A Literary Pompeii
I tend to shy away from blogging about political stuff.
Recently, I received an email whose purpose was to canvas opinions of mostly-conservative family members (myself entirely excluded from this dark, dark part of the Roy G. Biv spectrum). In fact, the email was less a well-thought-out email, and more a forward from a conservative writer, whose name I shall not reveal, for my opinion of this conservative author is "lower than a snake's belly", as my grandmother is fond of saying. In any case, it was sent from a very well-read relative, who had not read the forward in its entirety before sending it on.
The contents of the forwarded email, as you may have already predicted, caused an outpouring of heated rage, possibly something like a Literary Pompeii. I cannot claim to have risen above the depths to which we all sunk. For example, I derided those that suggest that late-term abortions were for cosmetics, ignoring the fact that few suggest that late-term abortions are performed for cosmetic purposes. And one particularly conservative relative retorted in kind, angrily typing in symbols rather than letters that "it's amazing to me that we live in a society that completely overlooks the fact that unmarried women are ######## and using abortion as a form of birth control."
See what I mean about the symbols? Aren't you angry at the mere symbolic suggestion that women should be following someone else's version of morality? I feel like writing into On Language by William Safire of the New York Times to see what his take is on the use of symbols in lieu of actual words, which presumably were: 'screwing', or it's far more harsh cousin that's starts with an F. However, linguistics is not my point here.
The retort's angry response to my original retort went on to suggest that all Obama supporters are the "lucky recipients of a government handout" and that we (meaning we Obama supporters) should be thanking someone, although the responder didn't say who. As an Obama supporter, I guess I'll start with thanking myself, considering the amount of money I've paid in taxes since I started working at age 16.
Yet I digress.
My point here is two-fold: one to balance the tight-rope that is discussing politics amongst family members, and two, to ask the uncomfortable question about who we're unfortunately likely to elect.
First: Why is it that we can't just talk politics? In my own, thereby anecdotal, experience, I've only ever come in contact with one person who is able to extract emotion from the debate. My brother Tim responded to the back-and-forth snark of that aforementioned forward by trying to quantify the cost-benefit analysis of immigration (another heated topic we'd embarked upon). His response was really just a balanced set of questions that forces you to uproot and examine what you've held as comfortably dogmatic.
Second: (And this is going to be anything but balanced). Are we really (really?) going to elect an evangelical Christian who is a lifelong member of the NRA to be a single heartbeat away from a septuagenarian's death? If we can forget for a moment the NRA and the religious overtones, let's take a look at what the UK's Independent has to say about her environmental track record: "The woman has an environmental policy so toxic...it would make George Bush...blush." The article details, as follows: "She wants to start drilling. She wants to block US moves to list the polar bear as an endangered species. And she has allowed big game hunters to shoot Alaska's bears and wolves from low-flying planes." Why, you ask, would she do such a thing? Because, as the Independent writes, these federal decisions will cripple energy development offshore.
Oh, I see. So it is more of the same, then. No, it's more of the worse.
Fact is, everyone, according to Foreign Affairs, 40% of Bush's 2004 vote came from evangelicals. Forty percent.
What's the conclusion? In my mind, anyway, and I am happy to hear how wrong I am (join the lynching mob of those that read my vitriolic response to the conservative email), we are about to elect the sort of crowd that rolls back the clock for women, for the environment, for minorities, and for simple logic (humans are simply not 4000 years old).
Could someone buy me a vowel? An "A", please. Make it red. Scarlet, even. And pin it to my lapel. Call me Miss Prynne.