When I saw Sarah Palin announcing her New Year’s resolution to “make government as irrelevant as possible” in people’s lives, I thought she had hit the nail on the head, as she so often does.
I agreed also with her resolution to encourage people to apply former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden’s “Pyramid of Success” to their lives. Her hope is that more and more Americans will take responsibility to live with integrity, and will restore America’s character, success, and greatness by cultivating their own.
Palin nails it here, again, because the changes we need in America have to start with the people. There is no collective scheme that can “fix” us. It literally cannot be done: the character and confidence we need, to live as free men and women, can’t be imposed through a government program, but only developed through individual enlightenment and effort. John Wooden’s Pyramid may not be everyone’s choice of self-improvement program. But it’s a good place to start, and to my eye, it suggests a fine balance of individual focus, teamwork, and looking out for others.
(Palin’s first resolution for 2014 was to eat more meat, which it goes without saying is praiseworthy and fully endorsable.)
I’m curious about the reaction of others, however, to an additional resolution – number four – which she posted at her Facebook page on Saturday:
Here’s #4: Be even more aggressive in calling out media for practicing lapdog laziness. Hey reporters, we know that once Barack Obama got elected you bailed on keeping government accountable; you’ve been abject failures there. Case in point: Nixon’s presidency was over once reporters busted him for allowing his people to spy on political opponents. Today, the Obama Presidency’s hallmark is spying (in addition to violating economic and Constitutional liberties), for which you celebrate Barack Obama. Transparently hypocritical, much?
I get what she’s going for here (I think). I guess I’m not sure either of the main implications is something I think we need to prioritize.
Certainly, the media need to be called out for protecting Obama at the expense of the truth. That said, I don’t see it as a useful focus to harp on the media, so much as to make sure the truth is getting out there. There is most definitely value in having media watchdogs (e.g., AIM, Mediaite, etc.) that sort out when the media are misrepresenting facts or selling partisan narratives. But from major political figures, the main things I want to hear are sound principles, and affirmations that this person knows the truth and is operating on the basis of it.
The media shouldn’t be the story. There’s no need to give them free coverage on our dime. Conservatives get little enough of the public’s short attention span as it is. We need to stop wasting our few precious moments responding to, or attacking, the themes of the left.
The reference to Nixon in Palin’s resolution seems to imply that if we could force the mainstream media to ‘fess up to its biases, Obama’s presidency, in turn, would have to be over. Maybe I’m misreading that. In any case, I think, again, that that’s a misdirected focus.
We shouldn’t shrink from acknowledging the truth about Obama’s presidency. But as a matter of priorities, we should focus on simply making sure people know the truth. And as a matter of our own political character – the reason we’re bending people’s ears and the reason they ought to let us – we should emphasize the positive plans there can be to do something about the truth: to right our course and get out of the hole we’ve been sinking into.
The main effort of limited-government conservatives should be navigating forward, from the bad place America is in now to the better place we envision being in. Revealing the truth about Obama’s activities in office is necessary, but it is a supporting effort. Obama isn’t the main objective. An America of liberty, prosperity, and hope is the main objective.
I’ve written in the past about the incorrigible urge of many in the punditry to edit Sarah Palin, and I’m of two minds about offering this criticism now. But it’s something I feel strongly about. Words chart our destiny; people remember them, even when we think they don’t. Do we want people to remember that we talked about what biased, lying sad-sacks the MSNBC pundits are? Or do we want people to remember that we put the truth out there, to the best of our ability, and had a vision for the future that they could really see and buy into?
Which one has a hope of changing America’s course?