Thanks to the many who supported Grizzly Fest Winter Summit recently. We were fortunate to introduce Palin Nation to several whistle-blowing heroes and government watchdogs – and to get a shout out from Governor Palin about our ongoing fight against crony capitalism. I was super pumped afterward, and appreciated that the Governor and Chuck Heath Sr. took time out of their busy schedules to support our efforts.
Special thanks to Roderic Deane for all his work, as well as the help from the summit planning team. It’s been awesome working with them.
I haven’t been posting much on C4P lately, and I’m grateful for the kind words some of you left on my look into the faith of Mitt Romney last night. It was simply a different angle that I felt uniquely able to provide as someone who shares Gov. Romney’s faith. Sometimes we forget that behind the political headlines, there’s a real person – with a life. I certainly don’t expect anyone to change their political views based on religion. Sweet Lordy no.
But I do have some fleeting thoughts on the primary process heading into Super Tuesday tomorrow that I’d like to share.
As our party attempts to select a nominee, I can’t help thinking of the mythical Blind Men and the Elephant. In that poem, each individual famously latches on to just one part of the great animal, but describes it as the whole.
Perhaps that’s what is happening right now. To some in our midst, the “purest form of conservatism” is Ron Paul’s unwavering commitment to the Constitution. For others it’s Rick Santorum’s vigorous defense of traditional families and social values. Still others find themselves drawn to Newt Gingrich’s searing intellect - or even to Mitt Romney’s business acumen and executive leadership.
Attending CPAC this year for the first time was transformational for me. Because it helped me better see the “whole” elephant.
I witnessed the enthusiasm among the conservative activists (10,000 in attendance – many of them college aged and representing all four camps in the current race). I realized our country is in better shape for the future than we think. It actually put my mind at ease seeing so many engaged conservatives, including so many of us who support Gov. Palin.
I’m not alone in my optimism. When the late great Andrew Brietbart was asked about Mitt Romney at CPAC, and whether he was upset or worried about Romney possibly becoming the nominee, he replied: "Oh, sweet Lordy no. Not even remotely." (I've adopted that phrase.)
He went on to suggest that the Tea Party is still essentially in its infancy. The current crop of presidential candidates by and large pre-date the Tea Party in their governing experiences. None of them is Tea Party pure, with the possible exception of Congressman Ron Paul.
But if we can re-take the Senate, and maintain the house – that is the most important fight this year. A strong GOP majority will bolster and direct any GOP president. Grover Norquist said essentially the same thing in his CPAC address: "All we need is a Republican president with five working digits in his writing hand to sign all the bills from a conservative Congress."
I know I’m stating the obvious, but the truth is, though we’re divided right now, at the end of this process, a presidential nominee will emerge who will represent the party in the fall election (and presumably pick a VP who excites the rest of the GOP faithful who lost out in the primary.)
I look forward to a unified front against the Democrats.
Likewise, I relish the battles to help conservatives win office in local and state elections. Thomas Schmitz and others at American Grizzlies United are working so hard toward that end.
I pray all of us will stay engaged in whatever way we can … even if it’s just giving money … to fight the recall battle in Wisconsin, to support efforts in all 50 states to Open the Books and to fight for cleaner, smaller, smarter government.
But in this search for the “purest form of conservatism” I find myself looking more and more inward – toward a personal definition. These past three years have been a whirlwind -- almost the opposite of conservatism, frankly. I’ve spent hour upon midnight hour stewing over the latest online political news -- under the influence of mega caffeine, naturally. I've had the opportunity to contribute to this great blog, written a political book, started a blog and radio program “Edgy Conservative,” founded Conservatives4Congress, and traveled across the country to meet Gov. Palin and attend several C4P meet-up.
Recently, I've started a new freelance business writing job, and helped out with Grizzly Fest.
And I've gotten very little sleep in the process!
The truth is, since the day Gov. Palin was announced as the vice presidential pick in 2008, my life hasn’t been the same. Gov. Palin inspired me to find my political voice, and to pursue my convictions -- with gusto -- and I’ve met some wonderful new friends along the way.
That being said … I sometimes look back and think that all this political action was just a precursor for something even better. Conservatism, in my view, is about channeling scarce resources toward their highest priority use. And for me right now … my “highest priority use” is raising a family.
As Governor Palin says, “Life is about choices” and I sincerely want my choices to reflect my values.
My three kids (age 9, 7, and 4) still haven’t forgiven me for dragging them to two Tea Party rallies in two different states on Halloween in 2010. They’re still young. And this is my one shot to get it right as a mom. They need my passionate energy directed to their causes. They need me engaged with them, not pounding away furiously on a laptop computer.
I will always be grateful for and cherish the friendships I’ve made in the Palin movement. Thanks for helping me learn the ropes in the conservative cause. I gained a great political education. I’ll definitely be back in the fray someday … when the little ones aren’t so little. Meanwhile, I’ll be donating money here and here while taking a formal break from political blogging.
Take care friends! See you down the road. May God Bless! And may the Grizzly spirit prevail.
Sweet Lordy ... Yes!