PAGE THIRTY


"I loved pushing myself and even relished pushing through pain to reach a goal.

"I realized that my gift was determination and resolve, and I have relied on it ever since."







On p. 30 of Going Rogue Sarah continues with the theme of sports and athletics, which has been her subject of discussion for several pages now. She writes:

"My siblings all won many more sports awards than I, as I wasn't equipped with anything close to their natural talent. But I once overheard Dad say to another coach that he'd never had an athlete work harder. Overhearing those words was one of the most powerful experiences of my life.

"Maybe God didn't give me natural athleticism--other athletes could run faster, jump higher, and hit the basket more often--but I loved competition. I loved pushing myself and even relished pushing through pain to reach a goal. I realized that my gift was determination and resolve, and I have relied on it ever since."

Behold the deep mystery of the inscrutable ways of the Lord!!! God's gift to her was not to give her certain gifts, so that she might foster and nurture and develop deeper gifts.

Here is sweet wisdom and noble inspiration for us to trust Heaven when we are not granted something we wish for with all the ardor of our limited minds and narrow perceptions and straitened perspectives. Sometimes the greatest gift is not to get a gift!

First, here are a few thoughts about Sarah's life; they could be multiplied many times over.

What if Sarah, instead of having to play the state high-school championship basketball game on a bum ankle, a stress-fractured ankle, had been able to play on a pristine. healthy joint? Would she have traced on her soul's canvas and columns the portrait and profile of courage, of guts, of Churchill's we-shall-never-surrender spirit that she in fact did on that immortal evening??

What if Sarah had so excelled at sports broadcasting that she had been offered a lucrative, long-term contract, and had become a lifelong journalist in athletics?

What if Sarah, with her love for the written word, had written a Pulitzer-Prize-winning book in her 20s or 30s, and had chosen to make professional writing her life's work?

What if Sarah had won her race for the lieutenant-governorship of Alaska?

What if McCain had won in '08, and Sarah were today Vice President of the United States?

Second, let us take a brief look at History's Honor Roll:

What if Sparta, on certain fateful days of the year 480 BC, had not been involved in a religious festival, and hence had been able to send her entire army to face the vast slave army of King Xerxes of Persia at Thermopylae?

Instead, the Spartan king, Leonidas, and his 300-man bodyguard, who were not subject to the laws of the festival or to the decrees of the Spartan Council, marched forth into eternity to meet the invader from the East. The immortal voices of these 300, who died that the Liberty of Greece and of the West might live, these voices are speaking to us even at this very moment...two-and-a-half millennia later!!

What if King Henry V of England, at Agincourt, France in 1415, had possessed on his side numbers equal to those of the French army? Where would be the glory of his victory, immortalized in Shakespeare's "we few, we happy few, we band of brothers"?!?

What if George Washington's men at Valley Forge had been provided with comfortable shoes, and rich, warm clothing, and better provisions?

What if a modern-day band of brothers, the intrepid young fliers of Britain's Royal Air Force, had not stood all alone, all alone in facing down Hitler's Luftwaffe, in the days of summer and the days of autumntide in the Year of the Lord 1940? What if, instead, they had had the pilots of many nations by their side?

Let us support our precious Sarah; let us love her; let us learn from her simple and profound Alaskan wisdom.

St. Paul: "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."

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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