Sarah Palin is one of the most intriguing (and polarizing) personalities to emerge on the national political stage in a long time. The way that many conservatives embrace her and many liberals vilify her illustrates in microcosm the yawning political divide in America today.
We can draw insights about Palin’s significance in America today from a trio of three markedly disparate historical figures: Ronald Reagan, the late Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, and the Gospel of Matthew’s King Herod. The connection between Sarah Palin and Ronald Reagan is fairly simple and straightforward. They share conservative convictions and a special gift of communication. Palin is reminiscent of Reagan in the way she resonates, inspires, and energizes conservatives.
I think comparing her to President Ronald Reagan is a far stretch, but I will give her lots of credit for using simple basic common sense, that allows her convictions to ring in a clear message and in so communicating simple truths that the Progressive can’t not handle or accept.
The connection between Palin and Mises occurred to me while rereading Mises’ 1944 book Bureaucracy. Mises wrote, “…the educated strata are more gullible than the less educated. The most enthusiastic supporters of Marxism, Nazism, and Fascism were the intellectuals, not the boors.” Indeed, Marx, Lenin, et al., were intellectuals, and the leaders of socialism have been relatively well-to-do educated folks like Bill Ayers, not salt-of-the-earth blue-collar folks.
That’s for sure, “so they thought themselves to be wise they became fools” Romans 1:22
Mises continued this insight with a penetrating passage that is uncannily relevant today:
The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office.
Isn’t that the truth!
I have no idea what the future holds for Sarah Palin. It is indisputable, though, that the left regards her as their worst nightmare — an articulate, attractive, effective communicator and advocate of conservative principles with Misesian common sense and Reaganesque potential. That is why she is the object of their Herod-like verbal thrusts today.
They fear the simple because it’s pure and honest, even when they make mistakes. Real people can see this truth, unlike the hypocrites that only use distortions of the truth to pass their agenda.