SEVENTY-THREE

Mayor Palin

On p. 73 of GR Sarah is discussing the opposition that she confronted in Wasilla when she became mayor of her home town. She writes, "Nick [Carney], who had originally recruited me to serve on the council, confronted me personally to announce that he intended to make my life difficult. He launched a recall effort.

"Within days, he and his cronies began holding public meetings around town, drafting a petition that said I was too inexperienced to do the job.  When I cut my own pay, as I'd promised to do, they accused me of trying to shoehorn myself into a lower tax bracket.

"'Hmmm,' I thought, 'wish I'd thought of that.'

"This is a seemingly simple tableau and tale, but I think it provides us with profound lessons about the proper and gallant way to meet opposition and slanders with aplomb and humor.

Sarah cuts her own compensation. She does this on the basis of two principles, one general and one specific.

First, it is the right thing to do. Public officials should fill their offices with "servants' hearts," and should accept a minimum compensation for their services. This indeed has always been the nature of service. It is never measured by the yardstick of utility by which we justly measure jobs in the private sector. This is because NO PRICE can be placed on ardent devotion to the service of the COMMON GOOD.

This is why and how we distinguish soldiers who are in the service of their country from mere mercenaries, who are troops for hire ("merces," Latin for "hire, pay, wages"). The compensation that soldiers (and Marines, sailors et al.) receive for their SERVICE differs in a crucial and substantial and essential way from mere pay.

Even though we may often use the same WORDS to describe the two entities ("pay," "wages," etc.), in fact they are substantially and essentially different THINGS! The mercenary fights for WAGES, plain and simple.

The soldier SERVES out of devotion to country. Because soldiers are not angels, and have physical needs, they must receive some monetary compensation for their service, to permit them and their families to live. However, the REASON, the finis (Latin), the telos (Greek) for which they serve is NOT the monetary compensation; it is devoted service to God and Flag and Country!

Many of these brave and talented individuals could earn much more money if they worked in the private sector.  However, they serve out of love for country.

Second, Sarah is keeping a specific promise she has made.

Imagine that, a public servant actually caring about the keeping of a promise, the keeping of her word!! She promised to do it; she does it!!

Finally, let us notice the droll humor with which Sarah meets Mr. Carney's attacks.  " 'Hmmm,' I thought, 'wish I'd thought of that.'"

This little incident and Sarah's reaction to it show us how and why she will do magnificently in the dual campaign to win the GOP nomination for President, and then to oust the usurper, barack obama, from the White House. This warfare must be based on twin pillars. First, one must cleave and adhere to one's principles.

Second, one must be clothed and vested in the glory of a good and noble and lofty and humorous spirit. These pillars are like the talons and the wings of the Eagle!! Sarah adheres to her principles; she always has.

Sarah can laugh, which is a necessary grace when one is venturing into dire and mortal combat for the survival and the success of one's country. SHE HAS PRINIPLED GUTS; SHE CAN LAUGH AND SMILE; SHE WILL WIN!!!!!!

(PS: Don't these characteristics remind us just a bit of President Ronald Reagan?!?)

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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