As this photo indicates (alas, that's just a cardboard cut-out, and not the real Obama), I have made no secret of my political sympathies. It honestly never felt like I made a "decision" to be open about my politics here. Being a liberal is a gigantic part of who I am -- there's no way I could have a personal blog and leave that out. In writing about specifics here lately, I knew I ran the risk of alienating some readers who are not liberal, and of course of just boring other readers who are not interested in politics. But I never for a second considered abstaining from giving my opinion. And I never, never, never "agreed to disagree."
In a recent comment, a reader informed me she is going to stop reading my blog because I express my views in a way that is distasteful to her. (And please do not contact this blogger with any negative comments; please.) She also said, "Whatever happened to agreeing to disagree?" So I want to be clear: I never agreed to that! I reserve my right to disagree! I believe that the conservative policies of the Republican party are destroying the country that I love, and I am not okay with it, and I won't shut up about it. I'm not forcing my opinion on anyone. I don't capture people and talk at them. Even when I phone-bank, I don't try to talk Republicans out of their beliefs.
This reader has every right to stop reading me. If a blog I visited came out as Republican, I might stop reading it too. What I wouldn't do is leave a comment that in any way questions their right to post their opinion in their own personal forum. I'm sure this is not the only reader I've lost; she's just the first one to tell me. And of course I'm sorry to lose any reader, but this election is so important to me, and it's so much of what I think about and talk about in my "real life" that to pretend like it's not going on would just be weird.
So, what's up with this "agreeing to disagree" thing? I think it's basically just a fear of conflict, an unwillingness to engage in debate. In my experience, the people who want to "agree to disagree" are often the people who can't back up their position with facts or solid arguments. And, frustrating as it is, that is their right. Just as it is my right to assert my opinions. Especially here in my own little space. When it comes to religion, I can agree to disagree -- as long as the "other side" is not trying to force their beliefs on me or anyone else or make them into law. But when it comes to the erosion of civil liberties, the mauling of the Constitution, the overturning of environmental protection laws, the unlawful invasion of other countries, and so many other things. . . I assert that I DISAGREE. I do not think all opinions have equal merit. The handful of climate scientists in the world who deny global warming do not balance out the thousands who say it is fact. And so it is with other issues. Just because there are two sides to an argument, doesn't mean they are equally valid.
I am a Democrat, I am a liberal. I believe the path the Republicans are leading us down is not only wrong but potentially calamitous. It's a weird thing, having an invisible readership in a place like a blog. I don't want to insult readers. Despite what this blogger says in her comment, I think I've been pretty careful only to criticize a) party leadership, and b) the really hateful supporters, like the crowds at recent rallies, and the people I myself have spoken to while phone-banking who have been powerfully negative and racist. Any other Republicans who find themselves here, I may not agree with your politics, but it has not been my intention to be personally insulting. To be perfectly honest, I DO feel disdain for people who believe Obama is a terrorist. And I feel contempt for senators who vote against health benefits for children, and for small-town mayors who make women pay for their own rape kits, and for presidents who lie us into wars. But I don't feel contempt for the ordinary people who are civil to me on the phone, whatever their party, and I don't feel disdain for ordinary Americans exercising their rights in a respectful way, no matter who they vote for. Nor do I "agree to disagree."
So that's what I have to say about that. Moving on. In other "news," look at the cute bracelet I bought yesterday at the beach:
Jim's mom has been in town, and yesterday we went out to our favorite stretch of the coast, from Manzanita down to Tillamook, and it was a gorgeous day, blue sky, not much wind. lovely lovely. Smooch:
See that aqua jacket? Jim found it for me at a thrift store the other day; doesn't it set off my hair perfectly? He's such a good shopper. He even found some stray pieces of Lemon Federalist stoneware at the antique store in Wheeler yesterday:
Lemon Federalist are our "everyday" dishes -- we got our set at another antique store, maybe five years ago, and we're missing some pieces, like the teapot. But thanks to Jim's black belt in shopping, not anymore!
And of course, no trip to the coast is complete without a stop at the Tillamook Creamery for full-fat icecream!
It may be full-fat, but at least the portions are really dainty:
As if that wasn't bad enough, today we stopped at Cupcake Jones. Ohhh. I need to get back to the gym! My schedule has been so disrupted lately. Woe is me. . .