In 49 BC, Julius Caesar led his army across the Rubicon River. As he did so, he reportedly muttered the phrase “Alea iacta est” – “the die is cast”. It was the point of no return.
Sarah Palin has crossed the Rubicon today. It’s a gamble of incredible proportions. None of us saw it coming, and we’re the most dedicated political junkies you will find anywhere. It took our breath away.
I wish I had the eloquence of RAM, but for now it’s fallen to me. All of us in the Palin camp have found quicksand beneath our feet today. Nobody knows what to think.
I’m a man of the world. As most people here know, I’m a military veteran who has flown in three wars. Been in dozens of countries and most states of the Union. I can curse and blaspheme with the best of them. Politically, I’m a libertarian and haven’t voted for a GOP presidential candidate since the 80s (aside from an exception I made in November of last year.) I love Robert Heinlein and Ayn Rand. And Sarah Palin.
I’m also a Catholic – my people fled Ireland and came to this country because they were starving and dying – but they brought their faith with them, and despite my worldly cynicism I can’t shake it. I was taught to never stop speaking up about your beliefs by my parish priest, who had been imprisoned by Nazis, beaten within a inch of his life over and over again until his body was nothing but scar tissue, and still never gave up exhorting against tyranny.
My political faith in Governor Palin was shaken today – I’m ashamed to say it, but it happened. So I did what this worldly, secular, guy rarely does unless he wants something – I took a knee and said a prayer.
And guess what – I found my rock. For me, it was an overwhelming feeling that I should look to Exodus, always my favorite book of the Bible. (Maybe it’s because The Shawshank Redemption is my favorite movie – yeah, I’m hopelessly corrupted by pop culture.) Wherever it came from, I got out my Old Testament and re-read Exodus.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think Sarah Palin is Moses. But, as with so many things, I found a useful analogy in God’s word to clarify my thinking. I won’t spin off a full-fledged sermon (will leave that to Pastor Rob, or to RAM, who is so much better than me at spiritual matters). But I did see an analogy. Moses was set loose on the waters, and found by Pharoah’s daughter. And he lived with them, as one of them, until he could no longer abide the evil that he saw. So he slew the overseer and fled into the desert, building a life for himself and his family until it was necessary for him to return to free his people.
Take from that what you will. Castigate me as some kind of holy roller, but I stand by what I say unashamed.
In any case, Palin has crossed the Rubicon and made her stand clear. She gave us a hint before when she said “Politically, if I die, I die.” I think this was her equivalent of alea iacta est. She will now be the anti-Obama, standing up for her personal beliefs, free of the constraints the Alaskan people have placed on her. She is now free of them, and they of her – though I think they will be the ones to regret it first.
As for me, my feet are wet. Because I just waded across the Rubicon, too.
UPDATE by RAM: I was listening to this song today. The words seemed to fit.