Following God's Lead: An Interview with Sarah Palin - Part 2 (Transcript)

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Dr. Dobson: Well, greetings, everyone. I'm Dr. James Dobson and you're tuned into Family Talk, which is a division of the James Dobson Family Institute. Today we're going to conclude our recent discussion with Mrs. Sarah Palin, who was here in Colorado Springs for an event several weeks ago. You know Sarah is the former governor of the state of Alaska and the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate. She was also a Fox News contributor and is a noted commentator and prominent conservative voice. Sarah is, above all else, a proud mother of five children and five grandchildren and pours her life into her family every day.

Today, she's going to dive more into her personal life, especially the tough road that she is enduring after her husband filed for divorce recently. I think that was in June of this year. We're also gonna talk about the special needs community and Sarah's son Trig who has Down syndrome. Okay, let's rejoin that discussion on this edition of Family Talk.

Dr. Dobson Did your pastor, or anyone, maybe even a friend, a knowledgeable friend, say to you, "Sarah, this may be the most precious baby in the world to you. Don't do anything foolish. You're going to regret it. This baby is a human being with characteristics of his own," and describe what Down's children are really like? They're disappearing from the face of the earth because of tests that are taken, amniocentesis. They identify a child with a chromosomal anomaly and they kill them, and therefore there are fewer and fewer. Look on the street. You don't see very many of them. And, of course, in Ireland, through legislation, they have decided to kill all of them.

Sarah Palin: Just like Hitler wanted to do.

Dr. Dobson: I'm telling you.

Sarah Palin: Hitler tried to eradicate those children who would have the mental challenges. Hitler killed them. Oh, you know. Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Dobson: During my training, I was at a hospital for the ... In those days, they called them mentally retarded. They don't do that anymore. But there were 3,000 children out there, some of them older, and I got well acquainted with a lot of them. Really, my heart goes out to them because they are precious human beings. They're happy. Your son actually runs cross country.

Sarah Palin: He just finished up the fifth-grade cross country season. Yeah, he runs farther than I do. He's amazing, and to think that people would want to snub life out of him and not give him or other children with these challenges a chance. We can learn more from them than I know I'll ever be able to teach Trig. He teaches me every single day about what's important. So yeah, I just pray that more people see that.

Dr. Dobson: Those days when I was at the hospital there, parents would bring their Down syndrome children there and leave them and never come back. There was this ache by these kids. I would go into one of the wards where the children are in ... That was a really good hospital, but there isn't enough love to go around to 3,000 kids. You could tell how they longed for parental love, and I would step onto that ward in the entryway and maybe 30, 40 kids would come running, calling me Daddy and throw-

Sarah Palin: Yikes.

Dr. Dobson: Throw their arms around my legs and nearly knock me down. Fortunately, that's not done anymore, but instead, they just kill them.

Sarah Palin: Right, and that's because society wants to send messages that, "Oh, there's man's standard of perfection," and they're forgetting that there's God's standard of perfection. That's what matters at the end of the day. But it's also these fake feminists who want women to feel that they're not capable. They're not strong enough, they're not smart enough to be able to handle a child with special needs or even a pregnancy at all. That, oh, heaven forbid you try to go to school and have a baby at the same time, which my daughter had faced, or that you want some kind of career and have children. These fake feminists out there who are raised upon these pedestals as being feminists, they're not ... We're the real feminists, those who understand what God has created within women with our capabilities. But they, trying to send that message that women are not smart enough or capable enough to be able to handle ... within less than ideal circumstances perhaps, that they're not able to handle giving their child life.

Dr. Dobson: Let's talk about your older child. What's his name?

Sarah Palin: Track.

Dr. Dobson: Track. Track-

Sarah Palin: Speaking of cross country, running, yes.

Dr. Dobson: Track was in the Middle East-

Sarah Palin: Yes.

Dr. Dobson: ... on a deployment and ... He was out there for two deployments, I believe.

Sarah Palin: He was overseas three times.

Dr. Dobson: Three times?

Sarah Palin: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Dobson: He came home with PTSD.

Sarah Palin: I don't know any soldier who has been, at least within a Stryker brigade, overseas, I don't know any of them who have come home as the same person as when they left. I think a lot of-

Dr. Dobson: You called him your buddy.

Sarah Palin: Oh, yeah. He is.

Dr. Dobson: That you're really close to him.

