I wish I could park you on a bus from Cartago to Orosi, and give you this article to read. You would find it even more interesting than the characters riding on the bus.
Sarah is powerful because she understands her constituency perfectly: ignorant people who need someone to lead them into the Promised Land. The image that comes to mind is “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” – or perhaps The Charge of the Light Brigade:
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns’ he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
From the article:
Commonsense Conservatism hinges on the not-so-tacit assumption that the average, hardworking churchgoer, equipped with the fundamental, God-given ability to distinguish right from wrong, is in a better position to judge, on “principle,” the merits of an economic policy or the deployment of American troops abroad than “the ‘experts’”—a term here unfailingly placed between derisive quotation marks. Desiccated expertise, of the kind possessed by economists, environmental scientists, and overinformed reporters from the lamestream media, clouds good judgment; Palin’s life, by contrast, is presented as one of passion, sincerity, and principle. Going Rogue, in other words, is a four-hundred-page paean to virtuous ignorance.
And this about the relevance of the facts:
Fact-checkers from the Associated Press and several tireless bloggers have uncovered scores of inaccuracies and “lies” in Going Rogue. It’s fair to doubt that any line of direct speech in the book was ever uttered by the person to whom it is attributed, and to assume that every factual detail has probably been either invented or twisted out of shape in order to cast Palin in the best possible light. That said, one might also remember the useful distinction made by the Barbizon painter J.F. Millet between the artist who paints directly from life and the artist who paints the same scene from memory: “…the last may succeed better in giving the character, the physiognomy of the place, though all the details may be inexact.”
You can’t get a more sympathetic treatment than that. The author, Jonathan Raban, also has this to say about how the Obama administration has failed to explain its economic policy to the public – and given Palin a helping hand:
The rage for Palin’s pert simplicities reflects in part the failure of the Obama administration to persuade people of the wisdom and benefits of its far more sophisticated policies. Recently, I came across FDR’s fireside chat of April 14, 1938, when, speaking from the bottom of the second trough of the double-dip recession, he delivered a plain and passionate defense of deficit spending; Keynes for the family, and as resonant and topical now as it was seventy years ago. Nothing I’ve heard from the present administration matches its clarity, and where puzzlement and incomprehension exist, Palin leaps to fill the gap with facile and völkisch answers.
A good article.