Resisting Stereotypes

My facebook status last night read: “Savannah Liston had the distinct pleasure of agreeing with a Democrat on one issue tonight: the anti-life implications of wars fought over oil fields…”

This Democratic candidate attending a Tea Party event last night. My impression of her? She was not sure of herself. Someone once said about Ron Paul, “he is a good man, he is at peace with himself and with God.” I could not say the same for this candidate. I don’t think she was truly convinced of what she believes and so she is overly aggressive in defending herself. She didn’t have confidence that she was the “good guy” in enemy territory, and that came through in her actions and words.

Of course they pounced on her about the pro-life issue. Don’t get me wrong. I am pro-life. But I do not think the government has any place legislating this, especially since I don’t think the government should be controlling anything. So this candidate tried to explain that she personally was pro-life and would never kill a baby and would try to save as many unwanted infants as possible. She said she volunteers with a group that helps young and single mothers take care of their babies instead of aborting them. To me, that does much more for life than these government bills and piece of legislation that will never pass and if they do pass they won’t amount to much anyways. I would have been much more impressed by her stance if she had focused on the anti-government angle rather than just saying, “oh, I feel compassion for women who need to get an abortion because of their circumstances, etc…” And of course they were telling her how that would be killing a human being. And she came back with this absolutely extraordinary statement, “do you think it is pro-life for people to die unnaturally in the mideast defending some oil field?” I would have been stunned if she had left off the part about the oil field, but to cut through all the government propaganda and probe to the depths of the war issue was amazing. And their response? “What does that have to do with abortion?”

I felt this almost irrepressible desire to start applauding her, but finally managed to curb that instinct. I did tell her afterwards that although I’m pro-life and not a Democrat (nor Republican) I appreciated her statement about wars being anti-life as well. Besides hearing a local doctor talk on the economics of the healthcare bill, that was one of the best parts of my evening. It was so unexpected, to hear someone mention the war and the oil fields and all.

But I suppose that’s because she is a Democrat.

And in retrospect, I maybe appreciated her lack of confidence more than the incumbent’s unbearable smoothness and surety. At least she didn’t act like a politician. She was human, not some offshoot of the Leviathan.

So the whole thing just goes to show that we must not stereotype people according to their political party. I don’t get many opportunities to meet Democrats. I met one last year, another candidate, who is rumored to have pro-Ron Paul sentiments but tries not to talk about it. While I can’t verify that, and while I can’t justify his silence on it, perhaps there are some good Democrats after all. At least on some issues. And I’m inclined to think that I might have more in common with the Democrats than most neo-con Republicans.

Lesson? Don’t judge people by the party they belong to. Parties are irrelevant nowadays. Judge people by what they believe.

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