Dear Gov. Palin:
Thank you. Thank you Romney and Rudy. Thank you so much.
I came to take in both conventions with an open mind to the issues that effect my family, my communities, my country. There I said it.
I have preferences. I have biases. I am willing to put them out there for anyone to see, especially to those that might actually ask to clarify where I stand on issues before assuming a whole lot of fodder.
I also have learning to do. The world unfolds before us in unique ways. There is ambiguity. There is tolerance. Some people just cannot wrap their heads around one or both of those basic tenants of humanity. Before listening to your speech and those that went right before you, I was moving towards a broad statement that, as a whole, Democrats have a better tolerance for ambiguity than Republicans. Sure, it’s a massive generalization, but I played with the idea for a few days.
After listening to you speak, thank you for clarifying my hunch, my intuition, the stark data that supports that idea. Governor Palin, thank you for clarifying that rationally, emotionally, spiritually, financially, and any other -ly word you can think of (most of you are pretty clever from what I’ve heard), you are out of touch. I guess I’ll just leave it at that.
Those that cheered and got up as the frenzy grew and grew last night? Yeah, that’s support for the shots you took, but that’s also a cathartic riot act that happens when a bunch of adolescents don’t get their way. But adolescents don’t even have the pre-frontal cortex development to support a neurological basis for tolerating ambiguity. You do.
I also wanted to pass along that I have many friends and acquaintances that would describe themselves as Christian. The last election was a difficult time to be struggling with one’s faith, seeing as how Christianity was theologically hijacked for purely base political purposes.
And now? These individuals see an angry, sarcastic, hypocritical public figure who pray to God for bridges to be built (and then takes credit for their demise afterwards) as the last person they would want to associate with on their faith journey.
Try this one on for size:
Faith Seeker: “Hi, can I call you Sarah? I grew up in a Christian tradition, and my journey took me to other faiths and ideas. I am considering my call, and I feel that this tradition is something I feel called towards.”
Governor Palin: “That’s wonderful. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Come to our services and we’ll welcome you like a brother and sister.”
F.S.: “Oh, nice. Ok. I’m confused though. I heard the things you said on television last night, and well, that doesn’t seem to fit too well with a message that Jesus taught. Why, I’m no Pentecostal, but my understanding of The Message is one of love and community. Sure, heads have to roll and temples need to be destroyed, but where is the mission work in your message? Where is reaching across to those we should be reaching out towards, even in our backyards?”
Hypothetical conversation cut out abruptly. I realized that, just like Romney and Rudy, Governor Palin didn’t really say ANYTHING about anything that gave me a sense of her political aspirations and desires. All I heard was a lot of hate and anger. So I really DON’T know you any more now than I did before you spoke. And that was part of the “get to know her first” message that the big “media conspiracy” didn’t appear willing to do. Uggh.
But I am grateful. You have helped me. Thank you. You’ve brought a very clear message. Thank you for clarifying who has the heart and soul and temperament and character and personality to lead our country. Thank you for clarifying the emotional intelligence, the capacity for ambiguity during tough times. I really thought this was going to be a challenging decision coming up.
But, there is one point that rubbed me the wrong way. This “hockey mom” thing. It’s sort of embarrassing. I’ve been playing hockey since I could walk, and well, I remember listening to moms like you snarl and spit and get bent when their sons were getting their tails handed to them by my teams. I felt bad for the players. I’d even shake their hands after winning and hope the rest of their day or night didn’t get worse because they had to deal with self-righteousness at home.
And just as we said during the post-game handshake: “Good luck.”
Hockey Guy (from Integral Minds)
EDIT: And please, if your mind is telling you that I drank the Kool-Aid of “change,” take a deep breath, remember where you are, calm down, and listen: What I believe we need is a CHANGE OF ATTITUDE. Our policies and such SHOULD be debated, disagreed upon, etc. But the manner in which we debate, hold ourselves, intentionally approach one another has to be different. Let’s all take some responsibility for maturing beyond this adolescent rut that we’re in.