Back in 2011 Governor Sarah Palin was invited by India to give the keynote speech at the India Today Conclave.
Past keynotes speakers have been Al Gore, Bill Clinton, and other well known leaders.
The theme of the conclave in 2011 was: “the global shifting balance of power“.
In a nutshell, the conclave was held to discuss how our world is in a transitory phase of shifting from a top down world run by the elites; to a bottom up world run by the people.
I think it’s important, and very interesting, to revisit this speech today.
Keep in mind that this speech was delivered before anyone was talking about populism as a political ideology.
The Truth Fairy
Sarah Palin: America and India are a testament to the positive force of human aspirations
You unleashed the creativity & hard work of the Indian people; you turned away from a system where ‘Central Government’ sets targets for all sectors of the economy, to a system that lets the market set its own targets. That works.
People no longer speak of India as a “struggling economy” as they would have 30 years ago. Today we speak of India as a “dynamic & vibrant economy”. You empowered individuals & in doing so, you’ve reminded America of the free, entrepreneurial model that made our country great, prosperous & exceptional!
See, if we unshackle the creative energy of our workers, & entrepreneurs, there is no reason in the world why we can’t get back to rapid growth & prosperity!
Friends: some people want to claim that the geopolitical stage is ‘so changing’ & some actually claim ‘America is in decline’. “The United States,” they’d say, “will soon be a shadow of its former self.” I completely reject this! It represents wrong-headed thinking by some friends & wishful thinking by our enemies! America’s demise has been predicted before. It didn’t happen then. It won’t happen now.
No, America is not in decline! What is in decline? It is the idea of a ‘Tax-&-Spend, Centralized Bureaucracy’ that has brought America to the point of debt & deficits in the first place. These “Big Government” ideas are once again being consigned to the ash heap of history – though they won’t go quietly to the grave.
From the beginning: my faith has never been in Big Govt. My faith is in the American people, & we are turning things around!
All great nations face the challenges that come with a changing economy, demographics, & new technologies. The nations that succeed in the face of these challenges are the ones that show innovation & ingenuity – & will empower a free power! These qualities are the hallmarks of the “American Experience” & the unique strengths of the American people.
My vision for my country is a strong America that unleashes those strengths & confidently engages in leadership in the world & can welcome the healthy competition & partnership of rising economic powers in a democracy, like India.
The relationship between our countries could shape the course of the next century! Tilting it in the direction of free people & free markets! The future lies with us! We’re half-a-world apart geographically, but connected with much in common!
We both have deep & historical ‘democratic traditions’. We are the world’s most diverse, tolerant & dynamic societies. Our peoples enjoy very close ties (& in recent years our governments have been catching up!) There are few limits to what India & America can do together to allow a more peaceful & prosperous world.
Tragically, we have both been the targets of terrorism. We have both witnessed the courage of our people in combating terror. Both our peoples want it defeated.
And we both want to ensure that China’s rise is peaceful – while hedging against risks that it could be otherwise.
We both want to expand trade & investment with allies in a liberal international order that will soon boast India as its fastest-growing major economy.
Our diplomatic, military & political ties are deepening, because we have a genuine strategic partnership! But it is our people who are driving this relationship!
Indian entrepreneurs are investing in the U.S., even as U.S. businesses expand here.
Indian students are throughout American universities & more Americans seek to study here – including through an expanded Fulbright programme.
Our tech companies are working together in impressive ways. And our ethical partnerships could transform both our development trajectories.
Our ties & bonds are deep! And they’re not driven so much by “political leadership summits” & bureaucrats – they’re driven by free people & free markets! That’s why there are no natural limits to the future of U.S.- India relations. And that is why the world’s largest democracies – NOT its largest autocracy – will lead the 21st century.
We will lead because we are on the side of empowering individuals to make choices for themselves. Not government /not some New World Order organization making decisions & decrees for us.
We are on the side of religious tolerance & women’s rights! (And in recent years, India has helped lead by example in the area of women’s education by narrowing the gender gap in women’s literacy. You’ve helped remind the world that a culture cannot advance when it holds back half its creative & intellectual power!)