There has been an a-ha moment which has swept the country. It took place sometime earlier this year when each of us were filling our cars at $70 a tank. Anger and frustration boiled over in the American mind to finally percolate into one idea, “ENOUGH!” We are Americans, a can-do nation, and its simply absurd that we are subsidizing radical sheiks to send terrorist here to kill us. This is a problem which well within our scope as nation. It’s a problem which requires us to roll up our sleeves and leverage the great imagination of this dynamic economy. If we can defeat Hitler’s Third Reich and Stalin’s Soviet Union, certainly we can send these oil-lords and their sick philosophies off to the dustbin of history.
Barak picked up on this meme early on with his Change campaign. But Americans aren’t fools, and we know when a haughty patrician is mouthing the words, but not giving us the solution. Soaring rhetoric from a Harvard lawyer we know, deep down, will lead no where.
And then, quite suddenly, John McCain gives the most shocking stage direction in a drama since Shakespeare’s “Exit, pursued by a bear”, that is, “Enters, Governor Sara Palin“; (who has apparently pursued some bears of her own). Her American can-do story is the exact approach we as a nation need now, and certainly more powerful then any rhetoric which was offered at that spectacle in Denver last week. Fireworks, 90,000 screaming fans, and Greek columns is no match for an Alaskan woman with a gun and a mission.
Frederick Jackson Turner’s famous thesis on America claimed that this country’s greatness was derived from the edges of society, on the frontier. It was here where freedom was created, where the fertile American mind broke “the bonds of custom, offering new experiences, [and] calling out new institutions and activities.” “The frontier,” he claimed, “is the line of most rapid Americanization—that coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and acquisitiveness; that practical inventive turn of mind, quick to find expedients; that masterful grasp of material things… that restless, nervous energy; that dominant individualism” — could all be attributed to the influence of the frontier.
Sara Palin is the very embodiment of this thesis. That we as a nation should reach into the wellspring of our frontier and find a hunter of our own; who will tell us how inane it is not to drill in ANWR; who will point to the massive natural gas fields which occupy her state and say yes America this is ours and we must use it; to finally, in just two years in office, start building a new pipeline to that gas after 30 years of wrangling; to bring down a corrupt oil-commission, attorney general, and ultimately the governor because she refused to play along with their shenanigans; and to do all this while raising five children is the American heroine we’ve always wanted.
It is this experience, the experience on the American Frontier which our nation needs more then any rhetorical lawyering. A real person for the very real problems we face. If this isn’t the answer to the very essence of our national security problems, I’m not sure what is. So, the more these Washington insiders such as Sam Donaldson and David Gergen chuckle and dismiss snidely this Alaskan wonder, the more I know Mac got it right.