Monday, February 4, 2008

Tuesday's for more than just Tacos...

Dear Conservative Republicans,

I am writing to you out of respect and concern for our country and political future. I am asking you one thing:
Would you please leave me alone?

I respect and recognize that our voting history may be different. Some may consider us to be at odds.
I do not.
I believe that my freedom of choice and expression of political values relies upon allowing others (even right-wing extremists) the freedom to express themselves as much as they like. However, time and time again, your conservative mouth seems insistant that I must agree with you on every point or I am somehow morally repugnant and then (as if to better sway me to join their "side") you commence to shove your beliefs down my throat. And however ignorant I may consider some of YOUR beliefs, I am more than happy to listen to them so long as you are willing to extend the same courtesy. Our democratic system is a lovely thing; it was designed for us to have different opinions in order to have a greater perspective and come to a compromise which would serve the greatest good.

Aren't we tired of the "dark side" quips and self-righteous assertion that my church membership is questionable because of the association with pro-choice values? I'm really shocked I still get this one. Last I checked, my faith is very much concerned with individual agency and the common good. Not an "every man for himself (so long as that makes ME more profitable)" attitude. And besides- it's MY choice and MY vote. And I will excercise this right according to my values which are built from my experiences; not yours.

Please don't fool yourself into believing that insulting my intelliegence by regurgitating whatever your white, upper-middle class father says at the dinner table or think that the more you attack me the more likely I will be to see the light. YOUR light. Now, I've been putting up with this sort of biased, bigoted treatment for years and I never really let it get to me. But as someone outside your mainstream who is TRYING to communicate productively with you, I have two suggestions:

1) If you expect to convince someone of your point of view, please refrain from indignant, generalized rants of passion that hinge upon telling your friend that they are not only wrong, but immoral, unworthy, and unrighteous. Last time I checked, there was only one person qualified to judge me. And I'm pretty sure it wasn't you. In fact, if you are trying to convince someone of your point of view, the best avenue is not to try shoving your opinion down their throat, but to simply explain where you're coming from and why you feel it is beneficial to society. I delight in the idealism of my conservative friends; I support and respect them and even admire some for their beautiful idealism, and even agree with most of their beliefs. The difference between us is that I simply believe we need to prepare to help those who are not helping themselves. Primarily because that minority affects the lives of an entirely new generation who does not deserve to suffer from the ignorance or foibles of their parents. Do your best to refrain from self-righteousness. It's not appealing as it makes you look ignorant, foolish, and generally asinine, so it's a really ineffective premise if you're trying to get me to agree with you.

2) Don't feel threatened because I think differently than you. It baffles me at how your reaction to my politics somehow makes you recoil/sneer/gasp as though I am walking around pantless, eating raw baby flesh. Just because I have a different perspective does not mean that I think you are foolish, stupid, or immoral for having your beliefs. It just means that my experiences have made me more sensitive to certain topics more than someone who may not have been exposed to issues related to poverty. And that's okay. I'm not about to burn anyone's house down. Yet.

As we prepare for the primaries, I hope you've kept your mind and heart open as I have. Not just in regards to the information out there but to those around you. While I may be accoustomed to taking your snide remarks with a grain of salty humor in order to not further embarass you, not everyone will be as open to embrace your assumptions as I am. For your sake and for the sake of the party you wish to represent, I ask that you be sensitive to the politics of others. Being open minded and accepting of somoene's differences may be the best way to convince someone that you are, in fact, as moral and upright as you wish to be percieved.

I hope that's helpful on your crusade. Best of luck. And thanks for voting.
-f.

17 comments:

The Dally Llama said...

As a staunch advocate of the mushball middle, I endorse this message.

Seriously, I'm with you 100%. One of my principal beefs about living in Utah is how dead convinced so many people are that their political views are as correct as their religious views (and how they are frequently all but synonymous), and how much the heretic I may be for not taking what Mitt Romney or Orrin Hatch say at face value.

There are two types of politically active people I hate being around. The Republican version is the person you have described here. Pious to a fault, condescending and indignant that you have the gall to disagree with him/her, s/he will try to convince you of the folly of your ways with the zeal of an evangelical minister arguing with mormon missionaries. And when s/he fails, it becomes obvious that you have some serious issues that should be resolved with either a professional counselor, or your bishop.

