Right Side Round Table: Is Sarah Palin an effective voice for the right?

Right Side Round Table: Is Sarah Palin an effective voice for the right?

June 29th, 2013 in Opinion Free Press


Sarah Palin rejoined Fox News as a contributor earlier this month, indicating that the polarizing former Alaska governor and Vice Presidential candidate remains a powerful voice in the conservative landscape. Is she beneficial to conservatives and the Republican Party, or does she do more harm than good?

Sarah Palin is undeniably useful and important as a face of the conservative movement. She is ineffective and even detrimental as the face of the conservative movement.

Unfortunately, that's exactly what she became when John McCain selected her as his running mate in 2008: the face of the GOP and conservatism. It wasn't by design. It was simply a function of sharing the Republican ticket with one of the least compelling, most ideologically void candidates for president imaginable.

Palin's presence in the race gave the media -- and the nation -- a fascinating and captivating presence to discuss and dissect; to celebrate and to use (unfairly) as a punching bag.

The reality was, and still is, that Palin's particular populist Christian views represent only a small fraction of the people who make up the political right in America. That makes her a poor standard-bearer for the party and the movement. Since, however, those stances reflect the ideology of many engaged Americans, and make great fodder for discussion and debate, she is custom-made for success in the media.

Palin is an important voice within conservatism's big tent. She's just not the person that should be standing on center stage. That's why in the media -- rather than in elected office or sitting on the sidelines -- is exactly where she needs to be.

-- The Free Press

Victoria Jackson

Former "Saturday Night Live" cast member and author at Liberty Alliance

I'm thrilled that Sarah Palin is back on TV. She expresses the values, morals and faith of millions of us real Americans who are fighting to keep our freedoms. The left attacks both Palin and Michele Bachmann relentlessly because the left is afraid of these two. The left is afraid of facts. The left is afraid of truth, because it exposes their evil schemes and lust for power.

Palin is my hero and the mocking she takes from the progressives and the communists, and the uniformed and the ignorant, just reinforces the fact that she is right and strong and they are weak and wrong.

Jason Pye

Editor-in-chief at United Liberty

Sarah Palin is still an influential figure in the conservative movement. She has significant influence among the grassroots and can help fiscal conservatives in the mold of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul win primaries against establishment candidates. That sort of clout is hard to dismiss or downplay.

Recent comments made by Palin about the need for Republicans to listen to libertarians were encouraging. She sees an ally in the fight against a government that is a threat to our liberties and the need for Republicans to take a libertarian direction. That's somewhat inside baseball, but important in the battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party.

Palin's influence is in the primaries, which is important. But when voters step into the ballot box on Nov. 4, 2014, they're going to care little about her or what she's said. What will matter to them are the effects of the policies that have been pursued and enacted by the Obama Administration.

Karen Handel

Former Georgia Secretary of State and candidate for U.S. Senate

Diversity of opinion in the broadcast media sadly lags behind that available in print and Internet outlets. While it is true that some of the weekend news and opinion programs have "conservatives" and "progressives," commentators with liberal views still outnumber those with more conservative viewpoints.

The lack of thoughtful and diverse opinion is partly responsible for lagging viewership of many of the mainstream media news programs. Fox News has determinedly bucked that trend. Sure, Fox has more conservative voices than the other networks, but Fox also presents a broader spectrum of views than the competition which gives more depth to the coverage of the issues of the day. The national conversation of important issues benefits from this diversity of viewpoints. And, it is clearly good for ratings as Fox has eclipsed all other cable news entities and routinely matches its broadcast brethren.

Gov. Palin is a strong voice for grassroots conservatives. She is a refreshing break from the typical media conversation mold. I applaud Fox for continuing to have the vision and courage to broaden the national debate with interesting and compelling contributors like Governor Palin.