PAGE EIGHT

I wanted to fly more than I worried
about what I looked like.

On p. 8 of Going Rogue Sarah talks about an early memory from her childhood. She speaks as follows:

"One of those wooden sidewalks was the scene of one of my earliest memories: my attempt to fly. I couldn't have been more than four years old...I kept to the wooden planks that paralleled the town's main dirt road, and as the warm boards echoed under my feet, I got to thinking: I had seen eagles and dragonflies and ptarmigan fly, but I had never seen a person fly. That didn't make any sense to me. Hadn't anyone ever tried it before? Why couldn't someone just propel herself up into the air and get it done?

"I stopped and looked up at the summer sky, then down at the dirt road below. Then I simply jumped. I didn't care who might see me. I wanted to fly more than I worried about what I looked like. My knees took most of the impact, and I scraped them both.

"Well, that didn't work, I thought. So I got up, dusted myself off, and kept walking."

Simple words!! Yet, I think many pages of reflections could be written on different aspects of them. However, I would like to focus this early morning on the following:

"I didn't care who might see me. I wanted to fly more than I worried about what I looked like."

It is my contention that one of the greatest of spiritual evils flows from narcissistic self-love wedded to a concern for the mere outward appearance of things.

One of the most famous lines of the Greek dramatist Aeschylus is the following: --"For he does not wish to (merely) SEEM to be the best, but to BE the best." (the Greek has some accent marks and other things missing).

The antidote for one of the greatest of spiritual evils is here expressed in a very few words. We must strive for reality over mere outward appearance. The Son of God expressed this truth when he referred to the scribes and pharisees as "whited sepulchers." That is, they looked good ("whited," painted over with a clean, bright color) on the surface, but inside they held all the filth and horror of the grave!

When one looks at so many of these Washington politicians, I think the expression "whited sepulchers" would most readily come to mimd. Look at pelosi, for example: she smiles, and smiles, and smiles...but, while only the Lord can ultimately judge her soul, she seems to be all rot and horror within, a vicious, corrupt, thuggish brute of a politician, who long ago threw away her humanity for the pursuit of raw power.

What is it that Hamlet says, as I recall, about his murderous uncle, the usurping King Claudius? "Damnable, smiling devil...a man can smile, and smile, and smile and still be a devil; at least I know it is so in Denmark" I don't have the quote exactly right, since I am citing from memory, but the gist is correct, I think.

The whole crowd, obama, pelosi, reid, all of them, are truly WALKING LIES, LIVING CORPSES (yes, barack, you do pronounce the "p" in that one!!) For decades and decades they have carefully cultivated an appearance that has nothing to do with their reality.

(BTW, this does not mean that we may not sometimes legitimately conceal our feelings and thoughts behind the proverbial "poker face"; of course we can. There is a universe of difference and distinction between the momentary concealing, for a good purpose, of transitory thoughts and feelings, and the careful, deliberate crafting of a LIE about one's quasi-permanent character!)

OK, satis superque, "enough and more than enough," "enough already" about these Washington gangsters.

What about our Sarah?

For me, I would stake my very life's breath and blood on this fact: Sarah Palin of Alaska is who she seems to be; she is genuine; she is the "real deal."

And from a very early age she showed a bright, golden character that was/is the polar opposite of that of benighted, pitiful creatures like nancy pelosi and barack obama.

Just look at our passage in question. The four-year-old Sarah wants to fly: and she is not at all concerned or embarrassed about how she might appear to others; she just wants to get it done, if she can.

Has she not continued to follow those grooves and lines of character that she wrought and carved, by her free-will choices, into her own soul from a very young age? Truly, someone who carves a noble character out of his or her own soul is a greater artisan and sculptor than all the finest workers in marble, in stone, in wood from antiquity to the present age!!!

I didn't care who might see me. I wanted to fly more than I worried about what I looked like.

So she acted when she played on a stress-fractured ankle in the Alaska State High-School Basketball Championship game--she might not look smooth and swift on the wounded joint, but she wanted to help her team WIN, and damn the appearances!!

I didn't care who might see me. I wanted to fly more than I worried about what I looked like.

So she acted when, as chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, she challenged the corrupt Randy Ruedrich and Frank Murkowski--she might look like a fool for taking on these "good ole boys," but principal mattered more than preserving a smooth, false surface appearance of "party unity."

I didn't care who might see me. I wanted to fly more than I worried about what I looked like.

So she acted when she "went rogue" during the '08 campaign, calling "a spade a spade," casting obama's radical associates like Bill Ayres and "Reverend " Wright in his face--even though she looked so "uncouth" to the slick, smooth politicos of BOTH parties.

I didn't care who might see me. I wanted to fly more than I worried about what I looked like.

So she acted when she resigned the job , the calling, she loved so dearly, her office of Governor of the Great Land, Governor of the Forty-Ninth State. Well she knew the insulting moniker of "quitter" with which her enemies would try to sear and brand her--but, but, she did what was right and best for herself, for her family, for her State, for her country!

I didn't care who might see me. I wanted to fly more than I worried about what I looked like.

So she has acted in recent months with her relentless denunciations of obama and his policies, especially through her Facebook "missiles"--no matter that she is made to seem outside the "mainstream" of the GOP

I didn't care who might see me. I wanted to fly more than I worried about what I looked like.

