It was McCain who lost the presidential election, not Palin. Since that time she has established that she has enormous power to persuade people. A self-made woman who rose from PTA mother to governor of Alaska, she is one of the few speakers in public life who can fill a stadium. Her books are enormous successes. Her television program about Alaska has been a critical and economic success. When Sarah Palin addresses audiences, they rise to their feet in support and applause. She is without question a major leader of the far right faction in the Republican Partyand its ally the Tea Party.
I repeat my earlier comment that she “scares the hell out of me.” Nevertheless, she is entitled to fair and respectful treatment. The fools in politics today in both parties are those who think she is dumb. I’ve never met her, but I’ve always thought she is highly intelligent though not knowledgeable in many areas and politically uninformed.
I don’t believe she will run for president in 2012 or that she would be elected if she did. But I do believe she is equal in ability to many of those in the Republican Party seeking that office.
Many women understand what she has done for their cause. She will not be silenced nor will she leave the heavy lifting to the men in her party. She will not be falsely charged, remain silent, and look for others – men – to defend her. She is plucky and unafraid.
While I disagree with her and am prepared to oppose her politically, in the spirit of longed-for civility I say, Ms. Palin, you are in a certain sense an example of the American dream: You have the courage to stand up and present your vision of America to its people. Your strength and lack of fear make America stronger and are examples to be emulated by girls and boys, men and women who are themselves afraid to speak up.
You provide the example that they need for self-assurance.
Ed Koch served as mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1990.