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Peggy Noonan on Sarah Palin’s Resignation

13 July, 2009

With apologies to my US Republican friends, for I don’t wish to anger them, let me recommend Peggy Noonan’s recent  Wall Street Journal op-ed piece on Sarah Palin.  Palin recently declared she was leaving her governorship of Alaska.

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See \”A Farewell to Harms\” WSJ Peggy Noonan

Sure, Peggy Noonan was never all that pumped about Palin — she never fell for Gov Palin’s moose hunting populism.  What some might not appreciate is that Noonan is no flaming-liberal Democrat (just a gentle reminder to, as I said, my US Republican friends).  Noonan is a Republican and conservative at that. (By the way, she also was a consultant to The West Wing, so that can’t be too bad!)

What I find intriguing about Noonan’s take on the whole Palin thing is not only her insightful comments on Palin’s vacuous politics and talk but the more serious challenge facing both the Republican party and Democrats. It’s not that Noonan sells out and buys the so-called liberal elite ‘take’ — no, she’s fairly scathing of liberal elite posturing as well.  Rather it is Noonan’s argument that the challenges facing 21st century nations are so complicated, so intricate and so, well, dangerous, leaders must be women and men who truly have the “right stuff”.

Here’s why all this matters. The world is a dangerous place. It has never been more so, or more complicated, more straining of the reasoning powers of those with actual genius and true judgment. This is a time for conservative leaders who know how to think.

Here are a few examples of what we may face in the next 10 years: a profound and prolonged American crash, with the admission of bankruptcy and the spread of deep social unrest; one or more American cities getting hit with weapons of mass destruction from an unknown source; faint glimmers of actual secessionist movements as Americans for various reasons and in various areas decide the burdens and assumptions of the federal government are no longer attractive or legitimate.

For my money, Noonan rightly sees some of the huge challenges facing not only the US but the world.  These challenges are too great to give a moment’s notice to “hockey moms” who posture and pretend and for Republicans who fail to see that things are really, really serious and moose hunting populists aren’t going to help.  As Noonan writes:

The era we face, that is soon upon us, will require a great deal from our leaders. They had better be sturdy. They will have to be gifted. There will be many who cannot, and should not, make the cut. Now is the time to look for those who can. And so the Republican Party should get serious, as serious as the age, because that is what a grown-up, responsible party—a party that deserves to lead—would do.

It’s not a time to be frivolous, or to feel the temptation of resentment, or the temptation of thinking next year will be more or less like last year, and the assumptions of our childhoods will more or less reign in our future. It won’t be that way.

We are going to need the best.

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