by Sarah Palin on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 1:07pm
The following is an exclusive sneak peek at my new book “America By Heart” which comes out next Tuesday. Signed editions are still available for pre-order at barnesandnoble.com. You can click here to pre-order your copy.
Enjoy the excerpt:
Americans are awakening again to the wisdom of… that sweet old lady at the Boston Tea Party rally holding up a copy of the Constitution: “When All Else Fails, Read the Instructions.”
When we take the time to actually read them, the instructions for America are pretty straightforward. They are the truths of our founding and more. They are the principles that have made our country great—keeping our government limited, our markets free, and our families strong. But the thing is, these principles, like all fundamental human truths, are not self-reinforcing. They have to be remembered, cherished, and taught to new generations of Americans.
Moms know better than most that we are all born unformed and fallen. Any parent of a two-year-old knows her child’s potential for both good and bad. And every parent of a high school graduate or a young soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine knows the sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with raising a good and decent child. Molding the crooked timber of humanity requires the grace of God, the patience of caring parents, and the dedication of good teachers. Creating a great nation from the diverse peoples who make America requires a strong sense of who we are and what we believe in. We have to know this, remember it, and teach it.
We have to know what makes America exceptional today more than ever because it is under assault today more than ever.
When I was preparing for my debate with then-vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden during the 2008 campaign I came across a quote from Ronald Reagan that perfectly expresses our need to preserve and protect American values. I quickly memorized it so I could use it for my closing statement, knowing that seventy million viewers would listen and learn from Reagan’s wise words:
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.
I can’t think of a sadder prospect for Todd and me than our spending our sunset years telling our grandson, Tripp, and our grandchildren yet to come about what it was like in America when we were strong and proud and free.
But maybe I can think of a sadder prospect: Tripp and our other grandchildren spending their whole lives working to pay off the irresponsible debt we have accumulated and are about to leave to them.
Neither of these futures is one I want for my grandchildren. Fortunately, I have been given a great gift, the gift of seeing this amazing country up close and personal, in a way that few Americans can. When I began writing this book, I thought carefully about the many wonderful folks I’d met over the past couple of years, and I reread the articles, books, and devotionals they’d shared with me. I also asked some of the people I love and trust to share with me the stories, the characters, and the words that form their view of America. I’ve been amazed at some of the things I’ve learned, comforted by much of it, and challenged in my views more than once.
And when I took these bits and pieces of Americana and blended them with my own experiences and views, I came up with this book. It’s my view of America and what has made her great. It’s the ideas our country was founded on. It’s the strength of our families. It’s the grit of our national character. It’s our faith in God, how it has shaped our nation and continues to fortify us as a people. President Reagan’s call for us to fight for, protect, and pass on to future generations the sources and meaning of our freedom is both a political and a personal call; it is a challenge, both for our country and for us individually. I take this challenge seriously. Passing on peace, prosperity, and liberty to the next generation requires a strong military, a free market, and a healthy constitutional order. But none of that will be sufficient if our children are not taught to have a reverence for the ideas, ideals, and traditions that are central to the American experiment.
This is my America, from my heart, and by my heart. I give it now to my children and grandchildren, and to yours, so they will always know what it was like in America when people were free.