England needs a Sarah Palin

A British pundit, Melanie Phillips, says that her country needs a Sarah Palin. In doing so, she makes some intriguing points:

so-called ‘progressives’ on both sides of the Atlantic have gone into paroxysms of rage and panic over Sarah Palin.

For she has taken the supposed characteristics of the Left  -  youth, dynamism, change, excitement and social conscience  -  and presented them as conservative virtues.
Since the Left habitually shores up its own position by demonising conservatives as nasty, backward-looking, mean-spirited, lifedenying, prejudiced, stupid and boring, it recognises her as a mortal threat  -  not just to Obama but to its whole political platform. . . .

Like McCain and Obama, [Tory leader David] Cameron too has grasped the public’s anti-establishment mood.

But he made the error of assuming that the reactionary old order to be overturned was conservatism, while change, hope and progress resided on the Left.

But this is a caricature which, although an article of faith among the media, bears scant relation to reality.

It is the Left which upholds the miserable social and educational status quo which causes such misery and harm to so many at the bottom of the heap.

It is the Left which preaches despair by believing that nothing can be done to stop social ills such as crime, drug addiction or teenage pregnancy.

Instead, it sets up vast infrastructures at public expense to mitigate their worst effects  -  which has the effect of entrenching and deepening those very social ills.

By contrast, any hope of real change for the better lies in the restoration of this country’s tradition of morality rooted in Christian religious conscience, exemplified by the Tories’ Social Justice Commission.

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About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    What she really meant to say was “We want the return of Maggie Thatcher!!”

  • E. Malley

    Right. And Palin ain’t no Thatcher.
    Not by a long shot.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    And Thatcher is no Palin.
    Sorry. Just wanted to see if I could match that inappropriate and vacuous commentary, knowing I couldn’t top it.
    I kinda think that, if she remains articulate, likeable, and believable, Sarah Palin might encourage conservatives everywhere. She’s a walking, talking billboard ad for regular people going for solutions in a basic democratic way, and perhaps remaining the same person throughout her public history.
    Like Thatcher, she seems beholden to no one but her beliefs, her conscience, and voters.
    Who knew how much such a figure was wanted?

  • E. Malley

    Susan, what solutions has Palin gone for in a basic democratic way? When she fired the town librarian for failing to ditch the books she wanted banned? When she fired the DPS official for failing to fire her former brother in law?
    Besides, when will she speak to reporters? Even to sympathetic ones on Fox? All she’s done to earn our admiration thus far is tell a joke about lipstick and give angry, scripted speeches that demean those in public service.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    E. Malley (@4, the non-Anon), sorry, but there is no support for your claim that Palin “fired the town librarian for failing to ditch the books she wanted banned”. Did she fire the town librarian? Not really. Did she ask her — unnervingly — about the librarian’s position on removing books from the library? Yes. Did the librarian say, “I would absolutely resist all efforts to ban books.”? Yes. But that’s where the facts end.

    The librarian was asked for her resignation. Other people getting that request upon Palin’s taking office were the police chief, public works director, and finance director. House-cleanings happen. However, the librarian actually stayed on for several years, anyhow. Were any books ever subsequently banned? Apparently not.

    “When will she speak to reporters?” Well, she gave an interview to People magazine. And she has lined up an interview with Charlie Gibson. (I know, not real reporters, but oh well.) That said, I find the implication from the McCain campaign that the Alaskan “bulldog” is some sort of delicate flower who needs to be kept from the media “piranhas” (in the words of McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Need to finish my sentence there (@5): I find the implication from the McCain campaign that the Alaskan “bulldog” is some sort of delicate flower who needs to be kept from the media “piranhas” to be fairly laughable. Is she ready to face the media or not? Is she ready to be the leader of the United States or not? People who can’t handle the brutality of the former will have a hard time convincing me they’re capable of handling the rigors of the latter.

