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Sarah Palin And American Exceptionalism

Posted by Gary P Jackson on December 22, 2010

By Gary P Jackson

Michael Prell over at American Thinker has penned a great read talking about Sarah Palin and how both she, and her TLC show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, are a celebration of American exceptionalism.

Watching “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” is like stepping back in time — not to a time when Americans lived off the land and the sea, but to a time when our desire to be #1 was celebrated and not scorned.

A recent episode of “SP’s Alaska” was about Sarah Palin’s oldest son Track trying to prove to his father Todd that he was worthy of taking over the #1 fishing site in Bristol Bay. As Sarah Palin said, “Todd has the #1 site in this area…so Track has to work very, very hard and prove to Todd that he deserves to fish the #1 site.

Let us pause for a moment to take that in. A young man working hard to prove that he is worthy of being #1.

There was a time in America when young people were taught that being #1 was a good thing, and that anyone could grow up to be president, which is the #1 position of power in the world. Now America is led by a president who bows down to the world and apologizes for America’s power, while criticizing powerful and successful Americans at home, scorning them as “fat cats,” and saying that “at a certain point, you’ve made enough money.”

Contrast President Obama’s attitude about success to that of his biggest challenger, Sarah Palin, who said in TLC’s “Alaska” that “[i]t’s very important to remember that the more successful fisherman is going to be the harder-working fisherman. The harder you work, the more money you’re going to make, the more fish you’re going to be able to pick. That, again, is a life lesson that so many should, and could, be learning.

Continue reading this great article here.

Prell is right, of course. Growing up, we sort of took American exceptionalism for granted. I mean it was common knowledge that Americans had a strong work ethic and a desire to be the very best they could be. It’s was something that seemed to be embedded in our DNA.

We celebrated the great baseball players, the championship race car drivers, the fastest runners, and so forth. American life was all about competition. All about the desire to continually improve one’s personal best, whether it be in sports, at work, or just life in general. We found satisfaction in this. Just knowing we had done as well as we could. It’s this sort of spirit that built America and made it great.

Thanks to those who seek equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity, it’s became almost taboo to speak of American exceptionalism. Our own President downplays it at every turn. He appears almost ashamed of it.

It’s the progressive [read communist] mentality that seeks to make absolutely everything equal. Everyone gets an equal share of money, food, possessions, and so on, in the progressive’s utopian dreams.

The problem is, there is no way to give everyone equal talent.

Our Founding Fathers realized this, and sought to create a system that guaranteed everyone an equal start. Everyone an equal opportunity. A level playing field. That’s as good as it gets. It’s the most one can hope for.

It’s why for over 200 years people have risked death itself to come to America and take part in this grand experiment. This uniquely American experience. These immigrants have only added to the great American exceptionalism.

Of course this distresses progressives. There is something in their DNA that causes them to have unrealistic goals. Their ideology demands that everyone must have an equal outcome, even as they steal everyone’s right to an equal opportunity. Their entire psyche is backwards.

By allowing man to have an equal opportunity, a level playing field, you allow him to have the Freedom and Liberty to succeed against all other odds. You allow the individual to independently have the opportunity to reach the highest levels their talent and desire will allow.

The story of America is filled with men and women who grew up poor, and had only the most basic of education, if that, who went on to become some of the most successful in society. Some of our greatest leader and captains of industry stared out at the lowest levels of every measure. Through nothing more than hard work and a desire to succeed, despite all odds and obstacles before them, they chose to persevere. They never let anyone tell them they couldn’t do something. Never let anyone put artificial limitations on them.

These success stories, though common in America, are quite rare elsewhere. The equal opportunity America affords one and all is what makes the difference. 

Contrast that with the progressive ideology that says every one gets a trophy for showing up, and we shouldn’t keep score. What progressives are doing, early on, is creating the feeling that one can’t compete. One can’t succeed, so why even try.

It’s a cynical, and frankly, a pretty cruel thing to do to our children. This nonsense trains them to want, even demand, equal outcome all through their life, whether they work their tails off, and constantly improve their abilities, or stand around and take up space.

The real evil behind this mentality though is that, instead of building less than successful people up, encouraging them to reach higher and higher, it tears successful people down. It brings the successful down to the level of those who, for whatever reason, are not.

By demonizing the successful, and seeking to redistribute the fruits of their successes, in order to make sure everyone has an equal portion of success, you literally de-incentivise the very success you wish to take from some, and give to others. [in a completely arbitrary fashion]

Seriously, why would someone work as hard as they could, only to have a portion of the fruits of their labor forcibly taken away and given to someone else? Pretty soon, even the most ambitious person looks around and realizes that working harder than anyone around you, or just showing up and keeping a seat warm, pays
 exactly the same.

There’s a lot to be said for doing your absolute best every single day, for no other reason than personal satisfaction, but at some point even the most highly motivated get to thinking: “What’s the point?”

