I tend to be cynical, and I guess that’s a good thing because it makes me search for answers. Why wonder about something when you can know??? So this evening while reading a rather long thread disparaging all things GOP, I clicked on and read one of several links entitled “About Sarah Palin: an email from Wasilla” which raised my eyebrows, to say the least. It felt real but I wanted to know, so I did a search. My original intention was just to see if there was an address listing for the email’s author, Anne Kilkenny, but up pops a phone number. Yep, you guessed it.
I was surprised when she answered. It was 3:30 in the afternoon in Alaska, and she was just having breakfast. Her days have been “interesting” to say the least, since the article came out last Friday morning. Though she’d asked her friends not to post it, somebody read it over the air, and since then it’s “gone viral” in her words. She’s been interviewed by newspapers, radio stations, and NBC, ABC, and CNN. (I believe the ABC broadcast is to be on Monday night at some point.) She wasn’t at all surprised by my call, and has received them from all over the world (at all times of the day and night, I might add). I guess there are other cynics out there wanting to find out if she’s a real person as well.
Well she is, and she’s got a good head on her shoulders, and I appreciated her openness with a complete stranger. She is obviously intelligent and I jotted down some notes as she talked. I don’t think she’d mind my sharing them, though I didn’t ask. Our conversation ended rather abruptly (more on that later), so I didn’t get to. Among other things, she said that she’d always been taught there were two things you shouldn’t watch—how sausage is made and how bills are drafted. She went on to add a third, the rise of a successful politician. When asked why that was added, she said that if you’re going to be successful, you have to be willing to set aside your core values at times in order to further your ambitions. I am not a politician, but I see truth in that statement as it seems to be what most of them do at some point in their career. And though they may struggle at first, it probably gets a little easier each time as their conscience deadens.
She talked about the whole sports facility fiasco. Don’t they have Title Insurance in Alaska? And why would the city do that when they don’t even have a sewage treatment plant? So the building sits on land the city doesn’t own, and it’s tied up in the courts so the lawyers are making lots of money. She touched on other issues in her article as well.
I asked her if she was sorry she wrote the article and she said no but if she had it to write over again, the first thing she’d change is to take out the word “hate” where she said “Sarah hates me” and that was wrong to say because that was putting words in Sarah’s mouth. Interesting that she said that. It was the one spot in the article that didn’t ring true to me and made me wonder if there were other things going on.
Anne went on to say, “What’s important to keep our eye on is that we can agree to disagree.” I totally agree. And, “We need to get away from this Karl Rovian thing of the politics of personal destruction. We need to quit saying, ‘She’s Satan.’ She’s not Satan. She may be somebody that you don’t agree with but we don’t have to demonize her. She’s like all the rest of us, doing her level best each day to live her life as well as she can. We do not have to trash the person in the process.” I wish more people believed this, because not only do you trash the person, you end up trashing all who chose to stand behind him (or her). Besides, you can’t throw mud on someone without getting a little on yourself.
I’m not sure how long we talked, perhaps fifteen minutes. She covered a lot of ground, raised many questions, and gave me much to think about. At the end of our conversation, I wanted to share something with her, and I began by telling her that I consider myself a social conservative, but that I don’t like how that makes people feel as if I’m judging them, or as if I believe I have righteousness on my side, as if I speak for God. She agreed, and then said she had another call coming in, and was there anything else I wanted to know? It caught me off guard and I said no, thanked her, said goodbye, and hung up. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was. I really wanted to discuss some things with her, get her take on them. I wasn’t looking for a debate but a discussion. But perhaps she’s been “burned” in the past by other social conservatives and didn’t want to take the chance. And yes, I realize a call could have been coming in and shouldn’t even entertain the thought that one wasn’t, but I am human, and I’m trying to be honest here so cut me a break :)
Having my ears opened is a new thing for me. It wasn’t so long ago that my opinions were so entrenched as to block my ears up completely. I would react instead of responding but have somehow moved past offense and/or anger, and to be honest it’s a beautiful place to be. I know that my faith has a lot to do with it—the realization that God is already there at the end of all this nonsense, and His plans cannot be changed. He already knows who the winner is, but that does not leave me with a what’s-it-matter approach to voting. (Oh, and btw he’s not a Republican or a Democrat.) I have seen people on both sides of the political spectrum rage against each other, belittle those who don’t share their views, judge them actually, and write them off as being too ignorant to know better. But I don’t like being put in a box any more than they do yet it’s still being done! Well, I’m out of the box now. Don’t even try to get me back in. :)
The fact is I’m amazed both candidates have made it as far as they have. And that’s all I’ll say for now, because it’s late and life is short. Thanks for listening.