure in order to vilify her.

    On many of the most important issues of the day, Sarah Palin holds positions that are held by a large segment or even a majority of the public

    Fifty-two percent (52%) of Likely U.S. Voters say their own views are closer to Sarah Palin’s than they are to President Obama’s, according to a Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.


    Sarah Palin has been in executive level politics for many years; the political coalition on which she had based her governorship was a combination of Democrats and Republicans .

    In Alaska, Sarah’s top priorities included fiscal restraint, limiting the size of government, resource development, education, equitable oil valuation as well as transportation and infrastructure development. Sarah Palin fought for ethics reform and transparency in government.

    Sarah Palin has a long record of achievement and experience in public office.Prior her election as Governor, Palin served two terms on the Wasilla City Council and two terms as the mayor of Wasilla. During her tenure, she reduced property tax levels while increasing services and made Wasilla a business-friendly environment, drawing in new industry.

    Under her leadership as Governor, Alaska invested $5 billion in state savings, overhauled education funding and protected Alaska’s natural resources. She created Alaska’s Petroleum Systems Integrity Office to provide oversight and maintenance of oil and gas equipment, facilities and infrastructure and the Climate Change Subcabinet to prepare a climate change strategy for Alaska.

    During Sarah Palin’s first year in office, three of her administrations major proposed pieces of legislation passed—an overhaul of the state’s ethics laws, a competitive process to construct a natural gas pipeline and a restructuring of Alaska’s oil valuation formula.

    Sarah Palin is past chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, a multistate government agency that promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment.
    She also served as chair of the National Governors Association (NGA) Natural Resources Committee, which was charged with pursuing legislation to ensure state needs are considered as federal policy is formulated in the areas of agriculture, energy, environmental protection and natural resource management.
    Sarah Palin has fought to reduce spending and to enforce fiscal
    discipline as governor of Alaska.  She has drastically reduced the
    growth of the state budget, which has helped to produce a record budget
    Palin’s achievement was to pull Alaska out of a dire, corrupt,enduring systemic crisis and return it to fiscal health and prosperity when many people believed that such a thing was impossible.

    In Alaska she did take on the old-boy network — the oil companies and her own party.
    Sarah Palin has a history of being a reformer and taking on powerful interests for the benefit of ordinary people.

    She  has been vetted, especially in the past 3 years like no one else; she’s probably the cleanest politician out there.
    After poring over thousands of emails (24,000+ pages of emails) from Palin’s term as governor, even the mainstream media has been forced to concede that Sarah Palin was a conscientious, transparent, and effective public servant.

    There’s never been a politician to get a more thorough examination by the media, the left, and the right. Sarah Palin has withstood the slings, barbs, bullets, and arrows that would have fallen a lesser person.

    If Obama received half of the bad press that Sarah does, his favorables would be in the low 30′s

    Keep in mind that Sarah Palin (and her family)  has been attacked non-stop by the MSM and the REP establishment for 3 years.
    After 3 years of trashing by the liberal and RINO media like never before in history…she is still standing strong.


    By the way,According Obama God backs his jobs plan.

    Obama opposes gay marriage .

    The media has done much  in spreading misinformation about Sarah Palin ; also about the issue of Sex Education.
    Unfortunately people like you really believe all the lies and misinformation the media is spreading about Sarah Palin.

    Setting the Record Straight – Sarah Palin and Sex Education

  • http://alexandermilne.co.uk/ Alexander Milne
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YDK4V7RADTVG4DNZN7DQ56QUEE John

    The legacy of Jimmy Carter will look like good years compared to Obama.

    The only reason Obama is still standing is because he has the support of the media.
    And yes, without his teleprompter he is lost.



  • Emerson_C

    So that is what all this is about–or mostly anyway–Palin’s alleged ‘fundametalism’ related to her upbringing in an Assembly of God church, which I think is ‘Pentacostical’. For one thing your data on her religious world view is out of date and would have been out of date even in the Autumn of 2008. Palin had long moved on from that tradition to attach herself to a ‘nondenominational church’–of the kind associated with the Rev Rick Warren whom you will recall said the prayers at Obama’s inauguration.

