Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin spoke yesterday in Delhi, India for a conference organized by the Indian media group, India Today. You can watch the video here and see the transcript of her speech here.
She hit on the themes of individual freedom and limited government. In her speech she said:
So, it was there I learned there’s no limit to what you can achieve with strong work ethic. That optimism & respect for (& empowerment of) individual liberty shaped both my political beliefs & my vision for my country…
…It’s not government business to spend the working man’s tax dollars recklessly – & certainly not government’s business to centrally "plan" an economy & control an entrepreneurial spirit! That doesn’t work. Government should lay infrastructure, level the playing field, then get out of the way. Allow the private sector to grow/thrive/create jobs & generate wealth!
She advocated for tapping domestic energy resources while exercising wise stewardship. She said that while there is a push for “green energy sources” she favors an “all-of-the-above” approach that also utilizes conventional sources. Only with a wise energy policy she notes will we have “energy security” and a growing economy. She subtlety hit at the Obama administration for stymying domestic drilling while pushing for one natural resource available in abundance in Alaska – natural gas.
The good news is there’s a choice/another option! Instead of funding non-viable special interest projects, Americans can capitalize on our own viable resources that are just waiting to be tapped – they’re right on our doorstep! Billions of barrels of oil warehoused underground in AK!
And so much natural gas – Clean, green, affordable! Easy to transport, abundant across the U.S. – Whether used conventionally, or to power natural gas cars, or run power plants that charge electric cars, natural gas is an ideal "bridge fuel" to the future. (A future when renewable gas can someday become more available, reliable & affordable.)
After discussing the need for energy independence she then turned to the challenge of our growing national debt.
On this: there are no "easy" solutions, but there are "simple" ones, if we just apply courage & political will to confront the problem squarely. Obviously, we need to stop digging the hole we’re in; cut spending; cut government back down to size; get rid of overly-burdensome regulations. And most of all, we need job growth! And that won’t come from ‘top-down government planning’! It’ll come from the ‘Free Market Ingenuity’ of ordinary American entrepreneurs!
She then related these solutions to things that the Indian government did in the 1990s to bolster their economic growth – “You abolished import licenses; cut import duties; removed investment caps & broke the union’s grip on industry.”
She then challenged the notion of America’s demise by saying the only thing in demise is the idea of big government:
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.
She discussed the similarities between the United States and India, and noted that the partnership between the two nations is being driven by the people, not governmental bureaucracies, but through education and entrepreneurs. She also noted India’s history of strong women leadership and used the opportunity to highlight her support of South Carolina’s first female governor, Nikki Haley.
She also talked about individual liberty and the dignity of every human life harkening to the life of Mother Teresa.
It was said of Mother Teresa that "perhaps the greatest message she has given to the world is the value & dignity of human life!" From India, she was able to share this crucial message with the world! And it is a crucial message because the freedom & empowerment of the individual is rooted in an understanding of every man & woman’s inherent dignity & worth!
She said that the United States and India are both linked in their pursuit of individual freedom as both struggled to break from the yoke of the British empire.
Friends: our two democracies understand this struggle for freedom. It’s the struggle of those who defiantly dumped tea in Boston Harbor to protest a British tea tax. & it’s the struggle of those who courageously marched to the seacoast near Don-dee to make their own salt in defiance of a British salt tax!
This hunger for ‘Freedom & Opportunity’ is proof that what we call the "American Dream" is not just "American." It is the universal dream of people everywhere! I believe it’s created within us! And that is where the march for freedom has found its most eager advocates: ‘ordinary people’ who have ‘extraordinary determination’ to seek justice & make a better life for their families. This is as true in Alaska, as in Andhra Pradesh.
Half-a-world-apart? And yet we are connected by this.
My ‘Vision for America’ is one of a country that lives that dream! And, in turn, inspires and empowers women and men around the world to live it, too! We can lead by example.
During the question and answer session following the speech. She attacked President Obama’s foreign policy by saying that we need “less dithering and more decisiveness.” That we have have had a rich history of being on the side of those who seek freedom
China has a choice. We need to be sure and India needs to be sure that we are clear with their expectations… We say they manipulate their currency. They accuse us of the same. …What’s with the military buildup? We have concerns… Again we look forward to see them making the right choice.
On the mainstream media:
You can’t really trust the media. You have to have the boldness and courage of setting the record straight. Especially when they have made their choice… I’m not just going to sit back and take it. I’ve learned you can’t just trust the media to set the record straight. Republicans have the fighting instinct of sheep sometimes. I don’t play the victim card when they do choose to set the election straight.
She did say she wasn’t sure if she was running yet, but she did say… “It’s time a woman became president of the United States of America.”
Closing statement by the moderator:
When I was waiting for your speech I was talking to an official and he said he was looking forward to her speech. I asked him why and he said, “Because Sarah Palin is a a friend of India.”
Did she come across as presidential? I believe so, but those who aren’t decided on her will have to watch the speech and the Q&A session and decide for themselves.