Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sarah Palin’s Gift

It’s one of the reasons why the Republic primary campaign, which has the better part of a year to run, would be richer and more exciting were the Alert Alaskan to enter the fray, pressing for an approach to the issues on the basis of what she calls commonsense constitutional conservatism. - Editorial of The New York Sun

In our long newspaper life, we have covered a lot of brands of conservative — paleo-conservatism, neo-conservatism, supply-side-conservatism, Christian-conservatism, social conservatism, libertarian conservatism, compassionate conservatism. Even as we've been more enthusiastic about some than others, all of them have made important contributions. At the end of the day, though, we have yet to sense a more open and civil way for resolving our differences than in the idea of repairing for guidance to the constitutional contract that established our republic.

This is what we sometimes call Sarah Palin’s gift to the GOP. By branding as her own the phrase constitutional conservatism, the former governor of Alaska has opened up an approach to a host of issues facing our country in a way that pays homage to our deepest and noblest traditions. And in ways that may yet lead to adjustments by both sides, on questions as diverse as, say, immigration, monetary policy, gay marriage, the deficit, the war, education, regulation, and crime, to name but a few of the issues on which the country is divided and on which the constitution contains language that may steer us to tranquil shores.

No doubt other Republicans can also bow this violin, meaning they have either marked some of the constitutional points or are capable of doing so. We comprehend that some — Governors Perry and Romney, among them — have greater governmental experience than Mrs. Palin. But it has been Mrs. Palin who has brought the idea of constitutional conservative to the fore. She has done this through the Tea Party, through her bus tour, through her speeches, and her postings at Facebook. We are not making an endorsement here, merely saying that the race — our country’s politics — would be enriched were she to throw her hat into the ring as a candidate.