Sarah Palin has been getting a lot of flack recently. Flack for her TV show. Flack for her daughter being on dancing with the stars. Flack for going against the Republican establishment. Now flack comes with the job of being a public figure involved in politics. And often the pundits and political leaders disking out the criticism have valid points.
I am not concerned about people being critical of Palin. And any leader worth his salt will have critics to spare. What concerns me is that some of the loudest critics have been coming from within the Republican Party. For being a party that quotes Ronald Reagan at every dinner party and campaign rally, they seem to have forgotten one important Reagan rule:
“Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”
This does not mean of course we cannot discuss our disagreements. Reagan had plenty of disagreements with Republicans. In fact, he did not almost knock out incumbent Gerald Ford out of his own party’s primary because he agreed with him on everything.
I see Republican criticism of Palin as telling. Critics have plenty of ammo to send her way. But what I do not see is any leading people another way. Reagan did not need to verbally criticize other Republicans personally because he allowed his actions to do it for him. Joe Scarborough recently wrote a piece calling for the “GOP to man up” to Palin. For anyone with who has a problem with Palin, I completely agree with Scarborough’s call to action. But I do not believe that the GOP should “man up” by cutting her down.
As Scarborough points out, Palin does not have clean hands in regards to Reagan’s commandment. But if we are concerned someone is hijacking the GOP, then it’s about time Republicans leaders step up and gave people another person to follow. Reagan did not win over the party by cutting down other party leaders. He won their hearts by stepping up and leading. The American people can see the difference between talkers and doers, travel planners and tour guides. We need to stop telling the American people who to follow, and start giving them reasons to follow. And considering that Reagan’s commandment only allowed for the second option, maybe he knew a thing or two about leading.