Sarah Palin: He's amazing. Track, he's a real, real hard worker and was one of those at age 18. Didn't even ask his mama, just went out there and enlisted because he knew that it was the right thing to do. He knew that ... What he always said is, "Well, I knew that I could fight for our country and there are a lot of people who couldn't, so why wouldn't I sign up and go volunteer to do such a thing?"

But in manifesting some of the problems that a lot of our soldiers have when they return home trying to assimilate into normal society here after being in the Garrison. Well, some of that manifestation is real impatience on their part, because they see how petty we are and how we argue about stupid little things and material things. And a lot of these guys have seen the worst of the worst over there, and they come back and say, "America, come on you guys. Why can't you appreciate what it is that we have and get your priorities straight?" Too often decisions are made by those who feel that way, that aren't real good decisions and they end up hurting them and maybe hurting their families, but ... 22 to 23 vets a day are killing themselves, still.

I don't know where the resources are going to help so many of these vets who have such challenges trying to assimilate back into society. But still, when we see these numbers and it's not getting better, 22 vets a day thinking that life isn't worth it, I think that our priorities in the federal government are really screwed up as we're funneling money left ... We borrow money from a foreign country in order to give to another foreign country when here at home, we still have a lot of problems that a lot of our resources should be targeted, too, so that we can start helping some of these veterans.

Dr. Dobson: Yeah, a major concern. Yeah.

Sarah Palin: Yeah.

Dr. Dobson: The major concern with these people who have been deployed in combat situations is suicide, and it's occurring. I think that 23 men and women commit suicide per day.

Sarah Palin: A day. Mm-hmm (affirmative). 22 or 23, right.

Dr. Dobson: Can you imagine that? They paid the price to go defend their country and they come home and feel like life is not worth living. There's something wrong with that.

Sarah Palin: Definitely. There's something wrong with that and, I don't know, that's why it's one of my missions. God brings us through so many of our individual challenges in order for our eyes to be open to what the problem is in society, what the issue is. I think just like with having the unwed teenage daughter and having the child with special needs and having a son come back from war with these challenges, so many of these things that God brings us through are to be able to empathize and sympathize and do something about the issues, the challenges. Those even that I just mentioned for me, I keep seeing God keeps doing the old, "Sarah, are you going to walk the walk or you just going to talk the talk?" And it's kind of been one thing after another where it's like, "Okay, give me another one and we'll walk that walk too, Lord."

Dr. Dobson: Sarah, you told us at lunch today that for many, many years your life was go, go, go. Being the first woman governor of Alaska and so on, and all of the campaign and everything else, go, go, go. Everybody wanted you to speak. That's kind of changed for you, hasn't it?

Sarah Palin: I was always go, go, go even before I kind of hit a national stage. Yeah, so busy, busy, busy. But then in this last year, strangely, things have ... There's been a lull and there is in the vocation and avocations in which I am involved, it's kind of the nature of the beast where your marketability is up and down and up and down. It's really been down lately and I really kind of pressed in, in asking God, "Why is this such a slow time? What is it that I'm supposed to be stepping back and really concentrating on, God, because-"

Dr. Dobson: Are you still writing?

Sarah Palin: I'm still writing.

Dr. Dobson: You've written four books.

Sarah Palin: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Dobson: And you majored in journalism.

Sarah Palin: Yes.

Dr. Dobson: In college.

Sarah Palin: Yeah, and that's why I'm so frustrated with journalism today because it's not the who, what, where, and when that I learned back in college, what they're exercising, what they're doing today. Yeah.

Dr. Dobson: Yeah. Are you young enough to remember or perhaps older to remember diagramming sentences?

Sarah Palin: Yes.

Dr. Dobson: Do you remember going to the board and putting this huge sentence or this paragraph on the board?

Sarah Palin: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Dobson: Have you ever been through that?

Sarah Palin: Yeah, my-

Dr. Dobson: They don't know what diagramming is today.

Sarah Palin: No, and I'm from a household full of teachers. My dad, my mom, we would sit around the kitchen table and we would talk about things like that and I assumed everybody in the country, every family had discussions like that. Learning acronyms for things, too.

Dr. Dobson: The parts of the speech. They don't even know what the parts of speech are.

Sarah Palin: Yeah, it's different now, of course. Yes.

Dr. Dobson: And those that did know lose it when they get on the internet and they're doing their own version of shorthand.

Sarah Palin: Right. I'm guilty. I'm guilty of that. You know what I thought the other day is, instead of typing in okay to respond to somebody, now I just press K. I'm thinking, "How much time did that really save me in the grand scheme of things to press K instead of okay?"

