Palin’s MLK Mistake – Political and Defensive

Posted on August 30, 2010

She said it herself:  “Now I have been asked to speak today not as a politician….”  But she had already spoken politics shortly before: “we must not transform America as some would want.  We must restore America and restore her honor.” She had  talked the talk by addressing  her fellow “patriots” she felt humbled to be among.

This is addressing the troops before the war which is the November election not so much an evocation of the America we want to see.  She did not paint that picture for us.  She did not get down and dirty in the struggle for the soul of America.  She touched on it and then went on to the next point of reference – skimming the surface.  She tried to do too much in the course of one speech and the result was a mixed not a strong message.

What she said above – attempting to make modern-day warriors out of fellow patriots – was worked in between a reference to Abraham Lincoln’s words about the” mystic chords of memory that stretch from every battlefield and patriot grave to every hearth and hearthstone all over this broad land,” and her express purpose to speak as the mother of a soldier, not as a  politician.  But as has been pointed out above, she already had.

At this point she waxed defensive  yet cocky – “You know, say what you will about me, but I raised a combat vet and you can’t take that away from me.”  This is not the voice of a leader.  This is the voice of a smirking, self-satisfied media persona who has finally got the forum for which she was born.  I am disappointed in Mrs. Palin.  She does not have to do this kind of thing.

I wish she had sat this one out.  Her words were not strong enough to carry her as one who could move beyond conservatism and embrace a larger venue that would be bettered in the attempt to spread core values.  She was talking to her fellow “patriots” on the right and not to a broader audience – the one she will need to reach to continue as an influential agent of change.