PAGE SIXTEEN





Clearly, the confronting of winter in this way strengthened Sarah's spirit to face and stand against the stone-cold, dead hearts of the Left...






Before I move to those words of Sarah from p. 16 upon which I would like to focus most of my attention, I wish to cite the following words as a tribute to Chuck Heath. We saw, with the installment on p. 15, how Sally read literature aloud to her. Sarah's dad did so too. From p. 16:

"My appetite for books connected my schoolteacher father and me, too. For my tenth birthday, his parents sent me The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Dad read it to us at night. I appreciate that now even more, realizing he spent all day teaching elementary school science and coaching high schoolers and then came home no doubt a bit tired of kids."

I love her deliberate, humorous understatement, "...no doubt a bit tired of kids" :) (And note well the use of the objective case, "me," as the direct object of the transitive verb "connected"--it is not, "connected my father and I"--ouch!!!)

Now I shall move on to a few words that are seemingly simple, and yet are pregnant, I believe, with profound implications. First I shall quote the words themselves; next, I shall examine some of the more obvious thoughts that we can derive from them; finally, I shall trace out what I think are more subtle ramifications of them.

Sarah, then, further down on p. 16, says,

"We still had only one old Rambler car, so we walked most everywhere in our small town, even on icy winter days."

Certain fairly obvious observations may be made here. Clearly, the confronting of winter in this way strengthened Sarah's spirit to face and stand against the stone-cold, dead hearts of the Left when she was first introduced to the nation in the late summer of '08.

Also, it is manifest that these same experiences facilitated her unforgettable book tour for GR last year, as she heroically traversed our land, facing ice and snow and cold, not to mention eggs and tomatoes and the risk of contracting dire swine flu.

Indeed, she wore out her voice and her poor right hand, signing books and generously greeting her people, that is, the people of the United States of America. And, of course, these youthful ambulations have, we may be sure, buttressed her soul in her wrestling against the forces of the obama "administration" through all these months.

However, need our observations and reflections draw themselves up to a halt at this point? I think not.

How we can take some things for granted! Is there any hint, here or elsewhere in her book, or indeed in her whole courageous life, that Sarah (and her family) ever grumbled against the straitened, difficult circumstances in which they sometimes had to pass their days and nights? I don't think so.

And yet this must have been damned (pardon the expression) hard, WALKING around on "icy winter days." These, after all, are ALASKAN winter days we are talking about here!!! I think that these wonderful, brave patriots long ago recognized certain truths. Some aspects of them may be expressed as follows.

Behold a great paradox. The seemingly constrained and confining circumstances in which the Lord's providence often places us can turn out, by what we may term the Irony of Divine Dispositions, can turn out to be the most liberating of conditions for us poor mortals.

Let us take a couple of examples, one general to all of us, one particular to the beautiful Palin family, both derived from the morning's time of our lives.

Consider infancy. Tiny babes are bound in chains of almost total helplessness. And yet that very state engenders the sweetest of fruits both for them and for those around them. For the children themselves, the very state of enforced passivity is what enables them to absorb their environment in an almost miraculous way, and in particular to drink in LANGUAGE!!

This is a "power in impotency" never to be regained. For all of the huff and puff of their pompous ad campaigns, companies that sell language software like "Rosetta Stone" cannot cast us back, for all of our pride of life and power in adulthood, cannot cast us back into the "pan-absorbant' state of infancy. If you REALLY want to master another tongue in adulthood, not just be able haltingly to speak a few broken phrases in it, there is no escaping drills, memorization, grammar study, etc.--that is, WORK!

So much for the babes themselves. For the adults around them, a baby's helplessness provides a gate of grace for adults who are close to that babe. Through that gate can pour love, can pour affection, can pour the finest and most chivalrous of sentiments!!!

And now, of course, let us consider the fifth child of Todd and Sarah, Trig Paxson Van Palin. I am convinced that the conception and birth of this child will be viewed one day as one of the most momentous events in US history!! In my humble opinion, it was the Lord's final test for our brave Sarah before she was ready to be launched onto the world's political stage.

Her triumphant passing of this trial was what, again in my opinion, has given her that special, ethereal radiance, almost as if she has swallowed the sun, that special radiance that is felt by all those of good heart who encounter her, whether in person or via television.
Correspondingly and tragically, it is Sarah's victory with Trig that has made her, I think, the object of the unmitigated and savage hatred of the Left. And yet, and yet, how helpless and weak are all infants; with little Trig this was eminently so. And, lo, BEHOLD HIS POWER!!!

We may extend these reflections a little further. Could the Lord not have made life easier for the Heath family, so that they might not have had to walk around in the bone- and mind-freezing conditions of winter in the Great North Land?

But think of the Son of God. Could He who turned water into wine not have turned stones, not only into bread as was suggested in the temptation in the wilderness, but even into GOLD? He need not have worked as a carpenter. But there was redemptive intention in His taking on our weaknesses and limitations.

Who was weaker and more helpless, and yet, in the supreme exemplar of the Divine Paradox, more powerful than the Son of God at about 3:00 pm on that most terrible--and most wonderful--Friday in human history?!?

St. Paul, the great Lion of God, says (I am quoting from memory), "Libenter igitur gloriabor in infirmitatibus meis, ut inhabitet in me virtus Christi."--"Willingly, therefore, shall I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me."

Brave, brave, beautiful souls, the Heaths and Palins!!!! How can we ever thank them for all they have done, from their confronting those daggers of the Alaskan wintertide so many years ago, to their confronting the icy daggers of the Left, the daggers of those who hate beauty and truth, today?

I think we can pray and sacrifice for them in love and gratitude and charity... especially when we feel ourselves weak and lonely and sad and vulnerable..for it is then, again with St. Paul, it is then that we shall truly be most powerful: powerful to defend our families; powerful to defend the land we love; powerful to defend our lovely lady and all that she holds and deems dear!!!

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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