Saturday, November 6

To Jane Smiley

I'm really getting tired of this. I've been called everything from a "white supremacist" and a "red neck" to "racist," "ignorant," a "cheater" and an "intimidator" by people I respect like Jane Smiley and people I don't have much respect for like Maureen Dowd.

Jane Smiley (who has never asked me what I think or believe) writes, "The error that progressives have consistently committed over the years is to underestimate the vitality of ignorance in America." She's calling me ignorant. I suppose I'm to be flattered that she says I have vitality. She goes on "Listen to what the red state citizens say about themselves, the songs they write, and the sermons they flock to. They know who they are — they are full of original sin and they have a taste for violence. The blue state citizens make the Rousseauvian mistake of thinking humans are essentially good, and so they never realize when they are about to be slugged from behind." The implication here, of course is that I (being a red-stater) haven't read (or if I did, I didn't understand) Rousseau and that the Bible (which is the basis of all the sermons I've ever heard) promotes lying, stealing, and cheating. Maybe we've read different Bibles -- the one I know exorts me to treat everyone else as I would like them to treat me and teaches me to love and help my fellow man.

But let's wait a minute. Question: When did the blue states become Democrats and the red states Republican? The blue states have ALWAYS (until the 2000 election) been Republican. Who changed it? Why? Did the Dems decide red was too close to the old concept of communism and since their liberal faction is socialist, they don't want to be associated with the red=communism assumption?

Frankly I've always preferred red to blue anyway. Red is bright and happy; blue is sad and well, blue as in sad.

As to who got slugged from behind: it wasn't the red campaigners who gave fraudulent documents to Dan Rather at CBS or who backed a candidate who committed treason in the 1970s and thereby doesn't even qualify to hold the Senate seat he has, much less run for the highest office in the land.

It wasn't a ranking member of the winning party who stole (and "lost") secret documents from the National Archives. It wasn't a member of the winning party (in the red states) who registered hundreds of dead people and came up with a plan to disrupt polling places by preempting what they expected to be illegal activities.

The only election workers in Ohio who were charged with fraud in the recount weren't Republicans. In fact, when Democrats stole elections (as in 1960), Republicans took the undeserved loss with quiet dignity and went back to work.

Jane Smiley and her ilk call facing the terrorist war realistically as attempting to "intimidate" the voter. She would rather see a "police action" (like the one we did in Korea where we lost thousands of men a day, I suppose) with France and Germany helping out. But Korea was a major disaster; a war we didn't win. I'd rather be intimidated by painful truth than soothed by blind ignorance.

In her piece, Smiley paints an extremely distasteful (and old-fashioned as well as unknowledgable) picture of a Christian, then adds "American politicians ALWAYS operate by a similar sort of flattery, and so Americans are never induced to question themselves. That's what happened to Jimmy Carter — he asked Americans to take responsibility for their profligate ways, and promptly lost to Ronald Reagan..." But James Carter lost the Presidency not because Americans didn't take responsibility for anything but because he couldn't get our hostages home from Iran, which Ronald Reagan promptly did.

The tone of Smiley's article is downright hysterical. Every word she writes shows her inability to see any point of view besides her pseudo-intellectual one. She can't imagine that someone with education and intelligence might have reasons she can't articulate because she hasn't bothered to find out about them. Like most of the liberals I've known, she probably runs from any statement that doesn't agree with the world as she perceives it. She's probably the first to walk out rather than hear a lecturer speak from a point of view that isn't hers.

No wonder they're losers. They will be until they learn to wake up and listen. And stop insulting their betters.

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