The Palin Phenomenon

The Palin phenomenon – the immediate embrace of Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin by vast numbers of voters, energizing them into the 2008 political campaign – is not hard to grasp if one understands one essential truth about the American voter: People are hungry for authenticity.

In Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, they are seeing “the real deal,” a woman with such an open face, such a guileless demeanor that their usual skepticism is disarmed.

Gov. Palin is a natural … a natural communicator in the mode of Ronald Reagan, a natural leader whose down-to-earth style has proven fabulously successful in her political posts in Alaska, a natural mother to whom the very idea of aborting her own child – or seeing her inconvenient preborn grandchild as disposable – is, of course, anathema.

By her audacity to accept an opportunity for high public office, she has invited ridicule, condescension and determined smears, for darkness cannot tolerate light and cynical phoniness abhors true wholesomeness.

In facing the jackals, Sarah Palin can be excused for becoming a bit guarded, but to the degree that she responds instead by disarming the political elite and their fellow travelers in the media, the surprising new star of the 2008 Presidential campaign can set a new course for all those who aspire to office from a right sense of public duty:  Show people who you are and how you think, eschew labels and shorthand slogans, say what you mean without fear of rejection.  Above all, be yourself.