SIXTY-THREE

Kitchen table politics

On p. 63 of GR, Sarah inaugurates a new chapter in her book.  In this chapter, she discusses her first ventures into the cauldron and amphitheater of politics.

I would like to make a few brief observations about the title of this new chapter and also about the providential role that one Nick Carney played, willy-nilly, in launching Sarah's career of public service.

Sarah entitles this chapter "Kitchen-Table Politics."

This expression involves a fascinating and revealing juxtaposition of concepts.

It invites and urges us, I believe, to reflect on the close and stringent bond and connection that subsists between matters of private, familial economy and matters of the welfare and good of nations.

The word "Politics" is derived from a Greek word that we may transcribe in English as "polis." A "polis" is a city-state.

Sarah's life history reveals how care for seemingly small, private affairs has prepared her for greater, public tasks.

Let us think about that Kitchen Table (I capitalize on purpose), and how the concerns of that humble Table relate to the greater problems of the state.

Sarah has had to be concerned for years and years with putting food on that Kitchen Table.

Sarah has had to write out and pay bills for years and years on that Kitchen Table (or on a table much like it!)

Sarah has had to ponder and worry over family problems and family decisions for years and years over that Kitchen Table.

Sarah has convened and gathered her family for years and years around that Kitchen Table.

Sarah has conversed, smiled, laughed, wept, and argued with her family for years and years around that Kitchen Table.

Even as I write these words, serious talks with her family about the greatest and weightiest decision of her life, a decision we all eagerly await, are undoubtedly occurring around that fateful Kitchen Table.

Surely all these seemingly insignificant battles and wars that Sarah and her family have fought around that Table have nurtured and prepared her mind and spirit for the successively higher roles that she has played in various "city-states": First, that of the city of Wasilla; next, that of the State of Alaska; finally, and momentously, that of the entire United States of America.

She understands all of us, and the problems we face on a daily basis. She sympathizes with us. She will bring that deep perception and wisdom to the Oval Office, God willing.

I think that we may justly name and dub Sarah and her heroic family America's Valiant Knights of the "Round" Table of Wasilla, their Kitchen Table!!!

Finally, let us briefly consider these following words of Sarah from p. 63 in the context of the mysterious ways and paths of the Lord.

She says, "It was Nick Carney, the self-proclaimed local mover and shaker and president of the Wasilla Chamber of Commerce, who set me on the path of public service."

As you know from reading the book, while Mr. Carney expected Sarah to become his ally in city politics, she, as she always has, followed her own way and her own conscience.

Carney had one set of purposes and motivations in urging Sarah to enter local politics; the LORD had far different Purposes!!!

May we not extend this observation to a host of other incidents and happenings in her wonderful life?

Take, as one example, Senator McCain's selection of Sarah as his VP choice in '08. We will never know fully why McCain made the choice that he did. He probably had multiple layers of purposes and intentions.

Whatever his motivations were, GOD had other ideas and other intentions that were likely far from McCain's mind when he made his fateful choice in the dying days of the summer of 2008.

The acts of Mr. Carney and of Senator McCain are just two examples of the mysterious and infallibly good and merciful dispositions of the Lord.

Let us pray and sacrifice as never before for our dear sister, Sarah, in the coming days and weeks…and let us place complete trust in the All-Highest, Who has guided her so far on a truly miraculous and marvelous and mighty path!!!!


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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