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by Sarah Palin
(Click for Amazon book review)
BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:
Sweet Freedom is not the typical book by a political figure. Subtitled "A Devotional," this 2015 volume by former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin, is worth a look for several reasons, not least of which is her hinting at entering the 2022 race of Lisa Murkowski's Senate seat. Beyond that, though, it serves its stated purpose of providing Biblical quotes, and short inspirational messages on a daily basis along with suggestions of how to put the ideas into action.
For students of contemporary American politics, it also provides bite size snippets which let you see how the world looks to a conservative Evangelical Christian. As such voters make up a sizable segment of the electorate, understanding that point of view is important whether you agree or disagree. Written in the breezy, conversational style for which she is known, Palin's primary purpose is religion in general and her brand of Christianity in particular, but whether by design or because she can't help it, her views on a variety of issues--gay marriage, gun control, climate change, immigration--come out.
Take immigration. Writing pre-Trump, her views on immigration are hardly nuanced but begin by acknowledging the humanity of those in the U.S. illegally. She then goes on, "Being gracious to these immigrants doesn't mean we ignore our laws…" And her "Sweet Freedom in Action" suggests praying for both "the welfare of legal immigrants" and "the just and proper enforcement of our immigration laws." [p.138-139]
She's less charitable when it comes to gay marriage. The landmark case legalizing gay marriage, Obergefell v. Hodges, had just been decided by the Supreme Court. She repeatedly claims that Christians are under attack in America, but defiantly proclaims, that everything God ordains "won't be un-ordained, even by five black robes." [p.46] And she actually responds to the "black lives matter" movement by insisting that "all lives matter." Her tin ear when it comes to racism (insisting that liberals use the word to shut down discussion) leads to the mindboggling observation that "race relations in this country seemed to take a giant step backward under the presidency of Barack Obama," as if he was the one to blame. [p.53]
But it's not politics on every page. In between calls for drilling for oil in Alaska and bashing the news media, are folksy, personal items about her family, her love of rock music (not surprisingly she gives a shout out to fellow conservative Ted Nugent), and celebrating conservatives in Hollywood. Her call to action? "Today, rent a [Clint] Eastwood movie--I'd suggest 'American Sniper'--and support conservatives in the arts."
-- Daniel M. Kimmel, editor, OnTheIssues.org, May 2021
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Page last edited: Nov 25, 2021