    In interviews at that time including one with Charlie Rose, she mentioned that the most significant influence on her mature religious world view was CS Lewis. Now unless I am mistaken this British writer was an Anglican, and judging by his apologetical writings about Christianity, he belonged to the High Church wing rather than Evangelical wing of that Church. Now Alexander, I don’t know what you think of Anglicans but I would never associate the word ‘fundamentalist’ with them. CS Lewis was also a classical scholar, a man of letters and an accomplished philosopher. Whatever one thinks of him, appreciating his writings is hardly what I would expect of an ‘anti-intellectual’ person.

    There is no evidence that Palin believes in ‘Creationism’, if by that you mean that species as we know and discover them were originally ‘created’ in that form. If by ‘creation’ you mean the ontological idea of a ultimate Divine origin, obviously as a Christian Palin believes in that. From her interviews I would gather that on the subject of macro-evolution she is agnostic, but open to the idea. After all her father was a science teacher who took her out collecting fossils when she was a child.

    Palin is opposed to same-sex marriage; so is Obama and so was John Kerry. When ever they are actually asked in a ballot, electorates in the US including California have voted down same-sex marriage.

    Palin got asked many questions about abortion obviously designed to paint her into a corner on her pro life views. Why weren’t Joe Biden, Obama, and Hillary subjected to a similar inquisition? Could they not have been asked about their more extreme pro-choice views such as their support of partial birth abortion. There is at least some
    evidence that Obama opposed keeping infants born alive during an abortion
    alive. If he was closely questioned on these matters, I must have missed

    I am not an admirer of George W Bush and have no view on the matter that
    you mention other than that I understand that McCain accepted that Bush
    had nothing to do with that business in 2000. I am sure Mr Palaast has his
    views but insofar as I have been able to spend time on the matter that
    weight of evidence suggests that Bush shaded it in Florida in 2000.

    I have no reason to believe that Obama is not qualified lawyer, and I have no idea how you could have got the idea that I had aligned myself with those with such doubts. I am, like you, deeply sceptical of that as a qualification for President or for
    Commander in Chief. Like Sarah Palin I have always considered the birther
    issue a distraction; One only wished that Obama himself could have avoided
    that distraction by simply providing documentation early and promptly.
    Because he was born in Panama, similar issues were raised about John
    McCain, which he immediately cleared by by providing the necessary
    documentation promptly.

    Questions about Obama’s alleged Marxism are entirely warranted, and just
    because the checks and balances of the US constitution (his defeat in 2010)
    keep a check on the President, that does not dispel them. He admits in his books
    to the influence of Marxist thinkers such as Dubois and, of course there is
    the influence of Chicago Marxist Saul Alinsky. Alinsky of course was
    heavily influenced by the Italian Marxist thinker Antonio Gramsci and later
    by the members of the Frankfurt School, who believed in slow cultural
    undermining of democratic society, rather than on frontal
    assault on its political structure, which had turned much of EurAsia into a slaughterhouse. It is perfectly legitimate to openly discuss the degree to which Obama has been so influenced, if at all. Or is that forbidden under
    the rubric of ‘repressive tolerance?.

    My original argument that Palin was not a right wing polarising figure was
    based on her success in bringing Republicans and Democrats together in
    Alaska; hence her very high approval there. Nationally, if you measure of
    polarisation is the approval/ disapproval ratio then Palin is not much worse or
    better that any other prominent politician. Obama’s approval/nonapproval
    in Rasmussan is even worse, so by your logic he is also an extremely
    polarising figure! Palin’s figures are hardly surprising given the way she
    had been portrayed. Obama’s figures are bad because, sad direct experience of his inexperience and ineptitude has removed the scales from the eyes of the people.

