"This is a real neighbor against neighbor bloodletting!" Like Barack Obama, I'm from Illinois, but unlike the Senator I'm from the Chicago suburbs rather than the city. Still - I know about nasty neighborhood politics. My older brother is a former Illinois State Senator, who was there long before Obama served in that body. Like John McCain and Sarah Palin, one might say that my brother was once something of a maverick himself, when he voted against colleagues as they tried to give themselves a pay raise. I also recall that in those days of ardent campaigning for him, elections could get very personal, and unfortunately on occasion some friends became former friends. Those were the times when my brother quoted his secretary, as she had uttered that descriptive phrase, "Well, this is a real neighbor against neighbor bloodletting!"
And so that's what we have now, as Sarah Palin has become the Left's personal piñata! They are attempting to bring her down with all the subtlety of a battering ram. Too many do not understand the depth of their own bigotry and intolerance for conservative ideas that run counter to their fragile belief system. I pray that they will eventually get a grip, but in the past few days, it is hard for me not to be saddened as I see the viciousness in which Sarah Palin is being savaged!
Yet, it is even more upsetting to see this obnoxious behavior starting to be exhibited by people with whom I have exchanged birthday presents with! It is sickening when you realize that friends you have considered reasonably sane, have become so entrenched in their own biases that they hurl around terms of religious bigotry like "zealot" in attacking the Governor from Alaska. And although my older brother has also wisely always advised me to choose my battles - the battle lines have been drawn. I'm just too disgusted by the lies and the hysteria, especially expressed by some in my own circle! Yet, I realize there is a price to be paid. As far as one friendship - it looks like we are really ahead of schedule, as we usually don't stop speaking to each other until at least October during presidential election years. However, due to Sarah Palin's candidacy I think we may beat our previous personal best in the "neighbor against neighbor" Olympics. Oh well.
But I'm not alone, another girlfriend has become a conservative in the years since 9/11 is going through similar trials. I've known the latter friend since we were theatre majors together at a mid-west university. She was consoling me - as I consoled her - regarding obtuse attitudes from so called feminist friends. We've been taken aback that these other women have gone so beyond the pale in their distrust and anger towards Sarah Palin. Also the incredible lengths in which they go to misinterpret our communications - simply amaze us! They seem hell bent in leaping to such stupid conclusions!
Okay, there I've said it - stupid. No longer the theatre major, I am now a theatre teacher and "stupid" is a word my younger students tell me that they aren't allowed to say (even though in today's society they are encouraged to say much more offensive words!) So, I remarked to my Conservative friend, that I was particularly dismayed, as I'd always felt that a mutual liberal friend of our's was a smart gal. Yet the latter's recent assertions regarding Sarah Palin, betray the lock step ignorance of an elitist mind set. Prejudice dies hard especially among those who seem to quake with fear over the alleged intolerance of those citizens not of New York and Hollywood!
Anyway, I will quote to you from the end of the email that I finally sent to my Liberal friend, after she had bemoaned the zealotry of Sarah Palin. This friend seemed to dismiss any consideration that the mother of five from Alaska, might offer real help to those who have special needs like her own infant son. See, my Liberal friend is too incensed over those restrictions that would surely be imposed by the policies of Sarah Palin (of which my liberal friend clearly knew little.) I expressed the following sentiments to her:
"And so my friend, this brings up a larger spiritual point in something John McCain said in his own convention speech that I love. He stated "I was blessed by misfortune." Now McCain is someone who has suffered more physically than hopefully any of us ever will have to. I was inspired by his words ...and I am humbled them. That kind of wisdom and humility really does give God credit for knowing the bigger picture. Most of us forget that often. I know I do. "
"And so we need to all be open to the notion that God has many avenues to reach those who need him most. I find it puzzling that there are those who feel that the only compassion that matters are those programs sponsored by the government. In any event, Sarah Palin will be an incredible advocate for the handicapped. Sadly some of those who have lost all reason in their hatred of her will not be able to acknowledge that…and that is a true tragedy...for them.
However, in reflecting upon your previous use of the word "zealot" and then your other comments, I finally do understand that there is really no helpful discussion to be had in these matters...just too much of a strain on our friendship...and I know that. Upward and onward."
So I tried to remain civil, but certain attacks have just gone way beyond the pale. Still, it is instructive that Sarah Palin and John McCain, have shown us, it is important to carry on despite…or because of misfortune. And okay, maybe it is best to send some emails directly to the delete bin. But, if we must venture out, we do need to bundle up with the facts. And while we are at it, we need to get out the bandages and gauze as we walk around the neighborhood!