Former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin (left) is refusing to back down from her provocative rhetoric from the past week, which some say is encouraging violence against Democratic lawmakers who supported the health care reform bill. In fact, Palin took to her Facebook page Sunday night to taunt her critics. In a note entitled, "Warning: Subject to New Politically Correct Language Police Censorship," Palin wrote about the NCAA college basketball tournament using the same sort of language that she has been criticized for using when discussing politics. "To the teams that desire making it this far next year: Gear up! In the battle, set your sights on next season's targets! From the shot across the bow — the first second's tip-off — your leaders will be in the enemy's crosshairs, so you must execute strong defensive tactics," Palin wrote. "Get in their faces and argue with them. (Sound familiar?!) Every possession is a battle; you'll only win the war if you've picked your battles wisely. No matter how tough it gets, never retreat, instead RELOAD!" – Political Hotsheet
Dominant Social Theme: Palin stands tall.
Free-Market Analysis: As a free-market publication, we would be more comforted by Sarah Palin's actions had she not just recently once again endorsed longtime former presidential running mate, Republican Senator John McCain. McCain is a certain kind of American politician and by showing she supports him, Palin is making it clear where she stands.
From our point of view, it is a kind of contradiction in terms – building one's platform on free-market principles while endorsing America's trillion-dollar "defense" program, multiple wars, serial domestic and global spying endeavors, etc., as she does. We've covered her evolution as an important political figure on the American "right" without ever changing our conclusion:
While Palin has enunciated freedom-oriented concepts, and done so eloquently at times, her continued willingness to pursue political/military "business as usual" is bound to be confusing to voters – and disappointing to free-market thinkers. Here's an excerpt from a mainstream News report covering her campaign appearance with McCain:
Sarah Palin Stumps For John McCain … She said she had "deep respect and admiration" for the man plucked her from relative obscurity and put her on the 2008 Republican ticket, instantly transforming the former Alaska governor into a national figure. "John McCain is leading the party of ideas," she said. Palin said that McCain, who has been criticized by some Republicans as insufficiently conservative, fit with the Tea Party movement because he had been "leading the fight against reckless spending for decades." In a reference to McCain's age, she quipped that "some may claim that John was there at that first Tea Party." … She said she and McCain believe American soldiers are "are a force for good in this world, and that's nothing to apologize for." – CBS News
But John McCain's political record in terms of his perception of government's role in the free-market is nothing near one of laissez faire. He does not seem to believe that government ought to let any part of the private sector alone. He is an extreme interventionist who backs America's wars of conquest and has been responsible for legislation that has attacked fundamental American free-speech rights. He has also backed various immigration bills that would have had the effect of blurring the lines of Mexican and American sovereignty.
Sarah Palin has made herself a national spokesperson for the libertarian, free-market oriented Tea Party movement in the United States. At the same time her pro-military-industrial complex rhetoric and her unambiguous support for politicians such as John McCain tend to contradict her other stances. The more extreme her rhetoric becomes in support of free-market and self-defense issues, the more confusing her other positions must appear to both her supporters and the larger mass of interested American political observers.
Palin's extreme high profile, her contract as a Fox News correspondent, her best-selling book and current political activities, when combined with her confusing political stances all tend to confirm our perspective that she promoting a specific agenda, and not by accident. Her perspective, in fact, is one the Republican party in America has stood for, for decades. It combines militarism with free-market rhetoric but ends up putting free-markets and freedom below national security and global adventurism. She is therefore putting empire over peaceable trade, a perspective that continually degrades what is left of American civil society.
We had hoped that Sarah Palin, who is an attractive an energetic personality, would not adopt such conflicting stances. They have characterized the mainstream approach to free-markets throughout the 20th century, but in the 21st century, they are giving way, gradually, to the principled positions of such free-market thinking individuals as Republican Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex). Maybe her political perspectives will still grow or evolve, but it is certainly not clear that they are doing so.
Sarah Palin seems determined, for whatever reason, to continue to support what we would characterize as a power elite promotion – a dominant social theme – that freedom can only be practiced within the confines of a strong, even authoritarian state with massive military dominance. The message is overwhelmingly that free-markets not supported by force will not prosper. We beg to differ, and from what we have read on the Internet, there is a Palin-backlash. The foundering of this power elite meme, (the necessity of empire in support of free-markets) would be an extraordinary event. It would certainly usher in a new political season in America, and would have broader ramifications as well.