[This article was originally published in August 2009 by Jeanette Pryor on her blog.]
Guest submission by Jeanette Pryor
On July 3rd, 2009, Sarah Palin resigned as Governor of Alaska, and for all intents and purposes nailed the following sign to her door:
“Men Wanted For Hazardous Journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.”
This most famous newspaper advertisement ever penned placed its original author, Sir Ernest Shackleton, in the position of selecting his Antarctic expeditionary crew from among 5,000 applicants. Comparing Sarah Palin to Shackleton might appear to stretch the limits of metaphorical license, even for an Irishwoman given to hyperbole. I contend that it pales when compared to giving a Marxist revolutionary with two weeks of Presidential experience the Peace Prize offered to Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sarah Palin will be the next President of the United States, and the secret to her success is a characteristic she shares with all true leaders, tenacity.
In 1914, Sir Ernest set sail for the Weddell Sea in a ship that was fate-temptingly named, “Endurance.” Though Shackleton did not succeed in crossing the frozen continent, his expedition would honor the parchment of history with awe-inspiring bravery. The Endurance, belying her proud name, fell victim to the treacherous ice floes that clawed their way earlier and further north than usual. Shackleton gave the order to abandon ship, and the crew camped on the ice. “The Boss” addressed his crew: “Men, since our ship and supplies are gone, I suggest we go home.”
The evident absurdity of this proposal was apparent to all. But, ice, freezing temperatures, lack of provisions, total darkness, and absence of transportation, were just logistical details to be navigated. Shackleton’s men trusted him implicitly. They instinctively sensed in him that elusive quality, a combination of sound judgment, courage, moral rectitude, and empathy that are the unmistakable elements of a true leader.
Having made their rescue his unique goal, the fact that his endeavor was hopelessly unattainable was never considered. The crew of the Endurance lived on the ice for four months, spent five days rowing three small lifeboats across the open ocean, and set up camp on Elephant Island, a small cluster of rock and thin beach that might have been on the Moon for all its proximity to civilization. Knowing that his men would never be rescued from Elephant Island, Shackleton set out in a life boat, attempting an utterly ludicrous attempt to reach South Georgia. For fifteen days, five virtually frozen, starved men rowed preposterously towards a speck on the map.
Men cannot survive in a lifeboat for two weeks on the frozen sea, nor can they land on a speck and undertake thirty-five hours of highly technical mountain climbing, before reaching the South Georgian whalers. Nor can one arrange, in the middle of winter and a war, a successful rescue of men left on Elephant Island who, by any sane estimation, must have long passed to a better world. But you see, Shackleton had decided: “I will not let the men bloody die.”
Certain failure was simply never a factor in his calculations. Shackleton did arrive at the whaling station, did return to Elephant Island, and did not let a single man “bloody die.”
Sarah Palin has exhibited Shackleton’s tenacity of will, his constancy of purpose. She will press forward, ignoring obstacles, inspiring supporters. Her election as the next President is absolutely impossible. Not only is she consistently attacked by “the opinion makers,” but even in the Republican Party, her own ship, she is considered something of a Jonah, better to be thrown to the sea.
Only a real conservative will reach the harbor of the White House, if there is to be a new administration in 2012. The core conservative values; love of God, love of country, love of family, belief in American Exceptionalism, the need for the War on Radical Islam, and faith in our free-markets were not slogans Sarah used to get a job in Washington, but deeply held personal values. These values are the future of our country.
Sarah has already started dragging the lifeboat of American conservative principles across the frozen wasteland of a triumphant Marxist administration and her own virtually emasculated Party that wants little to do with her cargo of gritty, Reagan conservatism.
When the ice breaks up, she will put to sea in her boats with a crew of millions of supporters who were brought by her, in 2008, from a state of near-despondency, to a storm of enthusiasm that shocked the Nation and eclipsed the vapid haranguing of the opposition.
Few political figures can withstand the battering that Sarah Palin has, and yet she remains. Constantly given up for lost, she continues, following her own compass. RINO Republicans, moth-eaten, comfortable Admirals in the officers’ club, shake their heads at Sarah’s “doubtful safe return.” They powder their wigs and take pinches of snuff, raising money for the absurd chameleons we cringe to call our leaders.
Meanwhile, the people will answer Sarah’s advertisement and sign on for the “hazardous journey.” Of course, we hope the GOB, Good Ole Boys Party, will get off the ice before it melts. Hopefully, the naysayers will not remain to sink into the oblivion of history because of petty jealousy or ignorance of what Americans really want. It will be good if they have enough love of country to leave their personal effects on the ice, get on board, and help Sarah row.
Palin – Shackleton 2012.