Resiliency Talking Points for Palin

by Gayle Plato-Besley, M. Ed.

Governor Sarah Palin gives more than lip service to the situation we are in. Let’s applaud her success, but please those at Camp McCain, get on the fast track! Let’s see Sarah speaking with substance. What I see is the great opportunity to play off of the Governor’s populist record, underlining her real accomplishments, while pointing out what the Republican Ticket offers.

As Barack Obama talks of sex education at the Kindergarten level, please seize the news cycle and talk to the people.

Sarah Palin can explain detailed aspects of the Republican Platform as no other. Yet, the camera is also on her awaiting a mistake or a flub. Run with that and sound bite back. Get the talk on the messages appealing to families today. Much is being said about national security and energy costs. We also need good talk about education.


Early Childhood Education is a huge issue for families in America. As it states at, “There is no shortage of federal programs targeted at early child care and preschool. State and federal funding for early childhood care and education programs is over $25 billion each year.” Yet, how does a candidate claim there’s enough spending without infuriating everyone wanting, using, or benefiting from social programs?

If Sarah Palin talks as a mom with the savvy and knowledge of this issue as a governor, she can enlighten the country; the money is already there. We need to evaluate and coordinate services. Let’s streamline and dovetail good programs to build on strength and success.

Some of the key problems with all federal programming includes the lack of coordination, the overlapping and wasted expenditure, and limited focus on success. Too many non-profit and public groups spend too much time looking for more money, creating data showing their validity, and avoiding any overhauling or efficiency checks. In fact, one of the key jobs of most Community Organizers is to make themselves seem important. Local citizens see the organizers as either paper shufflers, or as focused only on a few small actions. There is little actual organization and streamlining of services to help the community not waste funds.

As for education today, great work of pre-Kindergarten programming is happening in private and parochial schools nationwide. Many receive some public funding, but often run on a majority of private support. We as a country need to push for more faith-based education opportunities and support the many church, temple, or other faith/community education services. We also will benefit from a true accounting of all expenditures in public pre-K education. Show how these programs flow and build on one another. How much doubling up happens in just one city, let alone an entire nation?

Push the value of Child Find. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (
there are federal services to identify pre-K children with potential developmental delays. Special Education is an exponentiallly growing cost for this country. Unfortunately, a vast majority of parents, health care, and education providers do not know of the process. Early intervention fosters successful development. It’s also cost effective. Pro-active service is the key to long term success.

Talk of Resiliency Programming

There is an overwhelming problem with the liberal-base social/educational intervention services in this country. Most social services are reactive, at-risk models. We throw money at programs created from antiquated models of statistics- all noting who might fail. The risk of failure is always the issue and it is not the best indicator for federal spending.

I personally saw federal funds dumped on treating alcoholics to stop drinking, and start educating their children as to the danger. Yet, 75% of children of alcoholics do NOT become alcoholics. Less money and better success can be seen through education regarding alcohol addiction, and overall community programs for good social opportunities, like a YMCA or Boys and Girls Club.

Though great work is being done in the field of Resiliency Services. Dr. Emmy Werner, a developmental psychologist, created a phenomenal study tracking the low-income and needy children of Kauai, Hawaii. Thirty years of studying children deemed moderately to severely at-risk showed that with good role models and consistent protective factors, a vast majority of the children grew up to be happy, productive adults.
Dr. Werner legitimized the Resiliency Movement in social programming. Yet, federal and state agencies are NOT using the tools nor the information. This is a critical point for all conservative spending on social programming. It is missed and ignored by many of the ‘At-Risk’ mindset. We can turn off the social spending tap by being more efficient and by updating our approach.

it is time for Sarah Palin to give us details. Tell us of how you will help target spending; it is your strength as a governor. You are also a self-appointed advocate for children of needs. Please run with it as I KNOW it is a very important issue for many voters.


