3:29 p.m. - 2004-09-15
Given the hotly contested nature of the upcoming presidential election, everyone has an opinion on the candidates, the issues, and the nature of civic responsibility and freedom in a nation at war. Although this IS a free country, some people don't think it should be free…or at least not if "free" means "expressing opinions contrary to the policies of the current administration."
As I believe I have mentioned before, I think George W. Bush is a moron. I don't necessarily love John Kerry, but at least he's not George W. Bush. However, I live in the heart of Republican Bible Belt America, and most of the people I work with don't appear to agree with my opinion. That's fine. In fact, that's their right. My problem is this: they feel obligated to share all of their anti-liberal propaganda with the entire office…but get all offended if you send something back which is contrary to their opinion. And forget sending any political jokes or pro-democrat articles around.
Unfortunately, this can come between friends. My friends are mostly liberal-ish, but some are fairly hard-core conservatives. Therefore, we spend lots of time sending back and forth e-mail slamming one candidate/party or the other. It's all intended to be in good fun, and MAYBE it sparks an occasional political debate…which is not a bad thing. Despite the spirit of good fun and the fact that it's a free country, though, one particular "friend" of BFRB2 gets all pissy whenever someone sends her a leftward-leaning e-mail. Here's an example of the shit she sends back to her "friends." This is in response to the e-mail which suggested going to www.google.com, typing in "miserable failure," then hitting "I'm feeling lucky." (For those 3 people in the world who haven't seen this, it pulls up a resume of sorts for G.W. Bush.)
"I am not impressed that you are so easily amused and find this remotely funny. In this time when innocent people are being beheaded and the liberal left keeps spewing the trash that they do...yes we live in a free country where we have the 'right' to express our beliefs...when it comes to this kind of trash...please do not include me in your list.
I am committed in supporting our President and our troops who are risking their lives for our freedom of _expression and knowing that the best person is leading us in this most terrible of times. Please leave politics out of our friendship. I have included some friends of mine who would also not find this at all funny. Some happen to have served our great country, both in this current engagement and the Gulf War as well. This has upset me enough that I have risked my relationship with you to reply, but I am willing to risk it all to let my feelings be known.
I am certainly not out to convert you or anyone else...that is why we live in this great Nation. Freedom of choice. I choose to not be on your list anymore for political 'crap'. I also do not wish for reply to this either. I wish it to be something that is quietly understood and respected by both of us not to mention.
By the way...I have been to this website before. This is a way to get morons to that page...they might learn something!"
Of course, her "friends" expressed their extreme displeasure with her intolerant lack of a sense of humor, and she STILL seemed not to get it…
"What didn't anyone get about just not mentioning anything anymore? … I am not a holyroller Christian and I am not a Rightwinged freak either. But man, I do have the common sense to recognize down right pathetic political (non) humor and I was deeply OFFENDED by it. As mentioned yesterday when I finally opened up most of my e-mail, I was appalled by that particular mailing. I got up out of bed last night to write that because I could not sleep until I got it off my chest. I still slept like shit because I knew this would cause furor amongst you. Well damn me, but I will not be part of those for lack of respect for what our President and others in his cabinet are doing. Nor for those over in the fucking hell hole of Iraq fighting for our fucking freedoms and rights! It's a hell of a lot better than the fucked up job that piece of shit Clinton did.
You can all either apologize to me, for belittling me and pointing the finger at me for writing in my opinion freedom of speech or you can all kiss my ass. I am not thinking that wrecking a friendship over politics is worth it but the choice is up to you all.
I hope that you are all happy. I feel like shit...and I am shaking.
[AC], I was not out of line. [JS], I didn't put [BFRB2] down and there is not anything else behind the message either.
and by the way...I am pissed too. Hope you all are happy!"
Perhaps I should mention that this is a woman who is (a) an alcoholic, (b) a loud, annoying alcoholic, and (c) a loud, annoying alcoholic who hits on other peoples' men when she drinks. I've met this bitch once. I was not impressed, and I was not amused. I WAS amused by her holier-than-thou e-mails, though. I laughed my ass off. I also sent the following suggestion to BFRB2…but she didn't send it. Therefore, I'm posting it.
"I sent this [the Google suggestion] to [BFRB2]. I do not support George Bush. I think he is a moron who has no business being president. However, I DO support the troops in Iraq. They did not ask to go there, and they are doing their jobs to the best of their ability. I feel awful that people have died and I sincerely hope that everyone over there (WHICH INCLUDES MY COUSIN) comes back safely. Caring about the fate of American citizens is one thing....but if you think about it....we're only over there in the first place because Bush the First didn't finish it off 12 years ago!!! The Iraqi people should be free. Everyone should. But that doesn't mean that it's our job to do it, and it also doesn't mean that everyone in America should have to suppress their opinions about the current administration. You are entitled to your opinion. You are the one allowing politics to interfere with friendship. You are the one with the problem, not me, not [BFRB2] not [AC], and not [JS]. An appropriate response would be some liberal-bashing humor. We can take it, even though you clearly cannot."
Here's the point, kids. Chances are, you're not going to change anyone's political opinions, because people have so many deeply-rooted reasons behind their beliefs. Discussion of those beliefs is beneficial, though….it helps to reinforce your current opinion and open your mind to the validity of the arguments of the opposing party. Knowledge is power. (So are vast sums of money, but we will keep all of this on a nice, theoretical level rather than dealing with messy things like the real world.)
And I'm not even going to go there on the religion issue. If you think political arguments are ugly, they're nothing compared to those about whether or not any given religion is "real."