Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Separating People from Politics

This is something that's been on my mind for some time now, and I finally decided to write about this subject. What people either forget or ignore totally is that people can and should be separated from their politics. This goes for the person you're debating online about Iraq, as well as public and political figures. Let me give you two examples of this.

The first example is Cindy Sheenan. She's the lady who has been the voice of the anti-war crowd after her son was killed in Iraq. She recently got wise to the fact she was a tool, and nothing more, for the truth-berry punch kool-aid crowd and quit. The reactions to this announcement were less then generous, especially from the right. She has gotten and deserved a large amount of heat for some of her comments and actions. But, she's also a mother who lost her son, and while I disagree totally with her on Iraq and on some of the things she's said, I sincerely hope that she finds some peace and is finally able to grieve and begin to live the rest of her life.

The second example is Tony Snow/Elizabeth Edwards. Both he and Elizabeth Edwards had announced that their cancer had returned at about the same time. This was a very interesting thing to see because you got two totally different reactions to similar announcements. For Elizabeth, it was a huge outpouring of sympathy and prayers from both the right and the left. People at this point pretty much forgot about politics and focused on the fact that she was again facing cancer. Tony Snow on the other hand got the same reaction from the right that Elizabeth did, and exactly the opposite from the left. Many posters hoped that this would lead to a slow painful death, and that the cancer returned because he could not stomach the lies anymore.

Here are a couple of gems to illustrate my point.

  • On a personal level, my immediate reaction was "Looks like Snow couldn't stomach all the lies he's been telling as Bush's Press Secretary." His words and spin have hurt Americans and Democracy. So, do I have sympathy for Snow? Not much!
  • I suspect Snow's character (or lack thereof) has been in place for many years. I never said he was sub-human, just not someone I feel a need to extend compassion to.
Those are the ones I can post without lots of ******, but you get the idea. The truth is that someone can be totally wrong politically and still be a decent person. Just like someone can have the greatest stands in the world and be a SOB on a personal level. I also need to point out this is something that both sides are guilty of, maybe because we are talking politics and that means things get heated quickly.

My point is this. When you're in a heated discussion about politics, remember that the person on the other side is human, with all the frailties that you have. I have many people on the left that I disagree with on a daily basis politically speaking, but who I get along with just fine on a personal level. Stick to the issues and leave the personal attacks out of it, would you?