Saturday, January 29, 2011

BOTW - Sarah Palin's America By Heart

America by Heart : Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag     This weeks Book of the Week is Sarah Palin's anecdotal book America By Heart. Before I go on, I will state quite plainly that I am in no way a Sarah Palin fan. Though this is the case, when reading her book, I attempted to let the words speak for themselves instead of extrapolate my feelings for the author to the content. Though I feel as though I am going to be able to do that, based upon my dislike for Palin, and the way that I am going to be treating her book in the next few paragraphs, some will say that I am biased.

    A reader who was not familiar with American politics at all and picked up Palins book would think that she was the "true voice" of America, fighting against the evils of those who want to destroy the most amazing country on earth. You see, countless times, Palin infers that those who disagree with her in any form are anti-American; that they are violating the very principles that the nation was founded upon. Incredibly arrogant of her - especially since in many of the policies that she addresses (healthcare, energy, military, religion), there is quite a bit of grey.

     Her discussion of religion and the "Judeo-Christian" foundation of the United States reminded me of a conversation that i was having the other day with a friend of mine. She was expressing to me that it is very difficult to talk with someone who holds fast to a specific worldview, and is not able to be convinced through logic and reason. This is the kind of tone that I got from Palin. It seems as though she is so ingrained in her own ideological position that she is not able to appreciate where anyone else is coming from, and instead lashes out at them.

      One of her main positions is that Americans should not take for granted the freedoms that we enjoy and that the purpose of America is to be,
"A shining city on a hill, a beacon of liberty and hope for all the peoples of the earth. Our country was created by believing men and women to be a good and virtuous place, a nation capable of producing people fit to exercise the gift of freedom. And for those who fear that people of faith desire to rewrite the Constitution and the laws on a presumed authority of God, let me be clear that I don't believe that any of us can claim to know the mind of the Creator who gave us life and liberty."
       But to many Americans - specifically thinking of the LGBT community - these words of "freedom" ring hollow. For the Party that Palin aligns herself with, as well as what she herself believes (she states that all "lifestyle choices" are not equal in the context of what makes a family), is essentially putting their interpretation of the word of God in the Constitutions of states all across America.  White conservative Christians would love the above paragraph, for they have not been on the receiving end of overt discrimination, and instead have enjoyed aristocratic privilege in the United States. But those who have experienced this writing of the laws of "God' into the laws of the United States see that these supposed freedoms that Americans enjoy are not for everyone - but instead those who are deemed acceptable.

      In the end, I did not like Palin's book. Instead of anything of substance, it seemed like purely a "rah rah rah"...lets go America work of bullshit. Sorry for calling it that, but thats what I feel that it is. In the end, I felt as though I wasted hours of my life, reading about the small stories of a woman who obviously has a very skewed version of both America and reality. So therefore, this weeks BOTW only read if you want to know what is going to happen to our country if she reaches high office.


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