This sort of thing is why other nations, and their people, have failed. Collapsed.

We’ve been here before. History always repeats itself because most people fail to study it, and learn from their mistakes. For all of the American exceptionalism that is very real, Americans have the attention span of a gnat, with a collective memory to match.

The downward spiral in America started in the late 1960s, when the radicals who now run government, and shape policy, were nothing more than a bunch of nuts protesting in the streets. Although it started with Johnson, from Nixon through Carter we really lost faith in government, and to a large extent, ourselves. By the time radical progressive Jimmy Carter came to power, America was in a malaise. People figured America’s best days were behind us. Sad sack Carter did everything he could do to reinforce this feeling, as did Hollywood. We were in real trouble.

Then came an exceptional man. A man who celebrated America and it’s exceptionalism. A man who came to embody it. A man who saw America as that Shining City on a Hill. Ronald Reagan, a man who was born of modest means, and didn’t go to the “right” college, worked his way through life to become one of our greatest leaders.

Reagan’s exuberance, his love for not only America, but the American people as well, inspired us all. Reagan reminded us all of why America has always been the most successful nation the world has ever known. His love and celebration of American exceptionalism inspired the entire nation to pick itself up, dust itself off, and get to the job at hand.

It wasn’t easy. Through Reagan’s first term, things were dicey. But his optimism [and hard work getting the right policies in place] kept everyone inspired and focused. In the end, America would see the longest period of economic growth in our history.

Today America is in the doldrums once again . This time it feels more deliberate though. Carter was and is a radical ideologue, but his incompetence caused a lot of our problems. Now the case can certainly be made that Barack Obama’s incompetence, which is a product of inexperience as a leader, as well as immaturity, is at the bottom of all of this, but that wouldn’t be entirely true, or even fair.

No, our problems started when the democrats took control of Congress in 2007. The leadership chosen are the most radical of what is already a radically leftist group. Their overreaching laws, and desire to spend trillions we don’t have, as well as their communistic tendencies to make everyone “equal” have got us where we are. Obama is just the ribbon and bow around the horrific package.

America has once again lost confidence in government, and even now, after a serious political re-alignment, wonders if the new Congress will be much different than the old. If what we are seeing out of the GOP Senate leadership, that WON’T be changed in the new Congress, the fears that it will be business as usual, seem pretty well justified.

That brings us back to Sarah Palin and her celebration of American exceptionalism. Her knowledge that
We the People” [not government] are the cause of American greatness.

America, and the American people are successful and exceptional not because of government, but in spite of it!

Of course the media, and others who have their own agendas, will try and tell you it’s “corny” at best, or motivated by her desire to make money, at worst. Pretty much the same thing was said about Ronald Reagan in his day. How could someone simply love America and just want the best for all concerned? That doesn’t fit the template the progressives and corrupt media created.

One doesn’t have to spend more than a few minutes watching Sarah Palin, reading Sarah Palin, or listening to Sarah Palin, to understand her love for America and her faith in the American people is real.

Sarah also sees America as that Shining City on a Hill. She understands that longing in the American spirit to be the best that you can be. You hear it in her speeches and see it as she lives life. You feel it deep down when she talks about her son, Trig, who faces many challenges that most will never know. She has faith that, challenges be damned, her son will lead a full and successful life.That he will meet the challenges head on.

There’s a reason why Sarah inspires so many. Like Reagan before her, she simply refuses to believe America, and Americans are anything less than the cream of the crop. She understands that indomitable spirit that made America the greatest nation on earth, and the American people so successful.

The desire to be the very best of the best, and for all Americans to be the same, is in HER DNA. 

Of course, as a nation, we need more than someone who believes in us. We need someone with the temperament and ability to lead. As we search for a new elected leader, we need someone with the executive experience, and record of accomplishment befitting the highest office.

Thankfully, Sarah Palin has always practiced the American exceptionalism she speaks of. Like Reagan,Sarah comes from a modest background and went to the “wrong” college. But as we see weekly on Sarah Palin’s Alaska, she was, and is, surrounded by those who are grounded in solid principles and themselves the very embodiment of the American spirit.

Sarah started out as a working mom who just wanted to be involved in the local PTA to make sure her kids had the best education possible. That simple act, one that millions of moms have made throughout our history, has taken this remarkable woman to the top of the charts as a national leader. Someone on equal footing with the President of the United States, when it comes to influence and profile.

We aren’t sure what the future holds for Sarah. [Though we know what we want it to!] But as an inspirational leader for our time, no one can compare. By celebrating the American spirit and American exceptionalism in everything she does, Sarah Palin is making America better and inspiring others to do the same.

As we celebrate American exceptionalism, much to the chagrin of progressives everywhere, let’s also celebrate our Founders, who gave us a wonderful system where the cream can rise to the top, and exceptional leaders can come from the most unlikely of places, like the last frontier, Alaska.

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