TWENTY-FOUR

Mat-Su Borough Mayor Dr. Menard and Governor Palin sign
contracts for the Goose Creek Correctional Center

On p. 24 of Going Rogue Sarah has been describing the tragic, cruel accident suffered by her dad's best friend, Dr. Curt Menard, a dentist. He lost his right arm, and had to retrain himself to become a left-handed, one-armed DDS.

This happened when Sarah was in elementary school. Sarah's mom warned the kids that, although their own family had not yet really been through trials of this kind, every family goes through times of testing. She writes:

"'We haven't really been through that yet,' Mom said in a gentle warning.

"That scared me at first. But then she comforted me, saying, 'Maybe our challenge will be to care for other families who do.'

Curt Menard shows old yearbook photos of Sarah

"For me, that conversation laid the foundation that you help other people. That everyone has a struggle and that when you don't, you comfort and support those who do. Plato said it well: 'Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.' The conversation also warned me to not take our comfort for granted."

Ah, my friends, here we behold the seeds of courage, of courtesy, of unflagging, unfailing, unstinted charity that were sown in the bosom of this very special family from the North Country, from the Great Land!!! Today we witness the triumph of the beautiful truth of these principles, as Sarah opens up her brave, intrepid heart, and stretches forth her strong, capable Alaskan hands to help...to help whom?... you and me, my family and your families, thousands and millions of families up and down and across all this land of ours.

And yet, is there not a mystery here? I think there is: The mystery of suffering.

How many thoughtful men and women have asked, over the years and centuries, "How can a good God permit so much suffering, especially the suffering of innocents?"

It is a great mystery. I think that our very humanity, our liability to suffering, the inevitability of death, all these create potential bonds between us all. These potential bonds are made actual ones when we reach outside of ourselves to others in times of trouble.

Maybe the Lord permits my neighbor to suffer from a sorrow of the heart, so that I, in comforting him/her, may bring grace to my own soul and consolation to my neighbor, and, above all, create a bond of unity between us.

Maybe the Lord permits my neighbor to stand in need of a few dollars, so that I, in giving a bit of money, may bring interior wealth to my own soul and a little financial help to my neighbor, and, above all, create a bond of unity between us.

Maybe the Lord permits my neighbor to suffer a physical wound of some kind, so that I, in binding up that wound, may heal the wounds of my own soul and help my neighbor back to health, and, above all, create a bond of unity between us.

Menard, right, watches Sarah's RNC speech with other friends

Menard, lower left, watches the VP debate

Remember Clarence the Angel (Angel Second-Class!) in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life," who jumps into the water so that George Bailey will save him from sinking...and in so doing will save his own soul, which is sinking from discouragement and despair.

So let us return to our lovely Sarah.

Who can doubt that she, through countless acts of selfless kindness on the dusty paths of these last several decades of her life in Alaska, brightened her own sweet soul, brought succor and solace to thousands of others, and forged eternal bonds of charity with them?

All these, all these free, gracious, chivalrous acts of kindness by our Sarah, all of them, every last one, added a little more to the adornment and luster and radiance and splendor of her soul's depths of beauty and strength and power!!

The came the Year of Fate, 2008.

So many good Americans have asked the Lord, "Why, oh God, how, oh Lord, could You permit someone like barack obama, as unworthy a charlatan and fraud and knave and thug as has ever occupied the White House, how could You allow someone like this to usurp the Presidency of the United States of America?"

Behold Sarah!!

Think of the fate-filled days that have elapsed and slipped away since the bleak, grim day, 4 November, 2008, of obama's apparent triumph.

Think of the thousands, the tens of thousands, the hundreds of thousands of men, women, and little children that she has met personally--greeting all her people, with all of their various and variegated trials, woes, and sufferings, greeting and embracing them all with veritable kindness, true sympathy, and genuine affection!


And with every last one of these citizens she has forged and formed unbreakable, lifelong bonds of loyalty and charity.

And further, think of the suffering millions, suffering from miseries of all kinds and sorts, who, although they have not met her personally, have been encouraged, uplifted, enlightened, inspired, fired with patriotic fervor and passion and zeal by her powerful and pithy Facebook posts, by her ardent and eloquent speeches, by her lovely and moving book!!

With these too she has welded and joined bands and bonds of beauty, catenae caritatis libertatis veritatisque, chains of charity and of liberty and of truth, chains not of servitude but of freedom and happiness and joy...bonds that are of iron in the depths of their strength and staying power, and are of gold in the bright sheen of the love and charity reflected between mind and mind, soul and soul!


So here are great mysteries:

No death of the seed, then no fruit and flower;

No autumn and winter, then no spring and summer;

No Good Friday, then no Easter Sunday;

No labor and suffering of the sowing, then no joy and exultation in the reaping;

No "blood, sweat, and tears" of the foundation, then no lofty triumph of the cathedral;

No jimmy carter, then no Ronald Reagan;

...and finally:

No "president" barack obama, then no PRESIDENT SARAH PALIN!!!!!!

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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