I Don't Think So
When I checked my email this morning I found one from
someone I know from church. My initial thought was to
respond. After thinking about it more I decided perhaps it
was wiser to ignore it. Well, I don't always do the wise
The e-mail had a link to an editorial written by Garrison
Keillor, an editorial which I read in yesterday's newspaper.
The email author wrote "I have always liked Garrison
Keillor and respected his opinion". Well, I used to like
Garrison Keillor. As an entertainer. I listened to Prairie
Home Companion for many, many years but once he started
inserting his political opinions into his comedy, I stopped
listening. It's his opinion and he's entitled to it and if
the news media wants to give him a forum for it, fine, but I
don't give it any more credence than I would the average
letter to the editor writer. And frankly, that's not much.
The email author continued with his own comments. I’ve
quoted a few, followed with mine.
"John Ashcroft is truly out to take privileges we have
I've heard complaints that Ashcroft is eroding
constitutional rights (I disagree) but what "privileges we
have earned" is he out to take away? And since we are faced
with terrorist threats, talking about privileges being taken
away sounds more like the whining of a spoiled child
stomping his foot saying "Not fair!', not a rational adult
who recognizes that sometimes we all have to make sacrifices.
"Why should a president need to run a campaign that accuses
his opponent of not doing enough in the Senate? Shouldn't
he be running on what he has done?"
Because what Kerry has or has not done in the Senate
for the past 20 years is relevant to consider when
we're deciding who to vote for for President. Certainly it's
much more relevant than the four months he was in Vietnam
30 years ago which is what he wants to emphasize. And I
don't know what he's reading but I'm hearing plenty from
Bush about what he's done.
"In 3 years, he has alienated our friends and polarized this
country worse than any previous president has done."
Not even close. Let's see. There was George
Washington who was viewed as a traitor by Loyalists; many
were so alienated they moved to Canada and never returned.
Or Abraham Lincoln. When he was elected, half the country
seceded and there were full scale riots against his war in
the North. Many people in my grandparents' generation hated
Herbert Hoover, convinced the Great Depression was all his
fault; that there wasn't a full scale revolution in this
country during the 30's is considered an anomaly by
historians and political scientists. There were huge
demonstrations against the war in the 1960's and LBJ refused
to run for a second term because he knew he couldn't win.
I guess the author thought I might be receptive to his
message because Steven died in Vietnam. Steven was not some
naive kid who was drafted and sucked into the evil war
machine. As I wrote a few days ago, he enlisted after two
years of university partly because his best friend had been
drafted and because he believed in what he was doing. It
wasn't the war he was angry about; it was the lack of
support from the politicians and the people at home.