I don't know that I can say much about the movie that has not already been said. There has been lots of praise for it, even in its "rough cut" form, which I assume is nothing like the experience of watching it on a big screen in high resolution in a movie theater at the local mall. Even for those of us who have been following Sarah Palin and who admire her intensely will come away impressed with her doggedness and cheerful heart. Stephen Bannon, the director, made some comments before and after the screening, mentioning, among other things, the consistency of the governor's "politics" over the course of two decades of public life. I had already seen that consistency, as mentioned in an earlier posting, when I saw a Charlie Rose interview with her and Janet Napolitano.
Thus, let me say something about what appears to be one liberal's reaction to the movie.
Barb is a pretty open-minded liberal, and she, like many liberals, is enamored by the supposed intelligence of Obama and of his administration. Her first take after the movie was that of most liberals, namely, that Palin has never done anything to demonstrate that she is intelligent: in other words, everything Palin says was written by someone else, and she is (as John Cleese asserts) a parrot. I pointed out one could say the same thing about Barack Obama, reading from his teleprompter.
Like many liberals, she also took umbrage at what she considers the gung-ho patriotism of conservatives, which, in her eyes, expresses contempt for the rest of the world, especially the so-called Third World, a term she finds disparaging. I pointed out that this term was not coined by grassroots conservatives.
Basically, however, Barb, like many liberals, is conservative in her own life. She has built a successful career by being conservative and, as a self-employed person, she despises taxes. She thinks government is out of touch and out of control, and she is not hopeful that it can be changed. She was impressed that Palin took on "the establishment," whether Republican or Democrat, but she doubts anyone can really turn things around, even if Alaska, as Bannon pointed out, shows that a political culture can be changed.
I think the one way to reach "conservative" liberals like Barb is to stress that being pro-American is not to be chauvinist. We want America to succeed, not in order to be "better" than other nations, but out of self-interest. Whatever our errors are as a nation, the U.S. has proved that it is a place to which people have journeyed to realize opportunities unavailable elsewhere. If America is successful, we will continue to be an opportunity society and offer an example for others. Sarah Palin's career in Alaska, as I discerned it from The Undefeated, was successful because she appealed to the pride Alaskans feel for their state and at the same time made that pride a source of economic renewal. Thus, self-interest (as Adam Smith wrote) can also benefit others, if properly understood. The task before conservatives is to get this message across. Our present financial insolvency is directly related to personal insolvency on a nation-wide scale, the attempt by liberals to be all things to all people. Sarah Palin's love of country shows a desire to return us to our roots in personal self-interest, which made us a powerful, rich, and generous nation.