Saturday, November 06, 2004

I Suppose Abraham Lincoln Was REALLY Stupid

Just imagine if our original elections and politics had laid upon the backs of only those who were Ivy League educated (well, the equivalent before the Ivy Leagues existed!) and not religious. God help us, indeed. I just read the article by Jane Smiley on "Why America Hates Democrats - A Dialogue." I have two reactions. Here is my comments that I posted on their thread for discussion regarding the article. "I sit here in bafflement and, in some way, sadness. "Why Americans Hate Democrats - A Dialogue" is so out of touch with who conservatives truly are, it is shocking. I am a conservative. I voted for George W. Bush. Twice. The first time, because I stand more with conservative values than liberal ones, and the second time, because I have come to respect him and admire him. And of course, because I hold more with conservative values than liberal ones. This does not make me religious, a fanatic, an idiot, or uneducated. In fact, most people I meet, regardless of their political stand, take that stand based on their experiences in life and what they value. The only people I have met that you could even begin to call uneduated or ignorant to the world are those who DO NOT vote. I can agree with you one thing, Ms. Smiley, if only because you were obviously very hurt by religious fanatics. I could have written a good portion of your "dialogue," as I agree with your description of religious zealots who demand utter idiocy to maintain their religious beliefs. I ask you to not confuse these mislead individuals as representative of all or even most conservatives. They are not. I have met just as many uneducated, fanatical Kerry supporters who hold fast to their unfounded myths and stories. As a conservative, I find your article not only misleading but unfair and one-sided. As a human being, I can understand your rage and frustration. Please don't let your emotions get in the way of the truth. We are all individuals with core beliefs. We disagree. That does not make us stupid, or wrong. It just makes us different. And I believe diversity is what made us great." If you haven't read the article, you should. Her anger and bitterness - and pain - are so evident, I'm surprised it made it past the editor. Not that it is not honest - for once, I think the spin meter was turned off and this is her raw emotion on display. But such things are not news - they are personal, painful issues that should not posted except in journals or blogs. Slate does its readers a disservice by posting this as news, even if editorial. My reactions are indeed two-fold. One, is the great misunderstanding of conservatives, to which I add myself to the group. Two, is the confusion of conservatism for religion and religious beliefs. As any fan of the AnalPhilosopher can tell you, it is not and does not need to be based on any religious belief. It is simply a different way of looking at the same issues. We have different approaches - that is all. Few of us are truly evil, and those that are certainly are not representative of a political persuasion (either one) at large. I find it insulting and disheartening to be called uneducated and stupid because I voted for someone other than John Kerry. Do I call voters (my boyfriend included) idiots because they voted for Kerry? Of course not. I may disagree (and I had more issues with Kerry and his character than his politics - he's Democrat for grief's sake....of course I'm going to disagree with him! ;)) with liberal politics, but I don't think they are stupid or without thought. My boyfriend, for example, worries about social programs for his children, as he works hard and still has a hard time making ends meet. So when Head Start and the public library get funding cuts, he looks to the Republicans and George Bush for the insult. For him, the war is a present danger, but how much "worse" could it go under someone else? His children are his reality, and it is hard to see beyond providing for them. Yes, I know, he doesn't get it. But he's just not a political junkie nor really has much interest in it. Does it make him stupid? I should think not. Hell, if both of us were political junkies, it would drive me up the wall. This "new" attack is truly offensive and weak. It shows a lack of intelligent thought - and it appears proliferate. If you read the posts in the comments section, called the "Fray," you'll see conservatives responding with the same vitriol. I understand their frustration, but as Bush has proved, rising above and ignoring the foolishness is very effective - and much more irritating to those who are truly "uneducated." Please be above such behavior, and define and defend your beliefs with respect and dignity....even when none is shown to you.