    One source for my the comments on Obama early elections in Chicago is The
    Case against Barrack Obama by David Freddoso. It is a well researched and referenced book.

    I think that one of Palin’s talents as a retail politician is to express
    complex ideas in a way that a lot of ordinary people can understand. There
    is nothing anti-intellectual about that. It is far above the utterly
    empty and shallow sloganeering like ‘hope and change’ and ‘yes we can’!!!

  • http://alexandermilne.co.uk/ Alexander Milne

    John -

    I refer you to my response, today, to Emerson_C, who touches on a lot of the same topics you do.  Mrs Palin, in her own words, is sufficiently controversial.  Google “Palin polarizing polls” and you see plenty of evidence to that effect, not all from the USA either.  Outside observers such as The Economist magazine (pro-business, rightwing) talked of the polarising effect of Mrs Palin two years ago and longer.

    Or maybe you think that she dropped out of the Presidential race because she’s too popular?

    Meanwhile, the idea that Obama is somehow getting an easy time at the hands of the “liberal MSM”, who are helping him promote “socialism” etc, is quite simply risible.  They’ve spent the last three years talking about whether or not he’s a “Marxist”, or reacting to racist “Birther” nonsense. 

    I’m with you in one respect though.  I wish Obama would drop “God” from his speeches.  Of course, no mainstream politician in the “democratic” US of A would dare do such a thing!  

    There’s a big difference, though, between Palin claiming that God supports US troops – as she did in 2008 – and a general invocation of or reference to the word “God” by Obama.  Does Obama swallow the creationism nonsense in the same way as Palin’s supporters tend to do?  I see Palin herself accepts Darwinism; or at least, she does so to certain audiences…….

    Anyway, it’s all academic now.  She’s decided not to run for POTUS.  As I and several million others predicted.  When will her diehard fans realise it?!  

  • http://alexandermilne.co.uk/ Alexander Milne

    Plus, of course, Obama is “still standing”because he was elected by a quite respectable majority.  Easy to forget that.  Reading some of the trash on Human Events, a visitor from Mars might imagine that there had been some kind of Marxist coup d’etat.

    As for the “teleprompter” argument…… Please.  It is extremely plain, to those with eyes and ears, that Obama is a well-educated and articulate man, streets ahead of Palin in all respects.  And I say that as someone who is critical of Obama and the Democrats, as well as the GOP and Tea Party: all too rightwing; all in the pockets of Big Business. 

  • Emerson_C

    Oh dear. There you go again Alexander. I think, and I think you would agree, that George W Bush was a ‘polarising figure’. Yet he too was elected with over 50% of the vote in 2004.

    You agree that CS Lewis has a ‘great and sublime mind’. When in an interview last year with Barbara Waters, Sarah Palin again mentioned CS Lewis as a great source of thinking and inspiration for her, it immediately led to an outbreak of sneering across the media including the ladies on The View, where Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar scoffed at ‘know nothing Palin’ who gets her inspiration from “a writer of books for children”. Now you Alexander are obviously and educated and more informed person; on this occasion maybe you would score one for Sarah.

    I could not agree more with you that if it has been shown again and again that something about a person has been shown to be wrong, such as the view that Obama has Marxist views, then the accusers should desist. The problem I think that some people have with leaving this is that the Marxists of the ‘New Left’ were a clever bunch. Not for them the mayhem of ‘red revolution’ and that sort of thing. Goodness they could even pass themselves off as ‘civil libertarians’. Yes I have read Alinsky, and his methods are not to my liking. But I take you at your word that if negatives and slurs about a political leader have been repeatedly debunked and refuted then they should not be repeated again. My question is why does this rule seem not to apply to Sarah Palin?

    You query Palin’s credentials concerning her ‘free market’ views, and ask
    when has she ever spoken out against ‘Corporate Welfare’. Alexander, where
    have you been over the past few months? That was precisely the subject of
    a speech she made to the Tea Party rally in Iowa on September 3 2011. In
    no uncertain terms she denounced corporate welfare and the culture of crony
    capitalism which prevailed on ‘both sides of the isle’. The term crony
    capitalism is not new but insofar as it became part of the GOP primary
    contest it was because of Palin’s speech!

