Normally I try to stay away from political discussion, mostly because I number friends on both sides and cherish them all, and don’t want to lose any of them. But a couple of recent incidents have me ticked off enough that I feel compelled to vent.
Recently I sent a political cartoon to several of my friends, internet and personal, most of whom, generally, share my skepticism concerning our current Chief Executive. I thought they were pretty funny. Back comes a note from someone who — well, in terms of closeness, she was my Matron of Honor, and her late husband was one of my husband’s oldest friends. She says, “It’s obvious you don’t like our President, so please don’t send me any more of these.”
And I wouldn’t — except that during the last administration, she wasn’t shy about sending me all the mean-spirited Bush “jokes” that came her way. Now, granted, Bush wasn’t President Wonderful. But considering that less than a year into his administration he was handed a can of worms that could easily have been defused by his predecessor, I thought he did a reasonably good job of handling a royal mess. Okay, I liked the guy. So I e-mailed back this friend, “Not a problem. I felt the same way about all the Bush jokes you used to send me!” and got her response, “OK, then, we’re even!” If you want to think of it that way.
I prefer to think of it in terms of freedom of speech — you know, that provision of the Constitution that liberals are always going off the deep end about. Except — I can’t help but have noticed that there’s this new thing on the horizon called Hate Speech. And you can define Hate Speech with a pretty open hand. So if your priest gets up in the pulpit and says that marriage is between a man and a woman — he can be accused of Hate Speech. So where’s his freedom of speech??
No, I don’t like Mr. Obama. I don’t like him at all. I don’t think he was around long enough to take on the job he has now, and I think he won his election on the basis of race — as in the number of people who said, “It’s time we had a black president,” or, in Hillary’s case, “a woman president” — as if these were serious criteria. On this you base your vote?! If that’s all it’s about, the Republicans were the first to try to draft a black candidate, back in 1996 — and his wife talked him out of it. Or, you could have voted for McCain, who’s so old that he could reasonably have been expected to kick the bucket, and we’d have had a woman president (who makes me look like the soul of discretion, but that’s another matter).
Sooo — how come my friend gets to send me Bush jokes, and I don’t get to send her Obama jokes? Where’s my freedom of speech??
Now, just to mix things up a little, I have another friend, decidedly conservative, who doesn’t like the newly-elected Senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown — he isn’t conservative enough for her. I have to say this — given that this is Kennedy Country, Scott Brown practically qualifies as a member of the John Birch Society. He was elected by people who are registered as Independents, and that number includes me. We really don’t have a party, unless you count the up-and-coming Tea Party. We aren’t rich enough for traditional Republicans, and we certainly aren’t far-out enough for the New Democrats — who still think they actually get Labor votes, because the union bosses keep telling them so, because the union members are smart enough to know they don’t want to get stiffed by the union bosses. But I personally do not know a single working stiff who doesn’t vote Republican, however reluctantly. Ronald Reagan said he represented us, and I actually voted for the guy and supported him — until he tried to kill OSHA. How labor-friendly is that?!
So, to all my friends, liberal and conservative alike: I’m tired of shutting up. I liked George Bush, father and son, and I didn’t like Bill Clinton. I like Scott Brown, but not Ronald Reagan. I think Al Gore and Barack Obama are jerks, but I’m still going to look into solar energy (and I still use my clothes line!).
This is how it works. I don’t have to like your weenie, and you don’t have to like my weenie. Mine got elected the last time, and yours got elected this time. (Or, in the case of Scott Brown, vice versa.) That’s how free speech works, and that’s how this country works.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.