Perspective on the News
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor
I was watching the O'Reilly Factor last week when he announced a new viewer's poll question. The question intrigued me -- I wish I had asked it. More than that, I was a little surprised at my own answer to it.
The question was, "Could you be good friends with someone with whom you disagreed politically?"
Well? What do you think? Could you be friends with a far-left Democrat? Or, assuming there is a far-left Democrat that would read the Omega Letter, could you be friends with a Republican?
I know of many people that would answer yes. Indeed, the first two people that come to mind are Mary Matalin and James Carville. James Carville appears with his wife Mary Matalin in a series of commercials for Mitsubishi air conditioners.
(The commercials are so entertaining in and of themselves that I had to look up the product they were selling. )
James Carville is the skeletal-looking fellow whose wife won't let him turn down the thermostat until he says, "New Orleans." Carville is a New Orleans native, Matalin is from Illinios. It's pretty entertaining.
Liberal Democrat James Carville was Bill Clinton's top campaign strategist and attack dog who came up with political slogans like, "it’s the economy, stupid!" In 1993, he married Mary Matalin, a key Republican strategist who worked on George H. W. Bush's election campaign.
In fact, when they were dating, she was working on the Bush re-election campaign while Carville was working to help Bill Clinton defeat him.
They were married right after Clinton defeated the elder Bush and by all accounts, have been happily married now for almost twenty years.
Matalin was a close colleague of Karl Rove and worked for Vice-President Dick Cheney. Matalin worked as an editor for Jerome Corsi's "Obamanation" and a couple of Glenn Beck's books.
So twenty years as Mrs. James Carville hasn't changed her politics. And Carville is no less rabidly Democrat today than he was in 1993.
As I said, I was intrigued by O'Reilly's question, and even more so by my own answer, and so I started doing a little research on the subject. I was surprised to learn that these mixed political marriages used to be fairly common.
Not so much anymore. According to a new paper authored by Stanford University's Shanto Iyengar, Republicans and Democrats have an increasing dislike -- approaching loathing -- for one another. Another study came to the conclusion that animosity between Republicans and Democrats is actually greater than the racial divide between blacks and whites.
That translates into more than a decline in interparty mixed marriages, it means fewer and fewer Americans are willing to cross party lines in search of friendship -- with Republicans almost twice as unwilling to seek friends among Democrats as Democrats are to seek friends among Republicans.
Which conforms with my own experience and thoughts. I thought long and hard about my own answer to the question, which I interpreted as;
"Could you be good friends with a far left Democrat?"
I could never look beyond the question of legalized abortion and agree to disagree on the subject agreeably. It would always overshadow whatever else the Democrats had to offer. There is no room for me to find compromise . . . how could I? How could anybody?
Is there somewhere in the middle? Can there be? There is no merit to the argument a fetus is not human. What else can it be? Is there a sub-species of human?
How do we distinguish a human fetus from the fetus of an orangutan?
Easy. One is an orangutan fetus. The other is a human fetus. This isn't complicated.
Unless one is a Democrat. I can't confuse the issue enough for me to find room for compromise. And by my understanding of reality, anyone that can look beyond it is complicit in it.
There is no such thing as a pro-life Democrat. The terms are mutually exclusive, since by definition, Democrats support abortion on demand. If they don't personally, they support their party, which does. The term "pro-life Democrat" is a distinction without a difference.
I could never find common ground for friendship with a person who could support or advocate the murder of innocent babies as a matter of convenience.
And in the end, every argument favoring abortion eventually comes down to an issue of convenience.
Even when the mother's life is at risk, is that not an issue of what is convenient? It depends on one's perspective -- and nobody takes the perspective of the one who is about to be brutally and involuntarily sacrificed.
I cannot buy into the argument that the risk to the mother's life justifies killing a viable fetus because that would put me in the place of second-guessing God.
And I don't know how I could be good friends with someone that could. We could be friendly, for sure. But there would always be something about the willingness to compromise on that point that would give me pause to wonder what else might be up for compromise?
I could never get to a place where I could countenance the state's redefinition of marriage because marriage has already been defined by God. No matter how hard I might try, I would always have this whole "God thing" standing in the way.
There is no amount of persuasion or argument or coercion that could overcome the obvious truth that the basic purpose of marriage is the propagation of the species.
Or that God elevated humans above that of lower animals by introducing the concept of marriage and family.
Or that the family unit is human civilization at the cellular level.
Or the fact that when cancer strikes the body, it starts at the cellular level.
I could never agree to support that, nor find enough common ground where I could be good friends with someone that could.
I could never be friends with someone who would advocate taking away any of my freedoms in the name of 'fairness'. Who decides what is fair?
Neither could I be friends with a thief, no matter how admirable he believes his motives. Democrats favor economic redistribution disguised as being one's "fair share" -- as defined by the ones that want theirs.
If the guy down the street broke into my shed and stole my tools so he could give them to another guy he thought needed them more, he'd still be a thief.
And if the other guy encouraged him to steal my tools, I'd find it difficult to cultivate much of a friendship with him. What if he decided the guy across the street needed my laptop more than I did?
These are all red lines for me. I am intolerant. The liberals tell me so. But not because of my politics. Because of my faith. My faith is intolerant. The Bible tells me that.
I cannot tolerate the murder of the innocent as a matter of convenience. I cannot tolerate the destruction of the basic family unit to accommodate somebody else's misguided notion that things that are different can also be the same.
I find these things to be intolerant of my basic, God-given freedoms.
I have the right to follow the tenets of my faith. I have the right to speak freely about that faith and how it applies to my politics. I have the right to assemble or associate with whom I choose.
Liberal politics threaten to take those freedoms away from me in the name of the greater good as they define it.
And so, having thought through O'Reilly's question, I would have to answer, "No, I could not be good friends with a liberal Democrat" and further, I realize it is because I am intolerant. But I also realize I am ok with it.
Intolerance of the intolerable is no vice.
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