Evangelical Sarah Palin counters liberals' utopian totalitarianism with a traditional American liberty movement: Government "is not to perfect us, but to protect us."
UPDATE 11/22/09: Palin tour fans give Obama an earful via New York Times
-- From "Will Palin's book tour jump-start a political movement?" by Erika Bolstad, McClatchy Newspapers 11/21/09
In the first few days of a cross-country book tour to promote her memoir, the former Alaska governor's supporters have greeted her with a populist fervor unmatched in Internet-age Republican politics.
While it's too early to call it a campaign, Palin's brand of common sense conservatism crackles with the energy of a burgeoning political movement.
In "The Way Forward," the title of the final chapter of her memoir, she says that her persona and her political philosophy are based on common sense that were last espoused by Reagan, her political idol. The role of government, Palin writes, "is not to perfect us, but to protect us."
Some . . . see Palin's political philosophy as a stand against . . . "government control, dependence on the government and loss of liberty."
Palin appears to have tapped into a powerful strain of populism fueled by dissatisfaction with the economy and by fear that the Democratic Party that's running the country is made up of elites who aren't listening, said Dennis Goldford, a professor of politics at Drake University in Iowa.
The term coined by Palin in her book has been around for a while, said Greg Mueller, a conservative strategist and a veteran of Republican presidential campaigns. Palin, however, seems to have seized on something timely by putting her brand on common sense conservatism, he said.
Steven Zerbini, a 19-year-old college student and National Guardsman from Greensburg, Pa., offered his own definition of it.
"It's not bringing in a terrorist to civilian courts in New York City," Zerbini said, referring to confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. "It's not raising taxes in a recession."
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