Diary

Palin, Social Media, and the Blueprint

That I am a fan of Sarah Palin is not, I think, a secret.  That I did absolutely nothing for the 2008 election until McCain named Palin as his running mate is true.  That I regard Sarah Palin as the future of the Republican Party, and absolutely the most astonishing politician I have seen since Ronald Reagan, may be sign of bias and foolishness on my part… but it is nonetheless true.

Because I think Sarah Palin is the most gifted politician in a generation — quite possibly since Ronald Reagan himself — with an incredibly compelling personal story and rock-solid principles, I regarded her recent resignation as a real positive, as Kowalski did, because she is now free to become the focal point of both the national conservative movement and the conservative wing of the Republican Party.  She astonished me with her decision to resign.  If she never runs for elected office again, well, that’s her decision.  I suspect that we’ll hear from her again.

That is all secondary, however.  Because today, she astonished me again.  Here’s the story from Mashable:

Sarah Palin yesterday announced her plans to resign from the role of Governor of Alaska, leaving the press clueless as to why. Does she plan to retire from politics completely, or is she preparing to make a 2012 presidential bid? Palin is talking to no one…except Twitter and Facebook.  In fact, Palin used her Facebook page to criticize the mainstream media for their treatment of her.

The press appears somewhat frustrated by the decision, with the AP producing a full-length article today discussing the governor’s most recent Tweets, including: “Lots of celebration of Independence & Alaska’s 50th Anniversary of Statehood.” It was only thanks to Twitter (Twitter) that the media knows where Palin was today, the Associated Press adds – she was at the Juneau Fourth of July parade. Her spokesman wasn’t aware of her plans, say reports.

And she posted a statement on her Facebook page, again circumventing the press entirely.  Mashable’s comment was:

The statement gives us little insight into Palin’s future direction, but the strategy is remarkable: with no press release on Palin’s site, a Facebook statement and some Tweets are all the press has to go on. A sign of the times, perhaps?

My comment is, “YOU GO GIRL!”

Perhaps Palin, more than any other politician in recent memory, understands that the MSM is not only not her friend, but her enemy, actively seeking to destroy her politically (and personally if that’s what it takes).  Perhaps the ambush interviews by Couric and Gibson and countless others during the 2008 campaign made her realize at a deep level that as long as she has the (R) after her name, she can expect neither fairness nor truth from the press.

With no immediate need to campaign for anything, I believe what Sarah is doing is showing all conservatives and Republicans the blueprint for future media strategy: DON’T.

Social media represents the next battleground for communications, and I rather think that Sarah is trying to build something that no one else in the Right has been able to do: an alternate channel for connecting directly to the American people, bypassing the panjandrums of print and broadcast entirely.

Any fairminded or relatively neutral individual wanting to know more about Sarah, her views, her policies, can now simply follow her on Twitter, or check out her Facebook Page.  No more distortions by the editors of various dead-tree newspapers.  No more quotes taken out of context by Democratic operatives with jobs as “reporters” — at least, not without direct and immediate source available for all to see on the Web, since said “reporters” will just be copying and quoting directly from Sarah’s social media efforts.

The haters on the Left will hate her no matter what, and they’ll spam her Facebook page or Twitter with vile idiocy.  But the rest of America can see how silly, how immature, how vile the online Left really is as a result.  This too will result in good things for Sarah.

This is an incredibly smart, incredibly insightful, and incredibly forward thinking move on Palin’s part.  If she keeps this up, simply choosing to ignore the MSM and using social media for all of her communication needs, she may be able to change the political world as we know it.

Someone in the comments said Sarah should become a commentator on Fox, alongside Hannity and Rove.  Perhaps she will.  But I rather think she should become a regular contributor to Redstate.com, Townhall.com, and other online centers of conservative activism.  The fairminded, persuadable voters in the middle, will be able to hear directly from Sarah, see her opinions for themselves, and — because social media is inherently a two-way medium — be able to ask her questions, give her opinions, and otherwise interact with her in ways that no pre-fab bullshit TV “town hall meetings” can provide.

This, my friends, is the way forward for conservatives.  Because we’re not about flash and glamor and “framing the debate”.  We’re about truth and what actually works.  The Left — so lauded for using social media to elect Obama — simply cannot tell the truth about its plans, its goals, and its methods.  We can.  And we should.

Imagine if Sarah is successful in getting her message out to the people of America through social media, simply by starving the MSM of any direct information, interviews, or special access.  Should not every Republican politician not follow suit?  The American people will give everyone a fair shake; the American media, not so much.  Why continue to pander to our enemies in the media, as if their imprimatur of favor as a “good Republican” matters one bit to voters?

Oh, she astonishes me, Sarah Palin does.  On Independence Day, she has declared independence from the press.  And critics and professional campaign operatives who tut-tut at her “stupidity” and “naivete” should remember that the declaration by a bunch of ragtag colonists back in 1776 was greeted with jeers and hoots as well.

Are you watching, Chairman Steele?

Welcome to the future.

-TS