PAGE THIRTEEN

She did not choose the easy path, but she surely
chose the right path....

As with so many other pages in her rich and beautiful book, I could seize on many sentences on p. 13 for fruitful reflection and discussion. I have chosen the following.

Sarah is discussing her visit last year to William Seward's home, Seward, the heroic and far-seeing statesman whose fearless and perspicacious vision provided the seed for what is today the glory of the Forty-Ninth State, the Great Land.

She recalls the heroic figures, besides Seward himself, who came from the Finger Lakes region of Central New York, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Harriet Tubman.

She then writes as follows:

"As a little girl, I had read about Tubman's journeys along the Underground Railroad to secure freedom and equality for others. Now I was standing in her home and walking across her property, which Seward provided to her just down the road from his own. As with Seward, Tubman hadn't taken the easy path. But it was the right path."

Ah, is this not a seemingly simple expression, to choose not the easy path, but the right path? Yet, I think the words deserve perhaps closer examination than they may usually get.

Is not the easy path sometimes also the right path? To take a simple example, what if I am faced with a decision to drive along either a thirty-mile rutted country road or a ten-mile stretch of freeway to reach the same destination? Is not the easier path also the right path in this case? Obviously, yes.

It all has to do with the "teleology" of the situation. What is my "telos," my "finis," my end, my aim, my goal in the action? In the case of a physical journey, it is simply to get as quickly and safely and expeditiously as possible to the place I am trying to reach. Clearly in a case like this, the easier path is also the right path.

However, what happens when we step out of the ways of mere physical journeys and enter on the ways of what we might term moral or spiritual journeys? The situation becomes more complicated, because sometimes where we intend to go in a given situation may not be where the Lord of Ways and Purposes intends us to go. He has an ultimate "telos" (if that is not a pleonasm!) in mind for us.

Sometimes, in order that we may reach that ultimate goal, that which on the surface is the harder path, the more winding path, the rougher path, the longer path, the more painful path is also the "right" path.

Think of what, in my very humble opinion, was one of the defining moments in our Sarah's brave, intrepid life.

I mean little Trig, of course, and her decision to bring him into this world, the act that, perhaps more than any other, ignited the conflagration of the fury of the Left against her and against her family.

Many "practical" and worldly people could have suggested a far "easier" path for Sarah in this situation. But would this have been the "right" path? Where was the hand of Providence directing Sarah and her family in this case?

While none of us can presume to see fully the dispositions of the Divine Will, surely part of the answer is that Sarah, in choosing the more difficult way, the path walked and taken by the few, adorned her soul and spirit with the gilded glory of heroism. This aureole would, in turn, draw the hearts and minds of the best spirits in America to Sarah and to her banner when Senator McCain introduced her to the nation four months after Trig's birth.

Surely it is no coincidence, but a most perfect disposition of Heaven's Will, that she strode onto the world stage a scant few months after her momentous decision.

She had passed through the fire and the agony of her time of trouble and of testing; she had heroically passed this trial; her soul, indeed her very eyes and countenance, radiated that special sheen and glory of soul's loveliness that only comes to those who have faced and survived great tests.

And all that is best and bravest and most gallant in America fell in love with her from those first hours. Here indeed the easy path would have been the wrong path...tragically wrong.

And yet, this act of Sarah's was just one, perhaps the greatest, but just one case where she stood at a moral fork in the path of her life, and chose the less-travelled way, the harder way, the way that leads to the Valhalla of heroes and heroines.

When, with dauntless guts and unshaken loyalty to her teammates, she chose to play basketball on a bum ankle, a stress-fractured ankle, in the State high-school championship game, she did not choose the easy path, but she surely chose the right path.

When, with fearless integrity of mind and soul, she resigned the lucrative position of chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, rather than countenance corruption, she did not choose the easy path, but she surely chose the right path.

When, with the courage to follow the hand of the Lord wheresoever it might be leading her, she accepted McCain's call to seek national office, she did not choose the easy path, but she surely chose the right path.

When, faced with the autumn choice to speak out or not to speak out, she chose not to remain silent, but to denounce the likes of Bill Ayres on the '08 campaign trail, she did not choose the easy path, but she surely chose the right path.

When, after the national disaster of 4 November, 2008, having been subjected to perhaps the most vicious and diabolical smear campaign in the political annals of the nation, she chose not to slink and slip out of public life, but to regather her strength and come back fighting, she did not choose the easy path, but she surely chose the right path.

When, faced with the frivolous yet devilish ethics charges that were sapping her own resources and those of her staff and State, she chose to resign an office that she loved, the Governorship of her Alaska, and continue her fight on a different battlefield, she did not choose the easy path, but she surely chose the right path.


When, risking perils of wintery weather, perils of an exhausting pace, perils to her own person, she set out on her unforgettable book tour, she did not choose the easy path, but she surely chose the right path.

When, wielding the ancient sword and art of the written word, wedded to the most modern of technologies, Facebook, she almost single-handedly confronted and grappled with barack obama and all his evil schemes and plots and plans, she she did not choose the easy path, but she surely chose the right path.

Glenn Beck told the nation last Friday about George Washington, Father of His Country. Among the most striking facts he brought forth was the seemingly miraculous protection that was afforded to Washington in battle: Bullets could not touch him.

On our knees, daily, nightly, ceaselessly, let us beg the All-Highest to afford the same protection and invulnerability, physical and spiritual, to our precious Sarah, to one who has always chosen, not the easy path, but the right path; who loves her God, loves her family, loves her State, loves her country, loves all of us...who is destined, in my opinion, to go down in the undying record and grateful remembrance of the heart of a nation as Mother of Her Country.

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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