Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sarah Palin's rise raises Questions about Conservative Women

Sarah Palin is all the rage as she promotes her new book, Going Rogue: An American Life. She was a conservative darling before she wrote the book and all the more so now that this book is being promoted by the former governor and GOP nominee for Vice President.

Columnist Jedediah Bila pointed out in a recent article that Palin's book conveys the qualities that made her a star in the 2008 Presidential campaign, noting "Palin almost immediately establishes herself as someone who reveres the ideals that she cherishes most — her faith, her family, and her liberty — but who also has a pungent distaste for the hypocrisy of the political machine: 'But it seemed that every level of government I encountered was paralyzed by the same politics-as-usual system. I wasn't wired to play that game' (5). She later echoes a kindred reflection: '...I had to live with my own conscience, so I voted according to my principles and let the chips fall where they may' (66). Palin pledges allegiance to her convictions and both the Alaska and United States constitutions, but not to her party, narrating several instances when she confronted GOP waste and corruption, choosing instead to side with her self-proclaimed 'commonsense conservatism': 'At the time, both parties, nationally and locally, were spending uncontrollably. No wonder voters couldn't tell Republicans from Democrats'" (146).

In spite of the fact her messaged resonated so clearly with many Americans and some could argue that she nearly pulled the McCain campaign out of the jaws of defeat, I believe that Palin and other women and minorities face a serious handicap when running for national office. That handicap is the mainstream media.

I have been arguing in my column, in interviews, and on my radio program, that the mainstream media will do everything in its power to prevent a conservative female or minority from being elected to national office. The left has believed that minorities and women would have no political power without the liberal agendas of the past. The left wants to keep these groups on an ideological plantation, with women and minorities marching in lockstep. I assume the progressives don't realize that the idea behind giving these groups their freedom was to empower them to be able to disagree with their agenda. That is, after all, what freedom is about.

Many on both the left and right disagree. They point out people like Bay Buchanan, who has enjoyed a successful career as a political consultant; yet she has never faced the scrutiny of the election process. To me, she is a weak argument.

Another popular example is Elizabeth Dole. There is no doubt about it; Dole has had an impressive career. Former Secretary of Labor, former Secretary of Transportation, and an US Senator, Dole has certainly had a career filled with accomplishments. Unfortunately, these individuals are missing the point. You can point to many successful conservative females in politics, but we only have one that was on a national ticket and that was Sarah Palin. Now Dole has run for national office, but had little to show for it. She was an interesting novelty, but not a serious candidate by any measure.

The only way to test my thesis is to apply it only to female candidates who have actually had the nomination for national office. Enter Sarah Palin. Palin was literally butchered by the mainstream media by every measure. The thought of Palin as Vice President provided nightmares to the left and to the media that largely supports a liberal agenda. Attention women and minorities, if you are serious about national office, you better be prepared to worship at the alter that "got you there." Other wise, we better be prepared to change the way the media looks at women and minorities.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business, the longest running show on AM 650 (M-F at 11 am) in Houston, Texas and on AOL Radio. His articles often appear in Chicago Sun Times, Reuters, USA Today, and other national media. Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal calls Price the “best business talk show host in the country.” Find out why and visit his blog at www.BizPlusBlog.com and his show site at www.PriceofBusiness.com. You can also find Price on Strategy Room at FoxNews.com.

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