    You ask why does she not ‘rail against the oil corporations who bespoiled
    her own Alaskan doorstep in 1989?’ Again, I ask Alexander where have you
    been? From this statement it is clear to me that you may not have taken
    the trouble to really examine your subject. By her own account and that of
    her biographers, Palin’s main motivation for getting into politics was the
    devastation caused by the Valdes spill, which among other things affected
    the family fishing business. In her race for the governship, her
    main platform was the reform of the relationship between the Alaskan state
    and Big Oil and Gas and the ending of the power and corruption of their

    So did she, as you would predict, renege on this promise once she got a
    ‘sniff’ of the governors office?

    By every honest account she did not–even in the teeth of pressure of one
    of the most powerful business lobbys in the world and subtle pressure from
    Vice President Dick Cheney (who hates her). Leading a coalition of both
    Republican and Democrats she imposed competitive market rules on oil and
    gas exploration, and on the process of tendering for a new pipeline. Her
    coalition also imposed new environmental safety rules on the industry and
    finally her coalition enacted ACES–the Alaskan Community Equitable Share
    Act to ensure that the Alaskan people got their rightful share of the value
    of the resource which they owned. You can read the details of this story
    in the book, ‘Sarah takes on Big Oil’ by Kay Cashman and Kristen Nelson.

    So would a President Palin, ‘after one sniff of the White House’, start
    singing the lobbiest’s tune? All one can say is that, when confronted with
    a similar temptation in the smaller microcosm of a State she did not so
    renege. Quite the contrary. By the time she stepped down from the
    Governship she had delivered on all the promises she had made to the
    Alaskan people, in this and all other respects.

    My own view however is that she would have had far greater difficulty in
    doing at National level what she achieved in Alaska–putting together a
    reform coalition of Republicans and Democrats. There are real reasons why
    the GOP establishment at national–the Bushes, the Cheneys, Karl Rove, etc
    and their media shrills like David Frum, Brooks, Parker, O’Reilly, etc.,
    hate Palin, and why they did everything in their power to kneecap the
    possibility of her becoming the nominee. IMHO, it is because she means
    what she says. The antipathy of the American and European Left and
    particularly the feminist left to Palin is undoubtedly intense and it is
    not surprising and I can have some basic respect for it. There is a least
    some basic honesty there. After all, she is a living contradiction to
    their whole way of thinking and manner of being. The disdain of the GOP
    establishment is far more hypocritical. They will talk the talk, but . . .

  • http://alexandermilne.co.uk/ Alexander Milne

    Emerson_C -

    “Oh dear. There you go again Alexander. I think, and I think you would agree, that George W Bush was a ‘polarising figure’. Yet he too was elected with over 50% of the vote in 2004……”

    And in 2000…..?!  Could the Floridian episode – a blot on the reputation of American democracy – have possibly stoked that polarisation?  Or was it the invasion of Iraq, on false pretences?!

    Re: Palin’s professed admiration for CS Lewis.  As I said earlier, she has a distinctly anti-intellectual public image.  Hence the “lectern” quotation about Obama.  CS Lewis is a good start; perhaps she does enjoy that author.  Nothing wrong with children’s authors per se: Kipling, Kenneth Grahame and (recently) JK Rowling are all splendid narrators who created memorable characters that adults as well as children can appreciate.  But – Emerson! – she reserves most of her public praise for “intellectuals” like Glenn Beck, whom she applauded – God help us – for “keeping it real”!

    Congratulations on reading Alinsky, BTW.  That puts you streets ahead of your fellow conservatives who merely namecheck Alinsky in their daily “Five-Minute Hate” against Obama.

    “But I take you at your word that if negatives and slurs about a political leader have been repeatedly debunked and refuted then they should not be repeated again. My question is why does this rule seem not to apply to Sarah Palin?”

