Wednesday, February 5, 2020

A new low?

I don’t write much about politics here. Not anymore anyway.

It’s funny - if you were to go back and read posts from the first couple of years of this blog, you would think I was pretty right-wing at the time. And maybe I was, as I wrote in defense of Sarah Palin!

I’ve mellowed a good bit over the years and decided quite some time ago to dial it back with politics here.

It’s still a matter of interest, and I write the occasional political piece for the local weekly column I write. While I try to come from the perspective of an observer, my leanings have come through a time or two.

Interestingly, readers have accused me of being both liberal and conservative, accusations that have come with disdain. And I get a kick out of that. I answer all emails politely. I always thank the reader for his/her comments, and for taking time to write.

A few readers have responded to my response, expressing surprise that I would be gracious when their intention was to be critical and, at least once, downright mean.

The way I see it is I put myself out there and I have to be willing to take my lumps. Truth be told, I don’t get a lot of reader feedback and I’m grateful for most forms of it. And the guy who was mean was so taken aback by my response that he wrote back and apologized.

Mine is a learned behavior. Believe me, there have been times I wanted to fire back and give as good as it was given. (I’ve written some drafts in that fashion and deleted them).

I didn’t watch the State of the Union address last night. With it coming the night before the senators would be voting in the impeachment trial, I knew it had the potential to be awkward and I just didn’t have the stomach for it.

And I was right. President Trump walked up to the podium and handed a copy of his speech to Vice President Pence and Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, both of whom stood behind him, as is customary.

Pelosi extended her hand to Trump. He turned around without taking it.

It was a classless move, the kind we have come to expect from this person who couldn’t care less about what being presidential looks like.

Some have defended him, saying he didn’t see her try to shake hands with him.

I don’t believe it, but even if that is the case, he should have been the one to extend his hand to her, especially in light of the circumstances. As the leader of this country, he of all people should demonstrate how, in certain moments, differences can be put aside.

But that has never been his style, and he acted in accordance with who he is.

At the end of the speech, Madam Speaker had had all she could take. As everyone stood, she stood, and she took the transcript of Trump’s speech and tore it to shreds.

And you know, she probably shouldn’t have done that. It wasn’t becoming of her and she looked a bit childish. And she kind of brought herself to his level in doing so.

I wish she had just stood there and clapped politely for a minute, then made her leave.

But if I’m honest, I can’t say I blame her and I can’t say I might not have done the same thing. I hope not, but under those circumstances, I don’t know that I could have been as gracious as I always try to be.