Dr. Dobson: Sarah, you told me on the phone that I could ask you very delicate questions about your marriage and about your relationship with your husband, and you said yes.

Sarah Palin: Yes.

Dr. Dobson: And I said, "Sarah, I'm not going to ask you one thing that makes you uncomfortable." So if you don't want to answer a question, don't, but you told me that this would be the first time you have talked about the possibility of divorce.

Sarah Palin: Right, and remember I also said ask me anything because I'm really good at pivoting right out of something that I don't want to talk about, but no, ask me anything, yes. Yes.

Dr. Dobson: You found out that your husband was filing for divorce from his lawyer.

Sarah Palin: I did.

Dr. Dobson: He did not even tell you.

Sarah Palin: I did. I found out from an email from an attorney saying that she was hired and that was on June 19th, I'll never forget it. Then on Todd's birthday, a week after our 31st anniversary is when he filed, yeah. Oh, yeah. It's not easy to talk about.

Dr. Dobson: Did it-

Sarah Palin: But it's not over yet.

Dr. Dobson: Was it devastating?

Sarah Palin: It was devastating. I thought I got shot. And yeah, I think-

Dr. Dobson: It's the last thing you wanted to happen.

Sarah Palin: Mm-hmm (affirmative), and I-

Dr. Dobson: Your marriage was one of the most important things in your life.

Sarah Palin: I think other than-

Dr. Dobson: Marriage and kids.

Sarah Palin: Yeah, I can't think ... I'm sure so many of you either maybe you've been through it or you have people whom you love, you've witnessed how horrible it is. But I just think, wow, maybe except for the death of a child, I don't know what could be more ... Yeah, it hurts. Yeah.

Dr. Dobson: Well, you're one flesh with that person that you marry and anything that dissolves it is like ripping and tearing of that flesh. It is always awful. I want to know how people can pray for you now.

Sarah Palin: Oh, I appreciate that so much because we're going through counseling now, so it's not over, over. Attorneys are getting rich off of us and I don't like that whole system. It makes no sense to me. But yeah, the prayer would be for, of course, for God's will to be done, but that God would make sure that we know that the grass isn't always greener on the other side and-

Dr. Dobson: And it still has to be mowed.

Sarah Palin: And it still has to be mowed, yeah. Dr. Dobson, he's given me a great counsel even on the phone call, sitting here tonight. The things that he has ... He's done 8,000 interviews and he's seen it all, and he knows-

Dr. Dobson: You know what you said when I told you I'd done 8,000 interviews? Said you had heard about 7,800 of them.

Sarah Palin: Yeah, I think so. Yeah. We're big fans of Dr. Dobson's, yes, and have for years. Praying that, I don't know ... God doesn't want families to split up. I know that. To me, in a general sense, marriage is so extremely important as foundation of our nation. It helps make America that much greater, is that security of family. I'm not to the point of wanting mine to be split.

Dr. Dobson: Yeah.

Sarah Palin: Yeah.

Dr. Dobson: Yeah. How are your kids taking that? Answer to that?

Sarah Palin: My kids are cool because they don't like it and that that helps me. It helps me. They're not ones to say, "Oh, it takes two to tango." No, they're mad because they have been brought up with that teaching that you have made a covenant with God.

I've conducted quite a few weddings as mayor, especially in our town. In fact, one in an aisle of Walmart I conducted. That's so Alaska for you. But what I was always preaching to the bride and the groom was that three cord strand. You, your spouse, God in the middle, and as you grew closer to God, you would just naturally grow closer together.

I've always preached that to my kids, too, so they knowing that that is ... That's the way it's supposed to work. My parents, they've been married for 58 years, and my siblings. Everybody's kind of traditional family sticks together through thick and thin because you made a vow to God that through thick and thin, good and bad, you're going to make that choice to ... You're going to jump whatever hurdles are in front of you and you're going to make it, so my kids witnessing what's happening, they don't like it.

It makes me feel good because I'm like, "Well, good. I didn't screw up that part of it anyway. I taught them good."

Dr. Dobson: Has the media been into that issue?

Sarah Palin: Oh, they sure tried to, but by the grace of God, when something big happens in our little world of the Palin world, we literally have reporters come up from the lower 48 and they'll camp out in the woods by our house and they ... One reporter and author, he rented the house next door to us and lived for a year and a half next door to us being able to just peek over his railing and watch everything that goes on. By the grace of God this go around, it's like, "Oh God, thank you for protecting something that is pretty sacred to me." It sure wouldn't help us at all if the media were hounding us at this time.

