On p. 81 of GR, Sarah is talking about 9/11. She writes about what her mom and dad did at the time of the terrorist attack. She writes, "My parents would travel from Wasilla to New York in the aftermath of 9/11 to work near the World Trade Center. Their temporary job with the USDA Wildlife Services involved keeping predators and pests away as detectives searched through evidence and remains transported to the nearby Fresh Kills landfill."

She then changes subjects: "By the time I was thirty-eight, my second term [as mayor] was winding down and I was about to be term-limited out of office. Meanwhile, several people approached me saying they hoped I'd stay in public service. Not politicos, just ordinary people.

"As president of the Conference of Mayors, I saw so many needs around the state, places where I felt I could help. But I had no interest in running for the state legislature. I did not think I would do well in a place where you had to scratch disagreeable backs in order to secure a nameplate in the caucus."

I think that, if we juxtapose these two passages, we may observe that Sarah and her family are true and veritable Servant Leaders; we see how they want to relate to their fellow human beings.

Let us take Chuck and Sally Heath first. While I cannot speak for them, I suspect that they might, under ordinary circumstances, have felt quite uncomfortable mingling in a society like that of New York City, in a world and in a milieu which is so starkly and strikingly at odds with the vigorous culture and life of the Great Land.

However, this was not the case when, because of the tragedy of September 11, relationships between people were lifted and elevated from the plane and level of the ordinary to the extraordinary. Sarah's parents came as Americans to bring help and charity to fellow Americans who had just been staggered under the vicious and diabolical blow of a common foe.

There is nothing mediocre or ignoble about the wonderful Heath and Palin families. When times are difficult, when the bitter and cruel winds of fate blow and swirl, biting gusts that try and test the timber and mettle and moxie of the souls of men and women, these are the hours when our heroes of the North Country excel and conquer!!

Whatever they do, wherever they are, there is something ROYAL about the souls and spirits of these blessed folks!! Even if they are carrying out the simplest of tasks, like hunting or fishing in Alaska, or like helping the victims of terrorism in NYC, they are servants who are never SERVILE but free, but brave, but gallant, but unbowed and unconquered.

I mean no disrespect if I make a brief comparison to the Son of God. Even at the moment when He was washing the feet of His Apostles on Holy Thursday, as an example of fraternal charity and love, even as He performed this "servant's" work, He remained King, He remained Lord!!

I think Sarah's family exemplifies this spirit. We are a Republic; we have no "royalty," no "nobility" of privilege and of blood. However, we can and we do possess a Royalty of Bravery, of Gallantry, of Self-Sacrifice, of Charity.

Sarah's family members are perfect exemplars of this phenomenon that goes back to George Washington. The gentleman warrior and statesman of Virginia refused to become "King of the United States of America"; however, he already was a "king," not with an outward crown of gold, but with the interior wreath and crown of a golden and noble and deathless spirit and heart!!

In this connection, let us briefly examine what Sarah says in the second passage here.

She did not want to become a state legislator, and play the game of mutual "back-scratching." Sarah's free spirit is best suited to EXECUTIVE positions, where she can sit in the saddle and lead people into battle.

We observe both in Sarah and in her parents a grandeur and greatness of soul. Whether they are performing the humblest of tasks, or leading a charge into a battle in which it may be necessary to lay down life itself, they always manifest servants' hearts; they are Servant Leaders. This apparent oxymoron "servant leader" in fact involves no contradiction, but instead designates and reveals the highest calling to which a man or woman can respond.

I think too that we may gain insight here into the question of whether or not Sarah would ever desire or seek an office like that of a US Senator. While one can certainly serve the People in such a position, I doubt that it would be suited and fitted to Sarah's gifts of mind and soul.

Let us conclude then by observing the Freedom and the Love that mark the relationships of Sarah and her family to their various communities. There is nothing sordid or mediocre or small or petty here. Instead we witness that they always make a Free Gift of themselves, wherever they are, whatever they do.

If anyone would question this statement, I would cite the testimony of the tens of thousands who have been privileged to meet Sarah in the last three-plus years, and have seen straight through her luminous eyes into her beautiful American soul!!

They are all clothed with the noble generosity of Freedom.

In 2001, Chuck and Sally came down from the far-distant Great Land to help New York City in its hour of supreme agony.

In 2013 may a gracious and merciful Lord send Sarah Palin from Wasilla to Washington, DC in our nation's supreme hour of peril and danger!!!


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: 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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