    Because I see, from closer examination (and from reading your posts) that she cleverly presents two faces to the world: CS Lewis to one audience, a disdain for “book learning” to another.  That is why I have doubts about her attacks on “crony capitalism”.  Incidentally, she seems to spot more of it on the Democrats’ side of the aisle.  What a coincidence!  From a neutral British point of view, I see a fairly equal distribution of crony capitalism across “both” sides of Washington.  In other words: she pretty much reaps what she sows.

    Re: the Exxon Valdez oil-spill.  Alas, I fear that Mrs Palin’s account of her involvement in the case is, according to Reuters, still open to question:-


    “My own view however is that she would have had far greater difficulty in doing at National level what she achieved in Alaska–putting together a reform coalition of Republicans and Democrats.”

    I can agree with the first half of that sentence, although it’s difficult to imagine her building a coalition under any circumstances.  However, I’ll take your word for it! 

    “The antipathy of the American and European Left and particularly the feminist left to Palin is undoubtedly intense and it is not surprising and I can have some basic respect for it. There is a least some basic honesty there. After all, she is a living contradiction to their whole way of thinking and manner of being. The disdain of the GOP establishment is far more hypocritical. They will talk the talk, but . . .?”

    Why single out the Left?  Sarah Palin – as clearly indicated in Hitchens’ wonderful article below – is a living contradiction to ANYONE – Left or Right – with some basic regard for honesty, fairness, consistency and Enlightenment values such as the supremacy of science over superstition:-


    Anyway, Emerson, I think we have perhaps exhausted this particular mine of controversy!  I shall bow out at this stage, leaving you the final word, if you wish to add anything.  Mrs Palin will be around for years to come, as a media pundit and kingmaker but NOT a major-league policy-maker with hard decisions to make.  I may have missed some of the details of her short but meteoric rise to fame and fortune but then again, the woman herself seems a bit confused about them. I think that my less-than-generous interpretation of her character and achievements will eventually be more widely-believed, even amongst many of her current fans.  A lot of her supporters are already disappointed that she isn’t running for POTUS.  Perhaps “embittered” (sic) lefties like myself, who said from the start (Autumn 2008) that she wasn’t Presidential material, should get some kind of recognition for that!

    Anyway, thanks for the debate and the good points about Romney’s acceptability to the GOP base, etc  See you on the next exciting Human Events vox-pop!



  • Emerson_C

    Okay, a few final points. I have based my views not on speculation about what someone like Palin might do if elected, but what she actually did when she did have an executive position in Government. She did actually ‘build a coaition’ between republicans and Democrats while she was Governor. Don’t ‘take my word’ for it! This is not speculation; it is a fact on the record. It is not just her account; it is overwhelmingly collaborated by others and by the actual voting records of the legislature. Also, we happen to have the most detailed evidence of her performance in this respect, the release of no less than 24,000 emails related to her Governorship.

    When you say that she focused only on Democratic ‘crony capitalism’ you could not be more unfair. The central ‘story’ of Palin’s rise to the governorship was her confrontation with the sitting Republican Governor and his crony’s who were in the pocket of big oil. I have not seen the film The Undefeated (yet) but, according to reviews, what surprises ‘neutral’ viewers is the overwhelming fact of her confrontation with the corruption within her own party. Before that, she resigned from the Alaskan oil and Gas Commission to expose corruption, mainly that of Republicans. The famed CBC in Alaska–the ‘Corrupt Bastards Club’ were Republicans. Her recent Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal was based on Peter Schwizer’s book on congressional insider trading Throw Them All Out focused evenly on both sides of the isle. (Schwizer is an adviser to Palin). Your comments on this matter do not stand up to a moment’s scrutiny.