The Democrat version is smug and snarky, and lets his or her liberal open-mindedness truly shine by tacitly acknowledging that if those who don't share his/her views really understood the issues, they would clearly share his/her beliefs. So it's not really your fault that you don't agree with him/her; you just haven't been educated enough yet. Glib little quips and barbs are his/her weapon of choice (blithely snuck into conversation in a pseudo-accent that suggests s/he is an aspiring NPR personality), and unless you're smart enough, you won't understand his/her sophistication. But again, that's not your fault, so your ignorance will be lightly tolerated.

I can't stand being around either of these folks.

f*bomb. said...

Amen, Dall.

The thing is, we're all trying to do what we believe is best. Why that must demote us to criticizing or belittling someone we might normally respect and value is beyond my comprehension.

If we could all realize this, the avenues of communication and understanding would rise exponentially and we'd ALL be better informed. At the least, we'd appreciate each other's unique experiences and perspectives more.

I'm thankful to have the conservative friends with varying viewpoints which I respect. Thank goodness for them, and thank goodness for those of us who are trying to serve the greater good. To those who are too close-minded to recognize the beauty and benefits of such a symbyotic exchange, I feel very sorry for you. You must feel at odds every. single. day.

Rough.

PS-
Dall: Can you believe we ACTUALLY agreed on something? MIRACLES HAPPEN.

Rose said...

The problem with politics is that it's become a bloodsport. Many on both side of the aisle take the attitude that if you don't think like they do you're obviously clueless. The folks often inject their bile with extreme rhetoric. Think Ann Coulter and Bill Maher.

The truth is that the two major parties both have philosophies that could be considered a good means to an end. My personal feeling is that both have valid points. I find redeeming qualities in all of the top four candidates. (OK, I'll admit that I have to work a little harder to find those redeeming qualities in Hilary.) On the flip I find Obama to be quite exciting and a bit refreshing.

Years ago MTV did a Rock The Vote ad with Aerosmith. While I have no problem with the Rock The Vote campaign in theory the last statement by the Aerosmith bass player frightened me. The ad ended with the members of Aerosmith telling the viewers to vote afterwhich (is afterwhich a word?) the bass player piped up, "Even for the wrong person". I've thought a lot about this statement over the years and feel it's a symbol for America's apathy towards politics. I believe that every American has a duty to study the issues and the candidates before casting a vote. If they do not do the work the should leave the duty to those who have taken the honor of voting serious enough to at least put forth some effort.

My advice to the voter is to study the issues and vote for what and who you think is right. Do not be swayed by parents, professors, friends, clergy, or other politicians. If you try to respect the opinions of others you will make it easier for them to respect your opinions.

I'm going to vote for Romney. Yes I know, this is cliche for the LDS voter. This is not the case for me. Romney appeals to me because of his success in the private sector. I find it exciting that for once we have the option to vote for someone with his talent. The fact that he's not a career poltician or an attorney by profession (even though he has a law degree)really lights my fire.

A candidates religion is not important to me. I could vote for an athiest or muslim if I though the represented my views. Believe it or not I actually have a track record for this. My LDS uncle ran for President in 2000 and I didn't vote for him. I think I voted for Keyes. Wow, a mormon and an uncle. I think that's a double wammy. How could I go against religion AND family.

Do what you think is right Super Tuesday. If you voted with your conscience then you've done a service to America.

Michael said...

Miss Farrah, you get hotter all the time. Seriously.

Salt H2O said...

I LOVE that this post came after you posted a video of Glenn Beck.

The parties are blurring- John McCain is a republican because he supports the war and I'm a democrat because I recycle.

And and to those who harp on you on the pro-life/ pro-choice issue, remind them that Roe V Wade happened- it's over- why not start paying attention to issues that will have an ACTUAL impact on your life- like healthcare, alternative energy, the economy and that little war we've been fighting for what? 7 years? I hate the abortion argument it's so 1981.

Salt H2O said...

A side note: Our neighbors are gay. One attends church, regularly, and not only is he accepted by my Utah ward, he is loved. He's been in the ward for a while, and every one treats him with dignity and respect. He is welcome at church.

I feel luck to live in a 100% whiteboy mormon community that lives what they preach, that of kindness, acceptance and love- not hatred and intollerance.

I wish you, and all of my fellow men were as fortunate.

f*bomb. said...

I absolutely agree. Roe v Wade is not about to change, as I explain to many of my ultra-conservative associates. Do not be fooled into distraction from more pressing issues, such as healthcare and education. The principle is still about allowing agency- for better or for worse; it does NOT mean I'm about to have an abortion myself!

tim & brandi said...