Dear Sarah, you ARE flying now, many years later: soaring aloft and carrying on your eagle wings, like the Wind-Lord Eagles in Tolkien, carrying Frodo and Sam to safety--carrying on your wings the hopes and resolve and love of your fellow citizens.

Yes, in the end, she did fly...she is flying!!

Read It For Yourself:

Other Great Sarah Books:

Palin Essentials:

Credits:

All sidebar photos are from Wikimedia. I have tried to post all royalty-free images or to get permission, but in a few cases I could not locate the original source of a photograph or find a way to ask permission.


Contact info: bbrianus@gmail.com.

Other Great Going Rogue Reviews:

Jedediah Bila:

"Palin’s inviting first-person narration that is sometimes whimsical, often confident, and always patriotic...Going Rogue is truly one of those reads in which you put the book down after your eyes graze the final lines and you somehow feel like the writer is someone you’ve known all your life."
John Ziegler:

"I was simply blown away by Going Rogue on almost every level. For many reasons, this is by far the best book and greatest literary achievement by a political figure in my lifetime..."
Brigadier General Anthony J. Tata:
"Her book washes away all doubts that any reader might have had about her readiness to be president. She comes across as exceptionally bright, dedicated, and passionate about public service. Her moral compass is strong, pointing true North in this case. And she has a wicked sense of humor."
Don Surber:
"Conservatives know why Palin is still standing — and standing taller today than those who tried to bring her down. What does not kill you makes you stronger. Thank you, Tina Fey."

Sarah Palin is Coming to Town

Review by Stanley Fish:

When I walked into the Strand Bookstore in Manhattan last week, I headed straight for the bright young thing who wore an “Ask Me” button, and asked her to point me to the section of the store where I might find Sarah Palin’s memoir, “Going Rogue: An American Life.” She looked at me as if I had requested a copy of “Mein Kampf” signed in blood by the author....


A few days later...I had begun reading Palin’s book, and while I wouldn’t count myself a fan in the sense of being a supporter, I found it compelling and very well done....

First, the art. The book has an architectonic structure that is built around a single moment, the moment when Palin receives a call from John McCain inviting her to be the vice-presidential candidate of the Republican party. When we first hear about the call it is as much a surprise to us as it was (at least as reported) to her, because for six pages she has been recounting a wonderful family outing at the Alaska State Fair. When her phone rings, she hopes it might be a call from her son Track, a soldier soon to deploy to Iraq, but “it was Senator John McCain asking if I wanted to help him change history.”

And that’s the last we hear of it for 200 pages. In between we hear a lot about Wasilla, high school, basketball, college, marriage, children, Down syndrome, Alaska politics, the environment, a daughter’s pregnancy. The re-entry of John McCain into the narrative on page 208 introduces Palin’s account of the presidential campaign and its aftermath, especially her decision to resign the governorship before the end of her term....


Paradoxically, the effect of the neatly spaced references to the call is to de-emphasize it as a dramatic moment. It is presented not as a climax, but as an interruption of matters more central to Palin’s abiding concerns — her family, Alaska’s prosperity, energy policy. (She loves to rehearse the kind of wonkish details we associate with Hillary Clinton, whom she admires.)

Indeed, it is a feature of this narrative that events we might have expected to be foregrounded are elided or passed over. Palin introduced herself to the nation with a powerful, electrifying speech accepting McCain’s invitation to join the ticket. It gets half a sentence (“I gave my speech”)....


The only event that receives an extended discussion is her resignation. It is important to her because as an act it reflects on her integrity, and she has to be sure (as she eventually was) that she was doing it for the right reasons.

Resigning was a moral act for which she was responsible. The vice-presidential candidacy just happened to her; her account of it reads like an extended “what-I-did-on-my summer-and fall-vacation” essay.


For many politicians, family life is sandwiched in between long hours in public service. Palin wants us to know that for her it is the reverse. Political success is an accident that says nothing about you. Success as a wife, mother and citizen says everything...

I find the voice undeniably authentic...It is the voice of small-town America, with its folk wisdom, regional pride, common sense, distrust of rhetoric (itself a rhetorical trope), love of country and instinctive (not doctrinal) piety.

It says, here are some of the great things that have happened to me, but they are not what makes my life great and American. (“An American life is an extraordinary life.”) It says, don’t you agree with me that family, freedom and the beauties of nature are what sustain us?


And it also says, vote for me next time. For it is the voice of a politician, of the little girl who thought she could fly, tried it, scraped her knees, dusted herself off and “kept walking.”

In the end, perseverance, the ability to absorb defeat without falling into defeatism, is the key to Palin’s character. It’s what makes her run in both senses of the word and it is no accident that the physical act of running is throughout the book the metaphor for joy and real life. Her handlers in the McCain campaign wouldn’t let her run (a mistake, I think, even at the level of photo-op), no doubt because they feared another opportunity to go “off script,” to “go rogue.”

But run she does (and falls, but so what?), and when it is all over and she has lost the vice presidency and resigned the governorship, she goes on a long run and rehearses in her mind the eventful year she has chronicled. And as she runs, she achieves equilibrium and hope: “We’ve been through amazing days, and really, there wasn’t one thing to complain about. I feel such freedom, such hope, such thankfulness for our country, a place where nothing is hopeless.”

The message is clear. America can’t be stopped. I can’t be stopped. I’ve stumbled and fallen, but I always get up and run again. Her political opponents, especially those who dismissed Ronald Reagan before he was elected, should take note. Wherever you are, you better watch out. Sarah Palin is coming to town.

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