Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Response to an Angry Reader

The other day, I wrote about the recent story of Palin not knowing the countries of NAFTA and not knowing that Africa is a continent and not a single country.

I got an angry response in the comment section:

Lea said...

Why are you so full of hate? Palin never did anything to you.
You need to give thought to the quote by Eleanor Roosevelt -
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."
I will not be reading your blog anymore because it appears that you ridicule and hate those that do not think as you do. What a sad thing to model for your children.

November 7, 2008 3:41 PM

My friend, Neo-agrarian, wrote a nice thing in my defense--thanks Neo-agrarian! I thought I should respond here too.

Lea, I'm sorry that you feel that I am hate-filled. I don't think I am hate-filled, but I am angry.

My husband thinks this is a ridiculous story about Palin--that there's no way she could have not known the countries in the NAFTA agreement, or that Africa is a continent and not a single country. He thinks that it is mean of me to repeat what he feels must be lies.

I think that would be mean too. How many lies did Obama confront (some of which are considered slurs to some because of incredible bigotry)? I thought it mean at the time:

Pals around with terrorists? (Did the FBI not do a background check?!?)

Kills babies?

Is a Socialist?

Wants to redistribute wealth?

Is not an American citizen?

Is really a Muslim? (Not a slur, but reprehensible to Fundamentalists who see this as only a Christian nation...)

Is unpatriotic?

The list goes on and on, but I'm tired.

I wonder, Lea, if you were outraged at the ad hominem attacks on Obama at the time. Were you? Did you feel that those were crazy ideas? Did you ask the people that espoused them "Why are you so full of hate?"

They were attacking him. They were doubting his decency.

I think it's quite possible that Palin was tired and misspoke. Maybe I should give her the benefit of the doubt, as my husband suggests--there's no way she could not know that stuff. And yet...

If she really didn't know? How dare McCain so cynically choose someone so inherently flawed for the job of VP. Country first? Not by a long shot. His was a calculated choice to woo Clinton supporters and to energize his base of pro-lifers (and by that I mean the people who are against abortion. They're not at all pro- life in that many of them support all sorts of wars and capital punishment etc.).

If McCain wanted a talented, knowledgeable Republican woman to join him on the ticket he could have chosen Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, or Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine.

I think it's possible that Palin did not know. If that's the case, I don't think it a bit mean for me to be outraged. Really, you should be too. We all should. That a candidate would think we could all be so easily duped is insulting to all of us.

I make mistakes all of the time. I don't know all sorts of things. I can forgive people their foibles and inconsistencies. I do forgive people that. No one is perfect. However, when we elect people to run this giant country and deal with the world on our behalf, I want them to be a whole hell of a lot better than I am. I want them to be brilliant. I don't want them to try to appeal to Joe Six Pack or to use Joe the Plumber as a symbol--even though it turns out he's a liar, and a tax cheat and yet the McCain campaign continued to use him as a talking point. How indecent is that?

Our elected officials ideally will be smart, honest, and know how to get things done. I don't think Palin had any of those qualities.

Lea, of course you are entitled to your opinion. We can agree to disagree. But, I hope you can see what I am angry about and why.


Mathman6293 said...

It seems to me that many of those who claim to be conservative know that the only way to get the ignorant to go along with their ideas is to keep the media and those who would be heard quiet. So no discourse about opposing opinions or truth are allowed.

A parent/friend on our baseball team told me that he could not vote for Obama because of his back ground. I guess he doesn't like people who live(d) in Chicago including me because since then the friendship has soured. No information allowed!

DoulaMomma said...

well said, as always, Laura.

Laura said...

Thanks kindred spirits!

Susie said...

Hey there,
I've been lurking the past few months and I'm finally getting the courage to respond to one of your posts! :)

A few things about me...I'm a Christian. I am pro-life. I'm a mother and wife and in home childcare provider. And...I voted for Obama.

To say that all conservatives/Christians,etc. are as narrow minded as you've sometimes claimed is just as ridiculous as some of the claims about liberals pallin' with terrorists. Yes, there are crazy narrow minded folks out there, but not all are.

I tried very hard to be in the middle during the election. I read blogs from people who were liberal such as yourself and from people who are conservative, as well as those somewhere in between. (Of course I just didn't read blogs, but other sources,etc.) I gritted my teeth many a time at both sides and found myself happy to be in the middle sifting through all the ideas, policies,etc.

So...what's my point? Sorry, I can try to make it and stop rambling :) What I'd like to say is that there are all types of people out there that fall into these many "sides." Just remember that because I'm in general conservative in my beliefs doesn't mean I'm going to sit in my little conservative world and not open myself up to other ideas. To read that those who voted for McCain/Palin were voting for "ignorance and hate" is just plain wrong. At a time when we need uniting this is not helping. Follow in Obama's words and re-listen/read McCain's and Obama's excellent speeches on election night. We've got to come together now and not divide.

Okay, I'm done ranting. Thanks for your honest thoughts and for allowing us to make honest comments. Just remember that there are many "sides" reading you. I'm looking forward to hearing more of your 'We don't buy it ideas/stories'...and now I've got to get out there and find myself an ice cream maker at goodwill!!!

Laura said...

Thanks, Susie for an excellent comment! I know there are many open-minded Christians who voted for Obama because they're concerned about the war in Iraq and poverty and how we treat the rest of the world, and for loads of other reasons besides. You're right.

I guess I just am tired of the extreme rhetoric from Palin and her ilk. And, I realize that her candidacy didn't represent the views of all Republicans or conservatives. It was wonderful to see people like Susan Eisenhower and Chris Buckley speak out for Obama.

Thanks for leaving a thoughtful comment and a reminder for unity!

Happy ice cream maker hunting!

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