I've been trying to convince my fellow conservatives that they have been wasting their time in a fruitless quest for a new Ronald Reagan to emerge and lead our party and our nation. I insisted that we'd never see his like again because he was one of a kind.
I was wrong!
Wednesday night I watched the Republican National Convention on television and there, before my very eyes, I saw my Dad reborn; only this time he's a she.
And what a she!
In one blockbuster of a speech, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin resurrected my Dad's indomitable spirit and sent it soaring above the convention center, shooting shock waves through the cynical media's assigned spaces and electrifying the huge audience with the kind of inspiring rhetoric we haven't heard since my Dad left the scene.
This was Ronald Reagan at his best -- the same Ronald Reagan who made the address known now solely as "The Speech," which during the Goldwater campaign set the tone and the agenda for the rebirth of the traditional conservative movement that later sent him to the White House for eight years and revived the moribund GOP.
Last night was an extraordinary event. Widely seen beforehand as a make-or-break effort -- either an opportunity for Sarah Palin to show that she was the happy warrior that John McCain assured us she was, or a disaster that would dash McCain's presidential hopes and send her back to Alaska, sadder but wiser.
Obviously un-intimidated by either the savage onslaught to which the left-leaning media had subjected her, or the incredible challenge she faced -- and oozing with confidence -- she strode defiantly to the podium and proved she was everything and even more than John McCain told us.
Much has been made of the fact that she is a woman. What we saw last night, however, was something much more than a just a woman accomplishing something no Republican woman has ever achieved. What we saw was a red-blooded American with that rare, God-given ability to rally her dispirited fellow Republicans and take up the daunting task of leading them -- and all her fellow Americans -- on a pilgrimage to that shining city on the hill my father envisioned as our nation's real destination.
In a few words she managed to rip the mask from the faces of her Democratic rivals and reveal them for what they are -- a pair of old-fashioned liberals making promises that cannot be kept without bankrupting the nation and reducing most Americans to the status of mendicants begging for their daily bread at the feet of an all-powerful government.
Most important, by comparing her own stunning record of achievement with his, she showed Barack Obama for the sham that he is, a man without any solid accomplishments beyond conspicuous self-aggrandizement.
Like Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin is one of us. She knows how most of us live because that's the way she lives. She shares our homespun values and our beliefs, and she glories in her status as a small-town woman who put her shoulder to the wheel and made life better for her neighbors.
Her astonishing rise up from the grass-roots, her total lack of self-importance, and her ordinary American values and modest lifestyle reveal her to be the kind of hard-working, optimistic, ordinary American who made this country the greatest, most powerful nation on the face of the earth.
As hard as you might try, you won't find that kind of plain-spoken, down-to-earth, self-reliant American in the upper ranks of the liberal-infested, elitist Democratic Party, or in the Obama campaign.
Sarah Palin didn't go to Harvard, or fiddle around in urban neighborhood leftist activism while engaging in opportunism within the ranks of one of the nation's most corrupt political machines, never challenging it and going along to get along, like Barack Obama.
Instead she took on the corrupt establishment in Alaska and beat it, rising to the governorship while bringing reforms to every level of government she served in on her way up the ladder.
Welcome back, Dad, even if you're wearing a dress and bearing children this time around.