Today, Americans from all walks of life will unite to bring Grizzly Fest 2011, the first event of its kind, to a computer near you.
You can be sure that the liberal left and, let’s be honest, the Republican establishment, are scratching their heads in disbelief trying to figure out what in the world it is about Sarah Palin that inspires such enthusiasm within the conservative movement. And, just when they thought Sarah and her supporters were finally going to go away, here we are again. More enthusiastic than ever.
It’s remarkable, really. There’s no way to put a label on exactly who it is that supports Sarah. There are certainly those within conservative politics who are willing to voice strong support, but beyond that, the descriptions run the gamut. The panelists for Grizzly Fest 2011 are a perfect example--their experience is as varied as the audience to which they will be speaking. What has most fascinated me over the last few years, however, are both the blogs and the organizations that were started either directly, or indirectly, as a result of the passion of one woman who decided it was time for her to make a difference.
And make a difference she did.
So, what is it about Sarah Palin that caused moms and young people alike to finally stand up and take notice? Was it the clothes? I mean, shocking as it is to many on the left, the lady can rock a dress like nobody you’ve ever seen. Or, maybe it’s the fact that she’s been married to the same man all these years, and that together, they’ve had five kids. Or, perhaps it’s the fact that she is one tough chick, what with all the running, fishing, and caribou hunting...I joke, but I hope you get the point. The liberal left like to paint the support of Sarah as some sort of fad, a sort of celebrity worship, and you and I both know that couldn’t be further from reality.
When I first heard about Sarah Palin, I was standing in my kitchen doing dishes, listening to Rush Limbaugh. I was your average informed conservative wife and mother, largely uninvolved in politics other than my annual trip to the voting booth. Rush mentioned that he’d heard Sarah was being considered for Vice President, and spoke highly of her. That was sometime mid-summer 2008, and while I liked the prospect of a female VP, I never thought it would happen. It wasn’t until the morning of August 29, 2008 that I began to think all that seriously about the little known Governor from Alaska. As I watched the news reports, I heard the mainstream media talk about this woman like she was the devil himself, and it puzzled me. Everything I’d heard, which admittedly wasn't much, had been extremely positive. She started her political career at the very bottom, and with a lot of hard work, determination, and willingness to do the right thing, she had risen to the top spot in her state--with support from both sides of the aisle. (let’s face it folks, that’s not an easy task these days)
Later that afternoon, Senator John McCain did, indeed, announce that Sarah was his choice for the coveted spot, and with that announcement, the liberal left lost their minds. No, seriously, they came completely unglued.
Moms 4 Sarah Palin became a place where I could not only inform others about Governor Palin, but also defend her against relentless media attacks, educate women on the issues, and inform my readers about the principles of conservatism.
Three years later, I continue to hear story after story just like mine, and while I have no doubt that I would’ve been inspired by Sarah Palin’s life story regardless of the behavior of the mainstream media, they certainly were instrumental in speeding up the process. What is it about Sarah that inspires such passion, on both sides of the political spectrum?
She's the real deal.
Over and over throughout her political life, Sarah has taken a stand for what is right, regardless of popular opinion. She's genuine, she believes deeply in the cause for which she's fighting, and because of that, is tireless in her effort. I believe, in addition to her strong stand on Constitutional conservative principles, this is why so many have been inspired by Sarah and seek to follow her example.
In the weeks and months that followed Senator McCain's announcement, support for the team began to come from the most unlikely places. Blogs like mine were created, in many cases by people who were completely unfamiliar with social media (and in some cases, even politics)--ordinary Americans of all ages were inspired to do something extraordinary. They came together in unprecedented numbers and a true grassroots movement was born. Organizations were created either in direct support of Sarah, or because they were inspired by Sarah--one such organization is Smart Girl Politics. Stacy Mott, founder of SGPA, refers to herself as a 9/11 conservative. Before the horrific attacks on 09/11/01, Stacy was a Democrat. Her first real involvement in politics was in 2004. By 2008, she had developed a great desire to get involved, but because she was mommy to very small children, blogging became her only real option. In June 2008, Smart Girl Politics--the blog--was created. After the election, inspired by what she'd witnessed over the course of the previous months, Stacy decided to put a help-wanted sign on her blog. She announced that she'd like to create a place for other conservative women to discuss politics and conservatism, and within a week, 60 women answered the call. In December 2008, Stacy and co-founder Teri Christoph formed what is now known as Smart Girl Politics Action. Today, SGP is one of the fastest growing premier social networks for conservative women in the country. They are a national organization providing local support to their membership, with a united voice that now exceeds 40,000 women.
When the McCain/Palin team lost the election in 2008, many thought it would be the death of support for Sarah Palin, and that she'd go back to her Wasilla home and leave politics to the big boys. They were dead wrong.
So, what now?
That is what Grizzly Fest 2011 is all about. Sarah isn't running for President in 2012, but that doesn't mean that the cause for which we were inspired to fight has gone away. We have a President in the White House who is fundamentally changing the very fabric of our nation, and it is up to us to stand strong, and continue to follow Sarah's example. Sarah's not finished, she's just getting started...and so are we.
**How were you inspired by Governor Palin? We'd like to hear your story here!**