Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Offending People

Yesterday, I received a comment on my blog that is making me think a bit. I know I say some inflammatory things on my blog and I know that not everyone agrees with me. But, as a writer, I really can't concern myself with who I might offend with my jokes and thoughts. If I did, I would be afraid to write anything and my blog might come off as "just another mommy blog" and you might mistake me (G-d forbid) for a "future hockey mom."

Good writing comes from a place of honesty. The writers I admire most are not afraid to give their thoughts even if someone is offended. In that spirit, I do not take offense to this commenter's thoughts even if I do think it is a little patronizing (and I am sure that Eleanor Roosevelt would not want to be used to defend Sarah Palin).

But the comment is making me think about one thing. Maybe I was wrong to joke about this election. Perhaps, the stakes are too high. Perhaps I should focus instead on my utter dismay at the state of this country, because, beneath my jest, that is the truth.

Kerry lost in 2004 because 50 percent of this country hates intellectuals and rich people (let's disregard for a moment that Bush and Cheney are also very wealthy).

We are at a critical point in our country's history. We may have already passed it. Bush was elected not because he was smart (even though he did attend Harvard and Yale thanks to his father lest we forget he is a New England preppy, not a Texas rancher you would like to have a beer with), he was elected (the second time, the first time he was not elected at all) because he was the "everyman."

That terrifies me. It scares me that the republican party has co-opted religion and social conservatism to cover its real agenda: to support the richest 1 percent of Americans. Unless you make more than $250,000 a year, you are voting against your economic interest by voting republican. And even though that is not enough money to make anyone legitimately rich, it is certainly enough to narrow the field of voters considerably.

But they have a plan. They dazzle us with smoke and mirrors, claim to be the party of family values, the party of religion and decency. Meanwhile, we dems are living like Caligula, doing our legal drugs, having our legal abortions. Right? I mean that is what I do, right? I am not married or bearing upstanding citizens as children or loving my neighbor, right? Because I am way too busy taking the morning after pill, shooting heroin and teaching evolution, right?

Ponder this for a moment:

Of the top 15 states for divorce rates in 2005, all 15 voted for Bush in 2004. All fifteen.

Of the 12 lowest states for divorce rates, 10 voted for Kerry.

But it is not our strong marriages that makes us heathens, right? It must be something else. Our rampant drug use, right? Because I mention my heroin issues at least twice a day on this blog, right? Um, nope. Well then it must be our loose genitals, right? We are all just out practicing free love all the time, sleeping with everyone who we see, right? Well, again, nope. There was no one straighter or more prudish than me before I was married and even if that were not true, who cares? Our country has a lot worse problems than free love (like, say, an illegal war based on lies and propaganda). But nope. We are the party without values. Obama lacks values when he has been married to the same intelligent woman for 20 years, while McCain--the Maverick who will set this country straight--left his sick wife for a vapid beauty queen half his age.

The republican spin team thinks most Americans are stupid. They think they can steal our vote by pretending to care about anything but money. And the frightening, depressing truth? Thanks to the public education system that they have systematically destroyed (why would they care? Their children are in prep school) in this country, half the people believe them.

To discuss ideas is scarier than to make a joke, it's true. Because once I start to think about the "ideas" this party is bringing into the White House--abstinence only education that is scientifically proven to fail, creationism taught in public schools, bigotry written into the constitution--I want to cry for myself, my children, my family and this country.


Lis Garrett said...

This is exactly what I wish I had the nerve to write on my own blog, but I'm afraid I'm "just another mommy blog" writer who's afraid to write what she's really thinking (not that I don't say it in real life). ;-)

I think what keeps me coming back to your blog is not that we have a lot in common, but that you're gutsy and opinionated in a way I really admire.

I feel like I'm in a position, because of my online magazine, where I have to be concerned about who I might offend with what I write. I've often felt so constricted in my personal blogging, that I've thought about just giving it up completely. I feel I have to walk a fine line with regards to what I really want to write versus actually writing it, and I wonder, "What's the point of keeping a blog if you're stifling your opinions all the time?" Honestly, I think a good majority of my readers would balk if they really knew what I'm thinking, but I'm not willing to put it all out there and lose all of them. I don't know if that makes me a wuss or if that makes me a responsible person with regards to what my ultimate goal really is.

This post? Couldn't agree more.

Brigid said...

Bravo! Thought provoking insight from an intelligent, articulate woman. Thanks for the response and honesty.

Kristi said...

Amen, sister!