  1. Precinct Committeeman says

    Besides being boring, this message is all wet. Parents and teachers and health care workers do know the process – schools work hard at recruiting the “developmentally delayed.”

    Not for necessarily good reasons, either.

    This is just one more federal social program that has grown by leaps and bounds since my own special ed child was qualified for it back in the 1990s. It wasn’t hard to find, even back then. And, they came to our house to do it. The added kicker to per child funding was too much for schools to ignore. But, they did try to ignore “mainstreaming”. I wouldn’t let them. And, my approach worked for my son.

    Again, I am so concerned about the “moderate” turn at Sonoran Alliance. It’s really scary – we need this site more than ever. But, pushing more federal intrusion into local education and families is not my idea of conservative values.

    I don’t need the VP candidate trying to give me more – they should be trying to cut costs of government.

  2. nightcrawler says

    I had a similar experience PC. In the early formative years the extra help was very beneficial for my child who had real physiological issues> Overtime the process actually hurt more than helped. I do believe for the really needy kids, the funding is essential. For the kids and parents looking for tall grass to hide from academic responsiblity, the gravy train of easy expectations and excuses need to come to a stop.

    Gayle, the post was informative, this is your area of expertise and it shows.

  3. “I personally saw federal funds dumped on treating alcoholics to stop drinking, and start educating their children as to the danger. Yet, 75% of children of alcoholics do NOT become alcoholics. Less money and better success can be seen through education regarding alcohol addiction, and overall community programs for good social opportunities, like a YMCA or Boys and Girls Club.”

    This is an example of some very poor thinking. Children of alcoholics are four times as likely as children of non-alcoholics to become alcoholic. Targeting special programs towards them makes a lot of sense, especially when considering the social costs of alcoholism.

  4. Nice pun in the first line, Gayle. Thanks for the laugh.

  5. I can’t disagree with either the original post or the thread that follows. What it tells is the confusing story of experiences found within the different providers of services. Having spent many years dealing with children with disabilities and their families, I can tell you the level of cooperation and understanding is so diverse it makes any hope of consistency almost impossible.

    Childfind may be working in some areas and maybe not in others; when a child is found to have MD because the school nurse noticed a difficulty with mobility or a severe, degenerative genetic neurological disorder in a 2nd grader because of a skin discoloration on her neck….all in children who had all their immunizations and well-child exams. Parents who are highly educated and successful, unable to accept the reality before them that their child will not have the same life opportunities or poor parents who lack the will or the ability to access assistance; either way the child enters school without the benefit of early intervention.

    Early childhood intervention is important. That is very different than early childhood admittance into a quasi-adoption system where parental inclusion is resented as layman interference and ownership of outcomes orphaned.

  6. Maybe Mrs. Palin should stick to children’s issues because we found out last night that she doesn’t know much about the Bush doctrine last night.

  7. nightcrawler says


    The Bush doctrine is not a document, it is a term which can interpreted in many ways. Old Charlie Gibson tried to throw a knuckle ball at Palin and the MSM ran with it hoping uninformed goof balls would think she isn’t up on security issues.

    Bottom line, the US acts in its own best interest. Always has always will. Just a new dress on an old hooker. The term is meaningless.


    I agree with everything you said.

  8. It’s funny, because Gibson has been thought of as an extremely sympathetic interviewer by some in the GOP. The fact is, Palin didn’t even have a passport until a 1 1/2 years ago and is clearly clueless about world events and world history.

  9. Here is the Bush Doctrine as delineated by President Bush himself:

    “Our Nation’s cause has always been larger than our Nation’s defense. We fight, as we always fight, for a just peaceā€”a peace that favors liberty. We will defend the peace against the threats from terrorists and tyrants. We will preserve the peace by building good relations among the great powers. And we will extend the peace by encouraging free and open societies on every continent.”

    President Bush
    West Point, New York
    June 1, 2002

    Sound’s pretty clear to me. I copied this the the National Security website – a website hosted by the White House:


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