Critics on Both Sides Be Damned: Run, Sarah

Love her or hate her, Sarah Palin has, within the past couple of years, become an American institution. All the former Alaskan governor has to do is post something on Facebook or give a “shout-out” on Twitter and both pundits and everyday Americans on both sides of the aisle are either singing her praises or talking about what a dumb hick she is who has no business breathing, let alone commenting on the news of the day.

The big question, of course, is whether Palin should run for president in 2012. Here are just a few reasons why a Palin run makes sense:

She is strong on defense. In a Facebook post on April 16, 2010, Palin noted that “it is in America’s and the world’s interests for our country to remain a dominant military superpower” and questioned President Obama’s statement to other world leaders that “whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower.” This seems to mirror more and more Americans’ concern that our national defense is “not strong enough” and the fact that fewer of us believe our defense “is about right.”

She is unapologetically pro-Israel. Palin’s evangelical faith is at the core of her pro-Israel stance. It’s so refreshing to hear someone on the national stage supporting a sovereign nation’s right to defense, right to build houses within her own borders, and right to a united capital city -- Jerusalem.

She has -- er, cojones. With all of the talk about whether Obama has any of his own or needs to borrow from Hillary Clinton, Palin has shown time and again that she’s not one to be intimidated -- a plus when dealing with the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong Il. I, for one, believe her when she said that she stepped down as governor before her term was up because she felt that the numerous frivolous suits filed against her were affecting her ability to govern effectively.

And how many of us would be holding our heads as high as she is after being viciously attacked by friend and foe alike (and supposedly unbiased media) for well over two years now? Unless it’s about what kind of toilet paper she buys or what the fiber count on her bed sheets is, what else is anyone going to dig up on her or her family? Pretty much all her baggage is front and center. What you see is what you get.

She exemplifies a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.” Time and again, Palin’s elitist detractors -- even those who are on the right side of the aisle -- question whether or not she has enough experience to run for the highest office in the land, while ignoring the fact that she does actually have executive experience. Some also rant about her “mangling” of the English language (while ignoring Obama’s flubs like pronouncing corpsman “corpse-man”). Frankly, I’d much rather have someone in charge whose diction is imperfect but whose message is clear than someone who pronounces all (or most of) the words correctly but won’t say exactly what he means.

We also hear much about how Palin got her degree from a state school instead of a more “elite” institution -- and was an average student who was “forgotten” by her professors. Many Americans have attended state universities (yours truly included) and haven’t had our intelligence questioned as a result. And why is it the kiss of death that her professors didn’t remember her? I’ll bet most of my former instructors would be hard put to remember me, considering the thousands of students they taught over the course of their careers. And Obama wasn’t exactly the most remembered student during his two years at Columbia.

Meghan McCain said she was “scared” by the fact that someone like Christine O’Donnell could just wake up one day and decide to run for national office. As I said at the time,

One does not have to be born into royalty or otherwise be part of the self-anointed elite to want to serve and represent one’s fellow citizens. Any ordinary schlub can run for office, making his case to the electorate, and letting it decide if he is suited for the job.

Ordinary Americans are sick and tired of being lectured by the self-anointed elites, the “intellectuals,” and the “ruling class,” and Sarah Palin’s growing popularity embodies this frustration and disgust.

I have a friend who wonders if Palin shouldn’t stay out of the race because she fears Palin and her family will be ripped even more by those on both sides who hate her. Palin knows better than anyone what lies ahead on the campaign trail. I say that if she wants to go for it, go for it -- and the “stupid” American voter will ultimately decide if she is ready for the big time.