On p. 48 of Going Rogue Sarah tells us what a great relief it was for her, after years of partial separation from Todd, to grab her college diploma, and "beat feet back to Alaska, happy to be in the same state as Todd." (It's an interesting coincidence that, on page forty-eight, she leaves the Lower Forty-Eight to return to the Great Land!)

She continues, "I joined him on the Bristol Bay fishing grounds. During slow salmon runs with Todd, I worked messy, obscure seafood jobs, including long shifts on a stinky, shore-based crab-processing vessel in Dutch Harbor. Another season, I sliced open fish bellies, scraped out the eggs, and plopped the roe into packaging….Practically every kid in Alaska has spent at least one summer working some kind of 'slime line.' "

We might be tempted to say, even to feel, "Yuck" as we read these words--it sure sounds smelly!! Sarah's own senses, especially her olfactory ones, probably clamored out "Yuck" as she sweated out her long, long hours!! And this is only natural. Our five senses are "ordered to" (in the technical, philosophical sense), they are formed for, directed towards, particular sensory phenomena--and these phenomena are not always pretty!

However, as human beings, we possess, by the disposition of a Loving Creator, a "hierarchy" of faculties, each one ORDERED TO (again, "technical" sense) ITS OWN PROPER SPECIES OF OBJECT. I would like to consider and contemplate this tableau of our Sarah and of her humble, difficult work, in the light of several gradations of faculties and their "ordering": Sarah's senses as she did this work; her mind and heart as she did this work; OUR minds and hearts as we read her vivid account of the work. Then I will have some final reflections and thoughts.

Our senses are ordered to individual, physical, sensory phenomena, as was noted above.

Our minds are ordered to what is REAL, what is TRUE.

Our wills, our hearts are ordered to what is GOOD.

Surely, as she labored and sweated and even suffered physically in the execution of her onerous duties, our Sarah at the same time perceived in her mind that she was doing good, honest work, for an honest wage. And even more surely, in the realization of this truth, with her will she embraced and even loved the great GOOD of performing honest labor for an honest, clean dollar--the fishing vessel and the other things are "stinky," but the money, the money is clean! The mind perceives the FACT of JUSTICE; the heart, if that heart be pure, embraces the GOOD of it!

So then, in this utterly HUMAN scene, we see that mysterious juxtaposition of the physically filthy and the morally sublime that is one of the seals and marks of our human condition.

What about us as we read this account?

While our vividly playful faculties of imagination might tempt us to recoil and to say "Yuck," as I noted above, when we apply the mastering and majestic faculties of mind and of heart to this scene, we admire the brave, hard-working Sarah, we praise her…we love her!!

I have some further thoughts to add.

The Psalmist says, ELEGI ABJECTUS ESSE IN DOMO DEI MEI MAGIS QUAM HABITARE IN TABERNACULIS PECCCATORUM--"I have chosen to be lowly in the house of my God, rather than to dwell in the tents of sinners." David also says "MELIOR EST DIES UNA IN ATRIIS TUIS SUPER MILLIA--"better"--far better!!- "is one day in thy courts above thousands (of days elsewhere)."

Guys, if I were given the choice, I would choose to stand by Sarah Palin's side, working, let's say, a "slime line" under the vaulted skies of the Great Land for very moderate, but honest, wages rather than to work for someone like barack obama…no matter how much money and power I might be offered by the Chicago usurper and thug. I know you all feel the same way!

I would prefer the slimy, stinky, smelly fishing boats of Alaska to the perfumed halls and privileged porticos and penthouses of cowards and traitors who have sold out their country for filthy lucre…whose dollars are dirty; whose minds are dark; whose souls are black.

Finally, I have a few thoughts about Kate Gosselin and the camping trip from that marvelous episode of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" that I am sure you all remember.

What a tragic choice Kate made, in my opinion, when, in exchange for a few hours of warmth and comfort in a hotel room (or wherever), she forsook and abandoned, for herself AND FOR HER KIDS, the golden chance to spend a night with the beautiful Palin/Heath family, to huddle around the campfire with them, to play "Charades" with them, to hear tales of the Great Land from them under an Alaskan high summer's midnight mantle!!!

I know that I speak for every one of us here when I say that we would have endured any rain, suffered any cold, tolerated any discomfort or discomfiture to be there in the company of the First Family of Alaska and of America on that magical, mystical night!!

Guys, I think we go astray as human beings when we either overvalue or ignore the physical part of our nature.

We are neither (mere) animals, nor angels.

We stand on feet of clay…and lift up the sparks of our minds, our spirits, our hearts to the True North of all that is finest, is noblest, is most beautiful in Our Lord's creation.

Read It For Yourself:

Other Great Sarah Books:

Palin Essentials:


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:

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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