I thought I would write tonight about a pretty offensive statement that was thrown in my face twice this week, once by a conservative Republican and the second time by a liberal Democrat, or so the two of them self-claimed.
But, I did my usual nightly blog check and that offense actually got bumped by another. I suppose I should be thankful that my initial disgust was pushed away a bit since that rant was threatening to keep me up all night.
What I found won't keep me up at night, but is actually even more disturbing.
There is a blogger out there, who's various alias' I will not publicize, who seems to think that the only credible political ventures are those that are based on the Internet. He actually stated that the only reason he donated to a particular campaign was because that candidate had a website up.
Hey, anyone can spend their money any way they want, and as much as I'd love to have that much expendable cash, I'm pretty sure I'd hand it over to a book store, craft supply store or someone/thing that I believed and respected, though not necessarily in that order.
He also claims repeatedly that he's a "Liberal" and that all other Democrats have lost their way.
But, tonight, he took a memorial page of a suicide victim and attempted to use it for his own political collateral against Congressional candidate Michael Arcuri.
After my initial shock at the insensitivity displayed, I thought, "How very Republican of him."
Remember when we were outraged at the RNC for using NYC for it's convention simply to use the backdrop of 9/11 to foster it's agenda?
Remember Reagan's use of Willie Horton?
This Congress' and White House's abuse of Terri Schiavo?
This blogger I'm referring to calls himself a "progressive" and "liberal" Democrat.
The comment that I thought I'd be writing about was "He's a good candidate because he's married." Sadly, that didn't surprise me coming from a Republican but it shocked the dickens out when a self-identified "liberal" said it to me.
I've been feeling for quite some time now that the liberal end of the political spectrum has moved. There's a lot more vitriol there. The "us vs. them" mentality had gained strength. An arrogance exists there now that I doubt was ever imagined previously.
And that's sad to see. As a child, I remember thinking highly of Ralph Nader. Abbie Hoffman was a hero. What they chose in attitude and behavior later in the years felt like an insult to who they had been.
But, whatever label, whoever applies it, is simply used in talking about it. Talk alone never changed anything. Talk needs to be transferred into action and only then can change occur.
In this abuse of the memorial page, there was not even one word of sympathy or condolences from this blogger. But I have among all the condolence cards my family received, a hand written letter from Mike that touched me deeply in its kindness and thoughtfulness of an elected official to a Democratic Committeemember.
Actions speak louder than words.
As a sister of someone who committed suicide, as a counselor, as someone who feels, I am deeply appalled that someone who claims the same party affiliation as I do could act in such a callous way. His actions have shown that he is no more a Democrat than bin Laden is a Muslim, at least in my book.
I've called myself a liberal Democrat most of my political life. But if these two people are typical of what liberals have become, its time to reclaim that name for what it really is.
In the words from West Wing, "Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act. What did Conservatives do? They opposed them on every one of those things - every one. So when you try to hurl that label at my feet, "Liberal," as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won't work, Senator, because I will pick up that label and I will wear it as a badge of honor."
Yes, liberals did those things. They were also known as Democrats.
The name might need some cleaning off after the muck it got dragged through today, but I'll sleep tonight knowing that my actions need not change.