PAGE FIVE

Sarah the Lion-Hearted, Mother of Her Country!!

On p.5 of Going Rogue Sarah is discussing her struggles against the political establishment in Alaska, including the GOP power structure. In the middle of the page, between two paragraphs of government discussion, Sarah pens this brief paragraph:

"Still in the RTL [Right-to-Life] booth, Piper said she was ready to go. She was antsy to stop by the fair's hula hoop contest, so I hurriedly shook a couple more hands and gathered Trig back from the nice lady who had asked to hold him."

The question that we may ask ourselves is, "What is this paragraph doing here?" At first glance, its placement in the midst of a discourse on matters political may seem incongruous and distracting.

But is it really??

I believe that Sarah situated these words in just this spot to convey a very subtle message. We must consider both the content and the context of the paragraph.

Here she is in the midst of talk about public matters, and she introduces....what?...her kids!!! At the very moment when she is speculating about public affairs, she expresses her close attachment to her youngest daughter and her younger son!!

Surely she is implying that the ultimate source of answers for thorny political issues lies in our fundamental duties to and ties to our families...then to our local communities...then to our States...then to our country.

To express this in another way, man's/woman's nature as a "political animal" (Aristotle) is closely bound to his/her nature as a social and familial "animal." Another way to put it is that the POTUS Sarah will, in the end, be the Mom Sarah...the Hockey Mom: mother of her own kids; mother of all the kids of America, especially those who are weakest and most vulnerable; mother of all the people of our great land...Sarah the Lion-Hearted, Mother of Her Country!!

As Robin of Berkeley said so eloquently a couple or so weeks go: In what better hands could our nation be placed than in the strong, loving, fearless hands (and heart) of the mom from Wasilla?!?

We may note, further, that Sarah is not lost way up in the clouds and mist of political theory, while being detached from real life. No, she is solidly grounded in her family. She answers her own implied question with the placement of this little paragraph. What must we do, where must we turn in seeking answers to the loftiest of public questions and problems? We must stay firmly grounded in the things that really matter.

And yet, I think these observations may be extended even further.

What was it that the Lord said? Nisi efficiamini sicut parvuli, non intrabitis in regnum caelorum, "Unless ye become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." He also said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."

Who are we, who are we to claim, Sarah seems to me to be saying, who are we to assert that, in those golden, bright moments at the Alaska State Fair, Piper and her hula-hoop contest, in God's eyes and in the ultimate sweep and scope of Divine Wisdom, were not more important than the seemingly weightiest and gravest of political issues?!?

Has not God said that His thoughts are far loftier than our thoughts; His ways far above our ways?

The little lark singing her heart out in my garden, singing, singing the morning glories of her Creator....

The little kitten or puppy frolicking in a smiling spring sun, playing, playing in the sight of the All-Highest...

The little girl, laboring, laboring on her lips to utter, to utter, to utter that first word, "mommy"...

The little boy, straining, pushing, balancing and taking that first step, the first step of a lifetime of thousands upon countless thousands of steps...

Piper Palin winning a hula-hoop contest on a glorious majesty of a late summer's day in the Land of Northern Dreams...

Who are we to say how precious and weighty and mighty these things, tiny and minuscule in our eyes, may be in the Eyes of Eternity?!?

Our Sarah knows all this; the Lord, from His Throne of Eternal Wisdom, has blessed, blesses, will bless her...always!

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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