    Having an ‘anti-intellectual’ public image is not the same as actually
    devaluing intellect. It is a favourite tactic of the Left to depict their
    conservative opponents as benighted, stupid, and even crazy. The ‘guffaw’
    factor is manufcatured. The most academically qualified American President
    was the Democrat Woodrow Wilson. He was also one of the most
    disastrous. His ignorance of languages, and of history and geography had a
    disastrous effect on Europe and the Middle East. John Maynard Keynes was
    aghast his ignorance. I agree with you about Glen Beck, who incidentally
    is fulsome in his praise for the ‘Enlightenment’ and entirely
    misinterprets its influence on the American Founders. I am inclined to
    agree more with the great conservative philosopher Eric Voegelin, who
    (correctly in my view) anchored the American founding in pre-Enlightenment
    classical thought including the appeal to ancient rights in very Medieval
    documents such as the Magna Carta. They miss a vital difference completely
    who conflate or confuse the American revolution with the French
    revolution. As I said in previous posts Palin references many other great
    thinkers in her books and other writings in a manner that indicates both
    familiarity and understanding.

    The idea of Christopher Hitchens making judgements about the alleged
    ‘inconsistencies’ of others tickled my funny bone. I will speculate here.
    My view is that Hitchens saw Palin’s introduction as VP nominee. He hear
    the words “Christian”, “conservative” and “pro-life” and he instantly hated
    her. It did not matter what she had ever actually done or said or whether
    she had or had not a good or bad record, he hated her. She could stand on
    her head and sing ‘God save the Queen’ and it would not matter. His fellow
    countryman, the ‘conservative’ Andrew Sullivan was even more unhinged and
    seemed to develop and unhealthy fascination with Sarah Palin’s womb!

    You say that there is understandable antipathy from ‘fair and honest’
    people on both Left and Right. Let me put these words ‘Left’ and ‘Right’
    in some perspective. IMO the dominant political philosophy of the US and
    Europe is ‘Liberal/progessivism’. in the US the ‘Left-wing’ of that
    philosophy is represented by the Democratic Party while the GOP
    establishment represents the ‘Right-wing’. i would include both the Bushs
    and the NeoCon cabal in this latter category. The trajectory of
    Liberal/progressivism is towards more enlightened statism (what would have
    been referred to in the 18th century as ‘enlighten despotism’ by people
    like Diderot). It is towards the erection of central government into
    what De’Tocqueville described–terrifyingly–as ‘an immense and tutelary
    power’ which will be ‘absolute, minute regular, provident and mild’. The
    Democrats will hasten this trajectory; the official GOP will merely slow it
    down. A genuinely conservative world view does not want to go there at
    all. That IMO opinion is where we at at. Palin is a genuine
    conservative. And so were all the truly great and deep thinkers of the
    West over the past two centuries.

    Thank you for your courteous discourse. All is not lost as long a we
    follow one of Christ’s sayings “Come let us reason together”.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2YEET7UJKZ7WZWQKYWBIU246PE Mark D

    I have to agree with you.  Those who attempt to evaluate Sarah”s plus and minus factors do not comprehend just who she is.  Many, like myself, knew who she was that night, there was an understanding within us of who she was and what she was about.  Over time we discovered the details and were even more impressed and attached to her.  To many others allowed the sound bites of the lies of the LSM to enter their brains and allowed them to become the truth for them.  You tell a lie big enough and often enough and people will believe it.  This is what happened to Sarah.  Bully tactics, now playing out with Cain.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2YEET7UJKZ7WZWQKYWBIU246PE Mark D

    Give it up.  Repeating the same dead lines are not productive.  Time to get a life.  Palin dropped out of the race.  Sounds as if there is still fear among the commies.  Well there should be cause, she is coming to get all of you.  She may not hold office, but she will lead the pack in getting all of you placed where you need to be, prison, or to your respective choice of countries, e.g. Cuba.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2YEET7UJKZ7WZWQKYWBIU246PE Mark D

    In reply to comments about Kerry’s movie.  All I can state is ask any Nam vet their opinion of Kerry.  He and G.I. Jane Fonda are high on our list of the “Enemy”.