There is much to really like about Sarah Palin. Her values, her charisma, and her outside the beltway background makes her politically attractive to many. Whether she has a future in national politics is yet to be seen, but Saturday night she gave all of us in leadership a valuable lesson. According to the Huffington Post, Palin "mocked" President Obama for using teleprompters in speeches, even to students in school. Yet, Palin herself would often glance at her hand where she had written several notes as talking points for her speech. The words "Energy", "Tax" and "Lift American Spirits" are clearly visible. Sarah Palin will weather the criticism that comes her way from her faux pax Saturday night, but the lesson that seems evident to me is that one would be wise to build support on the basis of clear enunciation of principles rather than denigrating an opponent's personal idiosycrasies (like using a teleprompter). If an opponent is to be challenged, let it be on matters of principle. All of us have personal idosyncrasies. When we build support by mocking our opponents personal habits, we invite scathing criticism of our own. Again, it seems to me that civil discourse and discussion should lead us down the path where we only point out the differences of our opponents policies and principles, choosing to leave out our observations of his or her perceived personal faults. What's the difference between attacking another's policies rather than his or her personal idiosyncrasies? The former seems to lead to effective and needed debate on the issues, the latter to personal ridicule and denigration of other people. Of course, Sarah Palin has been the recepient of the latter by those who oppose her since she was thrust into the national limelight. I have not heard her speak often, but I am hoping that her advisers and speech writers will not lead her down the same path the liberals have taken when it comes to denigrating her personally. She has enough material on policy issues alone to build a huge support base. All of us who comment on blogs, or lead others, would do well to simply and clear enunciation our principles rather than personally denigrating those who disagree with us.
In His Grace, Wade