I have a distant but dear friend who is a staunch conservative. I meant STAUNCH. In all caps. You know, the kind that sends me 5 emails a day extolling the virtues of McCain/Palin. I love her anyway. She can't help how she was born, so I try to shrug it off.
I'm trying hard, here folks. I do not want to engage her in an intellectual discussion about the candidates. I respect her right to be a hard right-to-lifer. As a Catholic (converted, not cradle), my own views on right-to-life have been radically altered. Or maybe it's because I'm a mom now, but either way, I'm a lot closer to the middle of the road on that issue than I used to be. But, I digress. My point is, I validate her right to believe the way she does. Sometimes when you're friends, you just have to agree to disagree.
After sitting ALL DAY in a training session (which by all rights entitles me to the mother of all temper tantrums!), I hit the hotmail account and find multiple SARAH IS CLOSEST TO GOD and OBAMA IS THE DEVIL emails in my inbox. I seriously thought I was going to hurl myself down the stairs of my building. I contemplated it and decided four flights was just enough to eff me up but not enough to kill me.
My challenge is that I don't want to start a debate with her, don't want to argue with her, don't want to lose her as a friend. She has no idea how I feel about her choice of candidates, and I don't think I can point out my point of view without alienating her and damaging our friendship beyond repair.
So, I just click and delete, click and delete. Click and delete. All while silently seething, and wanting to reach through cyberspace and shake some sense into her.
My friend has the right to trumpet a woman seeking to leave her five children (one special needs, and one pregnant teenager) as she serves the second highest office in the land, despite the fact that my friend gave up her "away from home" job to stay home and be a full time mom to her girls. Spin it how you will folks, a woman who becomes second fiddle to the most powerful man in the world will be leaving her children.
My friend has the right to throw her support behind a feeble old white guy who doesn't know how many houses he owns (8), who owns 13 cars (3 of them foreign, despite the fact that he says he only buys American), even when she herself was denied a new car for years after she quit her day job.
My friend has the right to put her money where her mouth is when it comes to a candidate whose city charged rape victims for their own rape kits, despite the fact that my friend's husband works in law enforcement.
What is eating me alive is that my the very family values that my friend holds so dear are exactly why I can't sign off on the red team this year.
Palin? She leaves her children. For a job. She seeks to change the rules about my child's reproductive behaviors when she cannot control those of her own children. And if what I'm reading is true, Bristol wasn't the first one in her family pregnant out of wedlock. In case you're wondering, she married on August 29, and her firstborn son was born the following April. You do the math.
McCain? He began dating his second wife before he divorced the first one. Allegations ran wild that he had an affair with a lobbyist, and he was one of the Keating 5, accused of messing around with federal regulators in a bank case.
She leaves her family high and dry. He lies, and he cheats, and still, my friend thinks he and his VP pick are the lesser of two evils.
I love my friend, and although her presence in my world is not huge, it is hugely important. And so, I will click. And I will delete. For the next 40 or so days.