Sarah Palin, whose birthday is today (she's all of 47), spoke last weekend at the Young America's Foundation at a dinner honoring Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday. Here is a key passage:
... we are at a crossroads. This is a time for choosing and the choices before us are as clear now as they were in 1964.
Do we still believe in the values that this country was founded on? God-given individual liberties and limited government and free-market capitalism?
Or do we surrender to big government and a corporatism agenda?
Do we believe that we can compete and succeed by individual initiative or do we need government to take care of us and plan for us?
Do we still have the courage and the will to not only endure, but to soar and to succeed?
How we answer will be America’s glory or our shame.
And these are not easy questions because today for many, there is fear in the air. The little guy, the individual American is made to feels ill-equipped and helpless and afraid in the face of our challenges.
First let’s remember, if we do just ask, remember God doesn’t give us that spirit of fear. He gives us a spirit of power and love and a sound mind. Seek that spirit and we can we can have courage and confidence to make sound decisions.
Friends, we are not helpless. Our future is in our own hands. Our success and our greatness lies in the courage and the hard work of individual Americans. We are an exceptional nation because we were built on and we are to affirm those values of freedom and hard work.
Palin was criticized this week for turning down an opportunity to speak at CPAC, the big conservative convention. But she clearly wants to position herself as the heir to Reagan -- a positive, sunny Westerner who can lead us forward by leading us backward to our better, pioneer selves. It's a ballsy strategy.