- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 18, 2008

As an active 82-year-old small-business owner and observer of the political scene for many decades, I am appalled at the manner in which former Republican vice-presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin has been denigrated - not only by the Democrats and the media, but by her own party, which also is mine.

The election is over; she will return to her position as the governor of Alaska, where she undoubtedly will work, as she has in the past, to meet her constituents’ public needs while continuing to find ways to share with the nation the immense energy resources of her state. Mrs. Palin’s accomplishments as the former mayor of Wasilla, and now governor, are facts, not campaign promises. Yet it seems Republican Party “leaders” and their surrogates are discovering more smears to blacken her reputation.

Perhaps my party would be better served if the smearers devoted their energies to strengthening the backbone of all party leaders and improving the presentation of our basic principles. Republicans are in serious disarray at a time when we face a not-so-gradual slide to the far left toward socialism.

Apparently, someone who reflects a straightforward, honest approach to politics, putting service ahead of personal aggrandizement and empty platitudes, is anathema to the stale old guard running the party today, forlornly wishing for the miracle of the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan.

The people owe President-elect Obama their support as he embarks on a difficult course as well as sturdy disagreement when his course wanders from the free enterprise that made this country great. The political establishment owes Mrs. Palin respect and support as she returns to her own elected tasks.



LEON SIWEK

Bermuda Dunes, Calif.

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