THIRTY-TWO

"I took pride in my work... the expectation was
that we would all go to college and pay
our own way, no questions asked."

On p. 32 of Going Rogue Sarah is discussing her family's "work ethic." She writes:

"In between sports and school we worked. I cleaned a small local office building by myself, every Sunday night, through all four years of high school, for $30 a weekend. I babysat. I waitressed. My sister and I picked strawberries in the mud and mosquitoes at Dearborn's local farm for five cents a flat.

"We inventoried groceries on dusty shelves at the local store. We swept parking lots to raise money for our next softball tournament and raked leaves to make money for trips to basketball camps and track competitions in Texas. We did not think to ask our parents to pay our way. I was proud to be able to buy my own running shoes and sports equipment.

"I took pride in my work, and my parents took pride in my working. The expectation was that we would all go to college and pay our own way, no questions asked."

As we comtemplate these admirable lines, I think we may consider two different "orders (levels) of economy," if I may so put it. There is the economy of the market place, and there is the economy of the spirit. What has become of the money that Sarah worked so hard to earn so many years ago? Long gone; spent on worthy and worthwhile causes, but gone decades and decades ago.

But what about the "wages" that accrued to her character and soul as a result of these labors of long ago? These wages remain to this day; in fact, they are earning interest, and making her rich and wealthy in spirit. And they are enriching not Sarah alone, but the entire American Republic, as we all benefit from the full flowering of her noble, intrepid character, the foundations of which were laid on those "dusty shelves" and in those muddy and mosquito-ridden fields of so long ago!!

Sarah herself has undoubtedly lost the memory of many or most of the details of those days and evenings of devoted sweat and sacrifice. But the Lord, who has assured us that every hair on our heads is numbered, He has not forgotten her staunch devotion to duty and to an ideal of selfless striving.

Did the young Sarah, through the winding course and trail of those long minutes and hours and days and months and years of hard and lonely labor, fully realize that she was exerting herself, not just for the passing and transient few dollars that she earned in the immediacy of those moments, but for the enrichment of her own precious soul, and ultimately, for the glory of her country? Probably not. But the Lord of Times and Purposes saw/sees all this.

Because she was "faithful in a few things," she will soon, as we ardently believe and hope, be called to the stewardship of far greater things.

Well and wisely has she worked, the faithful Daughter of the North Country...and our soon-to-be President!!!

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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