Pumas 4 Palin

Going Rogue Excerpts :- “I am an independent person …” – Favourite passages from Sarah Palin’s book.

Posted on: November 20, 2009

[Time permitting, several upcoming posts will deal with favorite passages from Governor Sarah Palin’s book  ‘Going Rogue’. That title is, of course, a reference to campaign insider’s fears about Sarah Palin going off script laid out for her. But it also has echos of the recently wildly popular  expression ‘Going Galt’ (as in John Galt of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand). Real Clear Politics explains it all. Language Log explores the ideas around the phrase ‘going rogue’.  Finally, please note that the passages cited here were not ‘cut and paste’ but hand typed, so, any and all typos are entirely those of this blogger and not the publisher.]

Curiously enough, my first favorite excerpt is from toward the end of the book:

I am an independent person who had the good fortune to come of age in the era of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. I am a registered Republican because the planks in that party’s platform are stronger than any others upon which to build Alaska and America. I disagree with some of the characters in the party machine, but the GOP stands for principles that will strengthen and secure the country, if they are applied. I’m not obsessively partisan, though, and I don’t blame people who dislike political labels even more than I do. My husband, for example, isn’t registered with any party, for sound reasons, having been an eyewitness to the idiosyncrasies of party machines. I also don’t like the narrow stereotypes of either the “conservative” or the “liberal’ label, but until we change the lingo, call me a Commonsense Conservative. Going Rogue, page 384

The Governor makes these same points during a recent conversation with Laura Ingraham. That podcast is here.

Personally, I love the phrase Commonsense Conservative. It has faint echoes of George W Bush’s Compassionate Conservative (which turned out to be pretty lame incidentally), and itself overwhelmed into irrelevance by a dismal presidency.

Pumas will like commonsense conservative, because PUMAs are essentially progressive, open minded, practical people unimpressed by rigid party line thinking, or partisan extremism.

The Governor is pretty wise to use this phrase, and use it liberally in the book.

What does it mean to be a Commonsense Conservative?

At its most basic level, conservatism is a respect for history and tradition, including traditional moral principles. I don not believe I am more moral , certainly no better, than anyone else, and conservatives who act “holier than thou” turn my stomach. So do some elite liberals. But I do believe in a few timeless and unchanging truths, and chief among those is that man is fallen. This world is not perfect, and politicians will never make it so. This above all, is what informs my pragmatic approach to politics. (Emphasis Added – see below).

I am a conservative because I deal with the world as it is — complicated and beautiful, tragic and hopeful. I am a conservative because I believe in the rights and the responsibilities and the inherent dignity of the individual. [snip]

———-

Here Sarah Palin refers to Thomas Sowell’s book A Conflict of Visions, and launches into an explanation of how the American Right and Left differ in their diagnosis and prescriptions for what ails our society and nation.

Conservatives believe in the “constrained” political vision because we know that human nature is flawed and that there are limitations to what can be done in Washington to “fix” society’s problems.

Commonsense Conservatives deal with the human nature as it is — with its unavoidable weaknesses and its potential for goodness.

We see the world as it is — imperfect but filled with beauty. We hope for the best. We believe people can change for the better, but we do not ignore history’s lessons and waste time chasing utopian pipe dreams.Page 385-386

There are lots of wonderful stories, reminiscences and exegesis in Sarah Palin’s book. Those reviews that claim it to be light weight, and lacking in detail are lying. Or just copying what others said. A number of vivid anecdotes that advance the story of Sarah’s growth and evolution are mentioned. These will be detailed in future posts about Favorite Passages.

Finally, the emphasized quote above, that man is fallen, is so stunningly biblical, it takes the reader aback for a moment. But it need not, or jar. There is no need to take that statement to mean that we all have to start going to church tomorrow, or else. Also, there is no great need here to take a canonical or theological sense of it. It can simply be taken to mean that humans being have weaknesses, and we have to compassionate about it, rather than compulsive about fixing everything. No fundamentalist angle is implied here. That’s my take. More in later posts.

Thank you Sarah Palin for giving us a very readable, enjoyable, and yes, teachable book!

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