Sometimes you read a column by a liberal that seems it was written by a conservative to caricature his ideological adversaries. And when you realize it’s probably legitimate, you wonder at the editors who approve this piece for publication. Are they so contained within their liberal bubble that they’re blind to how narrow their ideological confrère might comes across to someone with a broader perspective?
Such were my thoughts when I chanced upon this Op-Ed in a paper I used to receive every morning on my doorstep. The author writes about a political argument that changed her feelings for neighbors she describes as “the best neighbors in the world. Always ready with a tool, an ingredient or a jump-start for the car. Whatever you need, if they have it, they will give it. They are a lovely family: husband, wife and four smart, funny, polite children. I was sure they were Democrats.”
Already there, we see her prejudice, assuming that nice people must be Democrats.
When while playing poker and drinking with the author and her spouse, the aforementioned husband, a white man married to a black woman announced that that tea party was not racist, indeed, that he was part of that dynamic grassroots movement. The argument became heated. Insults exchanged.
The following morning, the tea party conservative came over with his wife to apologize. His contrition, however, could not soften the hardened heart of his erstwhile hostess:
But my feelings about them are changed. I cannot respect them as I did before. And as they headed back across the street, I saw the look they gave each other: They don’t like us anymore either.
How does she know what that look meant? Well, we do know what she feels. She spells it out pretty clearly
I don’t want to be friends with someone who is a member of the tea party or is a Newt Gingrich Republican. We are not the same. I equate their political views with thoughtlessness, intolerance and narcissism. I think they are not kind or empathetic. And my neighbor made it clear that he does not respect my opinions or me.
Wow. Just wow. Not kind? Not empathetic? Lady, you’ve got evidence of their empathy. They saw fit to go out of their way and apologize. The husband realized that his words might have hurt which suggests he was able to understand the hurt his words could cause.
Oh, and as, to empathy, let me remind this woman — that just because you don’t support government programs to help the needy doesn’t mean you oppose all initiatives to help out the less fortunate, say private charities.
It’s not just this lady’s rant that’s revealing. It’s that the editors of the LA Times saw fit to publish it. No wonder a local blogger calls the paper his Dog Trainer.
NB: LInk was broken. Now fixed.