  • E. Malley

    tODD (@5), I stand corrected on the librarian story. I heard that, in the end, no books were banned, but I did not realize that Palin had also asked other officials to resign. Why, though, would you ask a librarian to resign unless he/she was inept or you simply saw that job as a political spoil? But a librarian? Sure, political house cleanings (a sexist term, tODD?) occur, but I’m surprised to hear such a thorough one was needed in a town of, what, 9,000?
    In any event, the real problem with Palin now is McCain’s refusal to let her speak to the press, which, contrary to evangelical dogma, is as a whole rather moderate, if not conservative. Bush 1 did so with Quayle, which proved disastrous in the long run for Quayle, who by all accounts was a rather impressive, intelligent senator. Palin needs more than the evangelical right to cheer for her. She needs to make her case, in her own words, to independents and Democrats.

  • Don S

    E. Malley, may I inquire as to your faith? Are you a Lutheran or an evangelical Christian, or something else? I don’t recall having seen you post yet on anything theological on this site, but maybe I missed it.

    The reason I ask is the phrase “contrary to evangelical dogma”, with respect to the press, and the sentence “Palin needs more than the evangelical right to cheer for her”. Regarding the former, it would be perhaps more appropriate to say “contrary to conservative dogma”. I don’t understand using the term “evangelical” in the context of that phrase. According to a Rasmussen Reports survey dated 9/4/08, “…Over half of U.S. voters (51%) think reporters are trying to hurt Sarah Palin with their news coverage…. just five percent (5%) think reporters are trying to help her with their coverage, while 35% believe reporters are providing unbiased coverage. ” Go to the RR site to read the whole story in context. So, it is clear that more than just conservatives or evangelicals consider the press to be anti-Palin.

    As for the latter sentence, with Palin’s current 80% approval rating in Alaska, and 58% U.S. approval rating, I would say it is clear that a lot more than the “Evangelical Right” is cheering for her.

    Anyway, why so disdainful of evangelicals?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    E. Malley (@7), I have no idea why Palin asked for those resignations. At this point, I’m not sure I care.

    As for political “housecleaning” being a sexist term, are you serious? It’s a bog-standard term in the media, and given that it’s usually only applied to male politicians, what makes you think it’s sexist?

  • WebMonk

    From a purely Google search, it appears that the political house cleaning was a regular occurrence for a bunch of positions by both parties whenever their candidates gained control. Something of a spoils system that was regularly cleaned out with each change of leadership. Obviously she should have been the first to stop the practice, but while I tentatively like her, but I don’t expect her to be Jesus with a swapped chromosome.

    As far as Palin firing the DPS official, there hasn’t been a clear picture yet, so I’m holding my opinion. The breaking stories sounded very bad about Palin, but since then the subsequent stories seem to keep moderating the story toward more of a positive, or less negative, view of Palin’s actions. Until the stories seem to settle down into an full set of facts, it’s worse than useless to speculate about Palin’s actions.

    Maybe she’ll turn out to have been a vengeful witch trying to harass her sister’s ex. Maybe she’ll turn out to be a reformer who broke the “blue wall of silence” protecting a bad cop who was abusive and making death threats. Probably it is somewhere in between. Chill until we know more. Passing along false rumors and unclear stories isn’t helping anything.

  • E. Malley

    tODD, the “house cleaning” comment was a poor attempt at humor on my part. Palin’s a self-described hockey mom who supposedly can do it all. Thus I thought it funny (as in ironic) that her sweeping of the political decks (sweeping being a nautical, not domestic term here) as mayor could be described as “house cleaning.” You couldn’t get away with using that term in any other context.

  • http://barbtheevilgenius.blogspot.com Barb the Evil Genius

    There’s a very well documented article about Sarah Palin and her trooper brother-in-law here. Here’s a story about the banned book story, including the fact that some of the books in the list were not published at the time they say the story took place!

  • Anon The First

    What England needs are -10 million- Sarah Palin’s raising the children of the country. England is very far gone. A righteous leader would not be sufficient. There needs to be a revival on par with the extent and power of the Wesleyan revival.