When Gov. Sarah Palin makes campaign stops, she often receives an enthusiastic welcome. But when the national news media reports on such rallies, it often is patronizing toward her and residents of whatever area she is visiting.
Since Palin was named by Sen. John McCain as his vice presidential running mate, much of the coverage of her has focused on her mannerisms as a public speaker. Palin's appeal has been put down to her alleged "folksiness."
But that isn't it at all. Palin and McCain are popular because of what they believe, not how they explain it. It matches the views of many area residents very well.
Ultra-liberalism doesn't play well in our area, for good reason.
Strangely, many in the national media have been quick to apply some labels to the candidates this year - but to avoid mentioning other, more important ones. Our message to them is simple: It's the philosophy, stupid.
Palin, for example, has been labeled as someone without the experience to serve as vice president. Never mind that in terms of executive experience in government, she is far ahead of Sen. Barack Obama, the Democrat candidate for president.
But Palin's philosophy of government, which is the same as McCain's, has been virtually ignored.
It is the fact that she shares so many of the values that we in the this area live by that makes Palin appealing. She and McCain believe in cutting taxes, not raising them. They believe in a strong defense, not one hamstrung by liberal ideas that sometimes seem to be aimed at pleasing our enemies, not protecting us. They believe in protecting our steel industry, not allowing it to wither. They believe in active development of clean coal technology, not making promises they have no intention of keeping.
And they believe in family values - something too many in Washington consider laughably old-fashioned.
Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joseph Biden, are the top two liberals in the Senate. If elected to office, they would be working with leftist leaders in Congress. Can there be any doubt of where that would lead our country?
Both Obama and Biden have records of liberalism, with loyalty first to party politics. McCain's is one of common sense, nonpartisan conservatism.
And Palin has a record, too - of strong executive leadership, taking on special interests and sometimes her own political party - for the good of the people of her state, Alaska.
When both the philosophies and the records of the candidates this year are compared, it is clear that McCain and Palin have a simple philosophy: America and its people come first. The same cannot be said of Obama and Biden, who seem to be more worried about what other countries think than about what is good for ours.
Again, when Palin is welcomed warmly by those at her rallies, it is because her philosophy and that of McCain fit well together. When you cast your ballot on Nov. 4, remember that fit and its potential to help build a stronger America.