SIXTY-SIX

"I voted according to my principles and let the chips
fall where they may...."

On p. 66 of GR, Sarah continues her discussion of her early experiences in local politics when she served as a member of the Wasilla City Council. She writes, "Sometimes council members' plans went beyond paternalism to conflicts of interest.

"For example, Nick [Carney] tried to spearhead a development plan that would require people living in homes built in new subdivisions to pay for weekly trash removal instead of hauling their trash to the dump themselves, as most Valley residents did and I still do. It was a convenient proposal: Nick owned the town's garbage truck company. I opposed that, too.

"Now, Nick was the de facto leader of the council, and even though he said Wasilla would do well to have me serve, he became extremely annoyed when I didn't vote the way he did. That didn't bother me; I had to live with my own conscience, so I voted according to my principles and let the chips fall where they may.

"A vote on garbage seems like small potatoes. But it was not a little thing to me. I wanted our local government to position itself on the side of the people and preserve their freedom so that Wasilla could progress, and not restrict opportunities."

We have a few simple words here, and yet they admirably summarize Sarah's philosophy first of governing and mastering and conquering her own self, and then of governing for and on behalf of others.

You resolve in general to do whatever is right and just in the majestic presence of your own soul and conscience, in order that you yourself may live at peace with your God! You are then and thus enabled and empowered, by a Law of God and of nature, both to do whatever is right and just for your neighbor in any particular situation, and also to inspire and instill in your neighbor's heart a love for that same eternal justice. The treasure of justice is conceived in one heart and conscience, and is then passed on to others! Justice conceives justice.

Conversely, those who violate their own consciences for material or other advantages become spiritually and intellectually sterile. They are incapable of bringing forth in other hearts the fruit and beauty of justice.

What immense good Sarah has wrought for so many millions in America, and even worldwide!! On the other hand, who is Nick Carney? Where is he today? How many people would even know his name, had Sarah not mentioned him in her book?

Sarah has breathed her very soul and spirit into every page of this work. The result is that one can take any little slice or sliver or piece of the volume, examine it, and find her whole brave, beautiful life, and indeed philosophy of living, summed up and captured therein.

We witness this phenomenon right here on p. 66; we have witnessed it over and over through the previous pages of the opus.

Let me conclude with an observation or two on these words of hers that were cited above: "A vote on garbage seems like small potatoes. But it was not a little thing to me."

Profound words!!

Yes indeed, the subject of garbage taken by itself, outside of the compass and measure of the moral and mortal combat that is waged in and for each and every luminous human soul, is indeed a tiny, tiny thing.

However, when any matter, be it ever so minuscule and humble in and of itself, engages and involves decisions and actions that test and try the conscience and soul of a human being, then that matter becomes vast and mighty indeed. Such matters are weighed in the terrible scales of eternal consequences.

IMHO, one human soul is more precious in the sight of the Lord than an entire galaxy, in all its glory and radiance!!

Our Sarah has guarded well the miniature universe that is her own lovely soul and conscience. She has thus inspired millions of her brothers and sisters to take similar care for the inestimable treasure that dwells in the deep places of their hearts!!!

These are not little things.

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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