PAGE FIFTEEN

"The lunar landing had happened in July 1969, before school started, but even watching taped images...stirred in me an overwhelming pride in our country...A similar feeling stirred in me as my class recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

"I felt proud and tall as we pledged on our hearts every morning. Early on, I gained great appreciation for the words we spoke: '...the United States of America...one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.' I knew those words held power.

"And not just those words. I developed a love of reading and writing early on. Leaning on Mom's shoulder in the pew at Church on the Wildwood during a Sunday sermon, I heard the pastor use the word 'different.'

" 'I can spell "different!" ' I excitedly whispered in her ear, and scribbled it in the margin of the church bulletin. It was my first big word, and I was proud to have figured it out myself. It was the first time Mom didn't give me her stern don't-talk-in-church look but instead smiled warmly and seemed as proud as I was.

"Reading was a special bond between my mother and me. Mom read aloud to me--poetry by Ogden Nash...along with snippets of prose. She would quote biblical proverbs and ask me to tell her what I thought. She found clever ways to encourage my love of the written word...

"My siblings were better athletes, cuter and more sociable than I, and the only thing they had to envy about me was the special passion for reading that I shared with our mother...When the VFW announced that I won a plaque in its annual flag poetry contest for my third-grade poem about Betsy Ross, Mom treated me like the new Emily Dickinson."

And this is the lady that the abominable Chris Matthews and others of his ilk in the "lame-stream" media derided as stupid, derided as unread, derided as illiterate!!!

Where to begin; where to begin??

Do WE not feel a consonant and corresponding pride welling up within our own hearts as we read of this spunky little Alaskana girl standing up and feeling proud and tall as she pronounces the words of the Pledge?

Can we not almost SEE and HEAR it happening right before us, in that majestic court and hall that is our imagination, with all its variegated and versatile power? Do we not almost feel the impulse and urge to rise up and, traversing the bridge of time in our minds, take our stand next to her in spirit and recite the Pledge in unison with her?

May we not note the technical matter of the correct usage of two forms of the first-person personal pronoun? First, "between my mother and me." The form "me," of course, is the objective (accusative) form, and is used, inter alia, after prepositions ("between" in this case).

Conversely, "than" is a conjunction, not a preposition. "My siblings were better athletes...than I." This stands for "than I was." "I" is here the subjective (nominative) case. "I" is the subject of the clause.

Do our hearts not warm--I know mine sure does--as we read of the ebullient, irrepressible little Sarah whispering to her mom, "I can spell 'different' "?!? ---and whispering it in church!!!!

Do we not perceive the profundity of Sarah's words (about the Pledge), "I knew those words held power"? Indeed her own words about the potency of those syllables themselves hold weight and depth and power.

And how I would like to read her prize-winning, third-grade poem about America's Betsy Ross, the lady of the weaving of our bonny banner!

However, even though pages could be written about all of the elements cited above, I would like to focus on the following words of hers: "Reading was a special bond between my mother and me. Mom read aloud to me..." (aside from the grammatical point made above about some of them).

What can we say about the generative potency of words? Why do we take a special delight in reading words aloud? What is the significance of the fact that Homer's poems, for example, the oldest secular literature of the West, were chanted aloud for generations before they were written down?

I think that our printed books are sort of like skeletons. There they sit on the shelves of our homes and libraries, waiting for someone to come along, pick them up, and read them. The skeletal frames are clothed and vested with flesh and blood when they are read.

And this fact, which is true to a certain extent even when a book is read silently by one person alone, with the eyes only, is eminently true when the words are pronounced and uttered viva voce to another person, that is, with the living (and indeed life-giving) voice.

Life, the secret of Life resides in communicatio, in communicating, in communion, in imparting, in sharing. And one of the ultimate and deepest forms of this communicatio is found in the spoken word. It is the word qua (as) transmitted.

When I read silently to myself, I read what I read in my own heart; when I read aloud to another, I communicate something of myself to the other person. The spoken word is like a living, generative, and unitive force, binding two (or more) minds and souls together. It is fecund and fruitful both for him/her who communicates/imparts it, and for him/her who receives it.

In dimensional terms:

Words resting silently in the "grave" of an unread book are like the First Dimension of the Word.

Words brought partially to life by the silent reading of one person to him/herself are like the Second Dimension of the Word.

Words read aloud and brought to the full flower and apex of living puissance by their vital and vivifying transmission to another person or persons are like the Third Dimension of the Word.

So Sally Heath, patriot, who brought Sarah into this world on that future National Holiday, 11 February (1964), continued her work of generation by imparting to her daughter the fecund splendor of the spoken word.

Those quiet days and evenings of reading aloud together, the twain hidden away and buried in the folds and fields of the far-off glory of the North Country;

Those precious hours of the sowing and planting of the good seed of living literature;

Those patient, loving moments that mother spent with daughter;

All these, all these are now ripe and ready to unveil their plenitude of fulfillment.

Already we have tasted it:

When that fearless, lovely voice thundered forth on Sarah Palin Day, 29 August, 2008, giving a sudden beam and ray of hope to a nation sick with worry and grief about a potential "presidency" of barack obama;

When that fearless, lovely voice thundered forth five days later in the deathless RNC oration, defying and confounding and disconcerting all the hopes and expectations of the massed forces of the international Left;

When that fearless, lovely voice thundered forth on the dusty campaign trails of '08, bringing courage, light, inspiration, love up and down and across the length and breadth of this land of ours;

When that fearless, lovely voice thundered forth throughout the long, painful months of '09 and on into '10, exposing and denouncing everywhere "president" obama and his Chicago minions and thugs, and their diabolical plans to "transform" America.

Yes, we have heard it; heard with our ears and in the deep wells of our hearts. However...

The lady who carries and embodies and IS the Voice and Heart of America is only getting warmed up...

JUST WAIT UNTIL 2012!!!

VOX VIVA VICTRIXQUE!!!

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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