So, maybe that's one of the reasons that God has had me kind of out ... Yeah, the lull. Maybe that, come to think of it ... Yeah, maybe that's why God has had them not be so interested lately is because He knew it was coming.

Dr. Dobson: You told me that you did not want to receive my phone call because you were afraid I was going to cancel this event tonight.

Sarah Palin: Did you notice that I didn't call you back for a while? Which is the rudest thing in the world.

Dr. Dobson: I noticed.

Sarah Palin: You noticed, yeah.

Dr. Dobson: I noticed, and I wouldn't blame you. You thought I was going to call and say, "Sarah, we don't deal with divorce here." Is that what you were afraid of?

Sarah Palin: Well, somebody convinced me that it would be kind of hypocritical of me to get up and talk with-

Dr. Dobson: Come on.

Sarah Palin: ... Dr. Dobson about family, faith, and freedom, the sanctity of marriage part. I don't know, that was a seed planted, that kind of ... It kind of stuck, but so it was such a relief to finally get to talk to him and, oh, he was like, "Are you kidding me? No. I wouldn't cancel on you."

Dr. Dobson: I'll see you [inaudible 00:19:57].

Sarah Palin: It was awesome. Yeah. Be not judgmental, not lecturing me about, "Oh, well, Christian wives, you have to submit and you have to," dah, dah, dah. Okay. You don't even know the situation. Don't be telling me that like some counselors have said. But no, you're being so gracious and nonjudgmental and accepting. Oh, my goodness. It made me feel good.

Dr. Dobson: Many counselors, and many of them Christians, do not really understand the dynamics of what's going on in a situation like that and the pain that's involved in it. Sarah, all of us, I hope, are going to commit ourselves to pray for you and for your family because He loves you and nothing has changed.

Sarah Palin: Thank you.

Dr. Dobson: I'm so glad you came here-

Sarah Palin: Thank you.

Dr. Dobson: ... to share with us. There's still an awful lot of people out there that love you and I want to see that go, go, go, come back.

Sarah Palin: Yeah. Thank you.

Dr. Dobson: If you'll let me air this interview, we will let people know how they can get in touch with you to speak. Are you available to speak?

Sarah Palin: I have a lot of time on my hands lately, yes. Yes. Yeah.

Dr. Dobson: There are an awful lot of people that fell in love with you during the campaign when all of a sudden you were there. You have had a roller coaster ride. You were in high school, I believe, and won a beauty pageant.

Sarah Palin: A scholarship pageant it was, yes, to pay my tuition through college and I graduated college with zero debt, so yes. Yes.

Dr. Dobson: Wow. You make it sound like that's nothing. Yeah. Well, Sarah, thank you for being here. I sense the support in this big room and we would like to stay in touch with you. At some point, if you'd like to come and be on Family Talk, we will offer some advice to other people who are going through what you are now, and you're going to get through this.

Sarah Palin: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Dobson: Give your kids my love, will you?

Sarah Palin: Absolutely. Thank you. Thank you so much. I appreciate you. Thank you, guys.

Dr. Dobson: Well, this is James Dobson and that's how we ended my interview with Sarah Palin. It took a lot of courage to be so vulnerable in front of a large crowd on this occasion. I'm asking that those of you who have a deep faith in Christ will pray for Sarah and her family at this time. I know they would appreciate that expression of love. You've been listening to Family Talk and I hope you'll join us again tomorrow.

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Dr. Dobson: Commitment. Why is this simple concept missing from so many marriages today?

Roger Marsh: Here's Dr. James Dobson with Family Talk.

Dr. Dobson: I read recently of a wedding ceremony where the bride and groom each pledged the words, "to stay with you for as long as I shall love you." I doubt if their marriage lasted very long. Romantic love, along with other emotions, may ebb and flow through the course of time. Commitment is the source of all stability in the marital relationship. It is the most important ingredient, but commitment isn't a feeling, it's a choice.

Can you imagine a parent saying to his child, "I'll be your parent for as long as I shall love you"? That would hardly produce stability and wellbeing in the child, nor does a wishy-washy philosophy create stability in a marriage. That's why the traditional wedding vows read in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse, forsaking all others till death do us part. That's the real meaning of commitment. Emotion is the caboose on the train. The engine is a commitment of the will, which can steadily pull the relationship through all the ups and downs of everyday living.

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