Friday, September 12, 2008

Gov. Palin...An example for WV

She's on the cover of Time magazine. Biden didn't get on the cover. The article summarizes her political career and gives a strong strategy for how she brought change to Alaska and how we can bring change to WV. In the campaign for mayor of her small town, she drew on the state party and invoked major issues into small town politics. The message, don't just re-elect the mayor cause he's a nice guy, elect the person who represents you and your beliefs. When she left her mayoral position due to term limits in 2002 she refused to support her mother-in-law and backed the opposing candidate. The article points to her stance as a pro-life politician and her mother-in-laws position as pro-choice. As we have learned that is a major disagreement in the Palin house.

What impresses me about that decision is that she didn't back her mother-in-law because she was a nice person (she may not be, but let's assume she is), nor because she was related to her. She chose to support the candidate whose beliefs mirrored her own. I think there is a strong lesson for West Virginians in there. Too often we elect County Commissioners, City officials, mayors, legislators and senators based on their being nice guys. Often we are related to a person running, but that shouldn't force us to vote for that person. Maybe you went to high school with the candidate, maybe you see them monthly or weekly for lunch, but do their political beliefs match your own better than the other candidate's? After all, these shouldn't be popularity contests that always go to the good old boys, it is a political office where decisions are made that will impact your life and family. How many times do we hear about what Senator Byrd did for WV and that we owe it to him to keep voting him into office each go-around? Or the threat of lost jobs if he isn't around to dump a bunch of money into the state? Questioning that line of thought is border-line heresy in WV.

I hope the WV Republican party will run with her strategy. Introduce major issues into local races. Discuss abortion, gun-rights, taxation and other pro-family, conservative issues during school board elections, local, county and state elections. Too many people, including myself, forget that our political system doesn't filter down from Washington, it is built from the local level up. Supporting local candidates whom you disagree with politically allows them to support, both politically and financially, the next candidate up the totem pole. This support continues all the way up the line to our DC representatives. If we want to turn this state away from Democrat domination, it will start with local elections and impacting the lives of our neighbors for the better, not in a massive dog fight against Gov. Manchin, Senator Byrd, or Congressman Mollohan.

I hope we take this lesson to heart and bring real change to WV.

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