Yesterday, a journalist contacted me for an interview in hopes that I could share thoughts on where Governor Palin supporters stand - how we feel and what our goals are now since THE announcement. While I won't claim to speak for all "Palinistas", I know where I am at the moment - nowhere. Truthfully, I feel a little like a woman without a country, destined to float the seas with no news of my homeland. This isn't a "Woe is me, Palin left us, waaaaah" kind of feeling. It's a "I don't recognize this political scene" feeling.
As the national director of Organize4Palin, I was willing to put our ragtag crew of volunteers comprised of patriots from all walks of life and varying degrees of political experience up against any seasoned and well paid campaign operatives anywhere, if Gov. Palin decided to make a 2012 run. Our passion, our drive, our creativity couldn't be matched, and we were growing every day. I've been in the trenches with a lot of these people since 2008...attending rallies where Palin sweated and pounded out speeches for McCain in all day marathons, fighting online with the media and Liberal nasties who zeroed in on destroying a Palin candidacy, and giving money sacrificially in hopes the amount would make a difference. For three years, I've fought alongside these wonderful people. I've seen them pray for each other and teach each other, and humbly apologize when necessary. They are amazing people, true Americans, and their accomplishments in the 2010 elections say more than anything I could relate.
All of us at Organize4Palin certainly had great hopes that Governor Palin would go toe to toe with President Obama in 2012. She had been doing so all along, pointing out his not-so-transparent actions, providing key phrases and discussion for the GOP at large, and generally, keeping the spirit of fighting for liberty alive. After the mid-term elections, the RNC did little to show its appreciation for Gov. Palin, her supporters, and other American-loving patriots for all they did, instead seeming to focus on one thing - how to dampen tea party-style enthusiasm in hopes of maintaining control of an establishment way of doing things.
By ignoring and refusing to embrace passionate grassroots Conservatives and Independents, the RNC has effectively pulled a Barney Fife and shot themselves in the foot. They did it in 2008 and are on course to wash, rinse, and repeat. If the RNC establishment really wants to win in 2012, why haven't they been encouraging the tea party participants and inviting them into the big tent? Why haven't they been offering training for these new activists, working hard at voter registration, and building an unbeatable team to take down the DNC machine? A machine that only has to flip the light switch to all their offices and pick up where they left off. A machine that knows when to recognize on fire activism and harness it for the cause.
Does the RNC think the same folks who carried 2010 for them will do the same thing again in 2012? I believe those same people will give it their best shot, but the DNC is coming back with a vengeance in 2012. Local case in point: I watched the results of a school board race runoff come in last night and unfortunately, the conservative leaning candidate lost, but that's not the kicker. Shortly thereafter, I read a tweet that used some explicit language toward the losing candidate and claimed she had been funded by the Koch brothers! Seriously. A school board candidate. If DNC tactics are coming into play at that level, does anyone doubt it's just a taste of what's to come? Will the RNC share resources with grassroots volunteers and include them in strategy? Or will they just send them dumb, wordy fundraising letters and hope they show up to make a few phone calls?
All those questions are frustrating, but to make sense of this, you have to understand where some of those running the RNC and campaign related industry are coming from. They would probably tell you not to take it personal. It's just business, plain and simple. The number of careers people have made from elected public office jobs is immense. The officials themselves forgot what they learned in Kindergarten (it's called taking turns), and a number of companies in business to serve them aren't sweating too much over who actually wins the elections. All involved will just continue enjoying their greenback jobs and cycle through. Service? Sacrifice? What are those compared to job security and kickbacks? In my house, we would call those priorities messed up.
Does that scenario go for every RNC official, candidate, or industry related business? Certainly not. Many are good, solid Americans wanting to help. But for some reason, it sure seems like the selfish ones are overshadowing the selfless ones. Really though, it doesn't have to be that way. Take this example: Each day I visit the National Archives online to see their document of the day, because yes, I'm a history nerd. Today's doc led back to a description that included this:
"The fifty-four men who composed the First Continental Congress represented different interests, religions, and regions; they held conflicting opinions as to how best restore their rights. Most did not know each other; some did not like each other. With no history of successful cooperation, they struggled to overcome their differences and, without any way of knowing if the future held success or nooses for them all, they started down a long and perilous road toward independence."
Do I think such a historical event could repeat itself, where Americans from all walks of life could put self aside and country first? Absolutely. I've seen it happen among Sarah Palin supporters, and I believe it could happen on a grander scale that would encompass all freedom loving Americans. I also think Gov. Palin could lead such an endeavor, even without an elected title. In her post stating that she was not running for the GOP presidential nomination, Gov. Palin said, "In the coming weeks I will help coordinate strategies to assist in replacing the President, re-taking the Senate, and maintaining the House." My hope is that her strategies will include reaching out to the grassroots in a way that the establishment has refused to do and in the process, help them have the voice they deserve in the Grand Old Party. It's not too late to restore, renew, and revive.