At a leadership forum at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida on Friday, Sarah Palin told conservatives to influence the culture by impacting sports and continue to cling to God, guns, and the Constitution.
Sports has often always been upstream from culture and, as Andrew Breitbart always said, culture has been upstream from politics.
According to NewsChief.com, Palin encouraged conservatives to “infiltrate” the culture and study journalism while going into Hollywood and the sports world.
She also asked the next generation to help change the country’s moral fiber because “our foundation will crumble if we choose to ignore it,”
“Cling to your God, your guns, your Constitution!” Palin said. “God deserves so much better than what we give him … What has happened when we can’t say his name in public?”
She hammered the crony capitalism in Washington D.C., referring to Washington as a “hotbed of cronyism” and calling the federal government “bloated, corrupt, and out-of-control.” Palin injected “crony capitalism” into the political bloodstream with her speech in Indianola, Iowa in 2011 and at her maiden appearance at CPAC in 2012.
Palin has always been fluent in popular culture and sports.
Last season, when Jeremy Lin, an Evangelical American-born basketball player of Asian descent, took the NBA–and nation–by storm in what was dubbed “Linsanity,” Palin went to New York and bought his Knicks jersey. She praised him as an “all-American” and meritocratic success story to various outlets. Her words cut through the culture and reached Asian-Americans who do not pay attention to politics, who commented favorably about Palin during the height of Linsanity. Lin’s success was culturally to Americans of Asian descent what Fernando Valenzuela’s emergence with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1980s (“Fernandomania”) was to Americans of Mexican descent.
President Barack Obama, another person, for all his faults, who gets the importance of culture, also praised Lin on Air Force One last year. But Republican politicians not named Palin were too busy poll-testing whether commenting on Lin would benefit them.
It is worth noting that in 2012 presidential election, a greater percentage of Asian-Americans somehow voted for Obama than Hispanics. Much of that represented a failure on behalf of the careful, timid, and cautious Republican establishment who neither get nor know how to cut through the culture like Palin has so successfully done since she became the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee.
Palin was also ahead of the curve in praising Tim Tebow when he was with the Denver Broncos and, most recently, was watching the Daytona 500 and publicly tweeting her support for Danica Patrick during the final laps of the race. Patrick became the first woman to win a pole at a NASCAR race and one of the few drivers, along with legends like A.J. Foyt and Tony Stewart, to ever to lead laps in the both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500, racing’s two signature events.
As an athlete who runs a faster marathon–after having had four children (Palin ran the marathon before she had her fifth child)–than male Republican jocks like Paul Ryan and someone who has been a sportscaster, Palin–perhaps more than any other Republican politician–has always gotten the importance of sports in shaping the broader culture.