Saturday, September 17, 2011

There's More than Simply Keeping Your Powder Dry

With a Palin presidential announcement on the horizon (Lord willing), a lot of Palin supporters have grown understandably anxious. It seems that nearly everyone who is going to run for President has already announced. There are primary ballot deadlines in the not-so-distant future. Then, there are those things that the "smart" people tell you are needed for a "serious" campaign like spending months and months in the early primary states, hiring lots of intellectuals (because they say that's who they are) to comprise your staff, and the like. Governor Palin has not done these things. Nevermind that Governor Palin's Tea Party speech two weeks ago is still driving the debate--crony capitalism, anyone? Nevermind that Governor Palin has the strongest grassroots support of any declared or potential candidate. The punditocracy do not include this factors in their political calculus. Of course not, you cannot put intangibles into an algorithm.

To be sure, there are certain necessary steps that need to be taken in order to launch and run a solid campaign. There are campaign events to be planned. Policies to be more fully fleshed out. Strategy to be devised. When presidential campaign strategy is concerned, personally I try my best (sometimes unsuccessfully) to try to not play armchair campaign manager. My presidential campaign experience comes only from an unsuccessful bid for student council president my senior year of high school. I don't have the credibility to criticize.

When it comes to Governor Palin, my inside-the-box brain has to come to terms with the fact that Governor Palin rightfully acts as if there's no box at all. In retrospect, I can see how great her political strategy has been, even if I can't grasp it at first. She's an savvy retail politician who has become one of the first people to grasp the idea of being a new media retail politician. Who else lays out a brilliant critic of the Obama administration right along side new Facebook pictures of your grandkids or right in your twitterfeed next to your favorite musical artist or sports' team? She is policy wonk who has an uncanny ability to make the policy equivalent of the quantum physics of seem like elementary school science. This is why people underestimate her--she speaks plainly, but understands deeply. Her political instincts and timing are second-to-none. Many supporters have attempted to guess when she'll announce her bid for the presidency-- from Tax Day to the 4th of July to Constitution Day. At the beginning of 2011, I guessed she would announce on Tax Freedom Day before guessing sometime in August that she would announce perhaps on Constitution Day. Of course, I was wrong both times. With the declared candidates sparring and the potential for the media to shine a bright spotlight on the scurrilous books by men whom I won't name, perhaps Governor Palin has chosen to wait to announce a presidential bid. After all, in Going Rogue, Governor Palin noted a quote from Napoleon Bonaparte during one of her mayoral races, "never get in the way of your enemy when he is making a mistake". Also, she is hunter. Hunters are very patient. You have to wait for your prey, and you have to wait until they are in the optimum position for you to shoot. You also have to be quiet and still enough that the prey does not know that you are there. Only then do you go for the kill. I mean that in a non-violent, new tone kind of way, of course.

So, Palin supporters, let's keep our powder dry.However, it's more than that. The idea of keeping your powder dry as a mindset or an attitude comes from a quote from Oliver Cromwell where he said, " trust in God, but mind to keep your powder dry". The "trust in God" part is crucial. I'm one of those bitter clingers, so faith in God is of utmost importance. One thing that I've always looked to is a verse in Romans 13 in the Bible: " [e]veryone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God". This gets to the idea of providence. Authorities are set in place by God, even when we can't fully grasp what purpose God has in placing them there. To me, that means if Governor Palin is to one day be President Palin, it will happen. That's not to say that as supporters we should just twiddle our thumbs prior to or after her announcement. No matter what the political terrain looks like, supporters will have to do all that we are able to get out the vote, make phone calls, etc to help make a President Palin a reality. As my grandpa (one of the hardest working men of faith I've ever known) is fond of saying, "work as if everything depends on you; pray as if everything depends on God". All this means that there is something at work far greater than any one of us, greater than President Obama, greater than Governor Palin, and greater than anyone else. Besides, as much fun as politics are and as great a country as America is, faith in God and His grace extended to us transcends all of that.

Governor Palin will state her decision at one time or another. One of the things about such an announcement is that it is dichotomous. It's either "yes, I'm running for president" or "no, I'm not running". There's not a gray area. For Palin supporters, that means we don't have to worry about the announcement itself. Doing what we can to support her prior and, Lord willing, after an announcement is not contingent upon whether or not the announcement were to come on Independence Day, Constitution Day, or any other day. If the decision for some reason is to not run for the presidency in 2012, then we go forward, come what may.

Take heart. Trust in God. As Constitution Day comes to a close, we have opportunity to show support for a woman who, if elected and swears the oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution, won't perjure herself by taking that oath. With that oath, "so help me God" will not be empty words from a pandering politician, it will be the conviction of her heart. We don't have to worry about a decision because it's not ours to make. It's only ours to support.

So, "put your trust in God but mind to keep your powder dry".

1 comment:

  1. Your Grandpa's a pretty sharp fellow. Runs in the family, apparently.