Wow. Very well said. Can I copy/paste your blog into our blog??

~b

Krista said...

"Raw baby flesh"???? Farrah, you kill me.

Anonymous said...

Harry Reid (top Dem actually in power) is LDS.

The Dally Llama said...

I wouldn't be so sure that Roe v. Wade isn't going to change (the most current case on the issue is actually Planned Parenthood v. Casey, so that's the case that would need to be overruled). The Court has become more conservative in the last few years, and a case calling the fundamental right to control one's reproductive function via abortive procedures hasn't made it to the Court since Roberts and Alito have been appointed.

I think there's a decent chance that those two appointments might have been enough to swing the Court. The abortion issue has always come down to a 5-4 vote. The last time the Court heard the issue, Rehnquist and O'Connor were on the Court. Rehnquist was about as hard core conservative as they come, and I think there's a good chance Roberts would follow suit on this issue. O'Connor sided with the pro-choice advocates. So Alito's vote is the swing vote now, assuming that the other justices don't reverse course from the last time the issue was before the Court. There's a good chance he'd vote pro-life as well.

But even if Planed Parenthood v. Casey were overruled, it wouldn't give pro-life advocates the victory they're looking for. All Planned Parenthood and Roe v. Wade said is that laws prohibiting or impeding a woman's ability to get an abortion violate a constitutional right. If the Court were to reverse course, it would simply return to the status quo ante, and the various states would be allowed to regulate it as they please.

And because, on the whole, our country has become much more tolerant to abortion in the years since Roe v. Wade, I think that if the Court were to overrule those cases, you would see a significant number of the states legalize the practice almost overnight. So in those states, not much would change. In fact, in some states, I think it would get more liberal, as some states would probably allow later term procedures such as the so-called partial birth abortion procedure. It's also possible that some of the more conservative states would ban abortion outright. That would mean that rape victims and incest victims would be stuck in a pretty lousy spot.

Bottom line: it's a controversial issue that isn't going away any time soon, like it or not.

f*bomb. said...

You're right, Krista. It's always cooked MEDIUM RARE baby flesh. Could I take that one step further and say it's flesh from a....nope. Can't go there.

ABSOLUTELY, Brandi! I'm delighted you would like to spread the good word to your ultra-conservative and I'm sure well-meaning friends. Seriously- the fewer ignorant comments out there, the better off our world would be. And if we could all lay off the self-righteous judgement calls in politics as a way of expressing our religious values, I think others would be more apt to hear the actual message we're intending to send out. Hopefully I'm right when I say that these types of comments are intended to be moral and enlightening...

Dall, thanks again for stepping in and reminding us all that you are in law school and are therefore the authority on supreme court standings. If not for your long-winded opinions, now your splashy recounting of the inner-workings in Washington have made your place as an authority unequivicably clear. All hail, the King.

The Dally Llama said...

Sheesh, write two long posts and you're branded for life. Tough crowd. Sorry, I sometimes forget that not everyone (read: apparently almost nobody) is as intrigued by these issues as I am.

See what grad school does to you? I have become that guy. Crap. I didn't used to be this uncool, I promise.

f*bomb. said...

Don't make me remind you of 13 O'Clock...RIP.

Silvs said...

I can't believe you wouldn't vote for Romney. Aren't you a member in good standing? I guess not. You're a horrible, horrible person. Some would say despicable. I would agree. Whatever...

I'm not sure what your personal politics are, but I can see you being more liberally-minded, but being one who embraces that type of liberalism endorsed by classical Dems like FDR, JFK...and other figures recognized instantly by their initials (I guess that lets you know when you've truly made it, when people recognize you by the shortest form of your name).

These campaigns have been interesting, especially for members because you see different sides that you wouldn't have otherwise seen if there hadn't been a Mormon in the race. We're getting all of these people who are otherwise uninterested in politics with bordering on violent opinions on why Romney is perfect and how if we don't elect him then it means our country is subject to God's wrathful judgment. Very weird. Sorry this is turning into my own post...just thinking aloud. Good post.

k8 said...

'Please don't fool yourself into believing that insulting my intelliegence by regurgitating whatever your white, upper-middle class father says at the dinner table'

oh my gosh this made me laugh my head off. it's so sadly true. great post farrah. you should read it in church!

f*bomb. said...

Why do you think they never invite me to speak from the pulpit?