Jerks on the Left of Me, Jerks on the Right


I recently wrote a piece on Red State about liberal pundit (and friend of mine) Sally Kohn. Without going into too much detail — you can read HERE for full background — the nucleus of it was that the presence of liberal commentary not only challenges us, but energizes us, resulting in a greater resolve to be proactive in the political world.

Making friends or enemies is never my goal when I write. I just express what’s on my heart. But I will say that over the past few years I’ve been on a mission, not to win … but to understand. Of course, I want to defeat the progressive, secularist ideology of the liberal left, but I think it’s just as important to understand why the left believes the way that they do. Then — and only then — can we make true progress and turn the tide.

During the Dallas to-spray-or-not-to-spray West Nile debate, we had Mayor Mike Rawlings on our show who discussed how passionately advocates on both sides of that debate had become. How could people — all with certainly good intentions — come to such differing conclusions? He referenced a book called “The Righteous Mind – Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion” by Jonathan Haidt, and I felt compelled to grab a copy. I’m glad I did because it’s been so beneficial in understanding some basic truths about human behavior. When you really dig down you realize that it is our intuition (which is shaped by a variety of influences) that leads us to mental justifications (a.k.a. our version of “truth”) that then lead us, via our tribal nature, to feel compelled attack the other side and its version of truth. This isn’t some make-believe hypothesis; it’s actually how we found ourselves in the Civil War. If we’re unwilling to listen to each other … the outcome isn’t just dangerous, it’s deadly.

That was a tangent, and I apologize … look,  just get the book.

Now, circle back to my blog about Sally. I’m sorry to report that it was not well received. This doesn’t personally hurt me or make me angry, but I did find it to be so very disappointing.  I do what I do for a living, not for the money — if you work in radio, you know this to be true — but to make a difference. I’ve campaigned aggressively for the conservative causes I believe in. I’ve donated my time. My treasure. I throw myself into this because I truly believe in the Founders’ vision of limited government and personal liberty.

All it took to erase a great amount of good will I’ve earned was one complimentary post about a liberal — a liberal who happens to be a lesbian, and you bet I believe that the reaction would have been far more tepid were this not the case.

Am I calling many of my fellow conservatives bigots? You bet I am.

I thought I’d pull some excerpts from comments that were left on my blog to let you see just how hateful and aggressive people became:

“Susan Cloud … producer of crap.”

“You are a joke. Now, please go away and entertain your liberal guests elsewhere.”

“Bullshit.”

“Your article is crap, you are arrogant, yet still not half as smart as you think you are.”

“What a laugh.”

“This diary sucks.”

“… take a hike.”

“If you want to do what you call writing, then get a piece of paper.”

“She pretends she’s a conservative….Sheesh. She belongs in the liberal’s camp. Her reasoning is loony.”

“This is ridiculous. Really.”

“Well that is pretty much an asshole attitude.”

“You really are coming across as a jerk.”

” … as to the rest of your BS, who are you? Why do you matter and why do you think your opinion is worth a crap here?”

“Susan’s diary is offensive, condescending and insulting all at the same time.”

“… childish rants.”

… so there you have it, folks. Seriously considering starting my own political party at this point. Open to suggestions, and quite upset to learn that “Bacon Party” is already taken.

Thanks for reading.

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Football Fanaticism Flashback


Watching the outstanding performance of Randy Moss last night had me reminiscing about his days in Minnesota.

When Dallas passed on Moss, I told my husband that wherever he went, I would follow. When the Vikes drafted him, my husband said, “You’ll love the regular season, but the playoffs will suck because Denny Green can’t get it done.”

I rolled my eyes. “Whatever.” (But his words would come back to haunt me.)

The 2001 NFC Championship game almost killed me as the Giants delivered a 41-0 blow.  I sat at a Super Bowl party that year — stunned. I couldn’t focus on the game. All I could think about were my boys.

I found a quiet corner and wrote the following poem.

It’s worth noting that this was the LAST year that I allowed sports to dominate my mood (and life). I take a much more measured approach these days — (unless it has to do with Tim Duncan at which point I become unrestrainable).

Untitled

Another day, another year,

Another Super Bowl draws near,

And so I shed a single tear,

For my Minnesota Vikings.

 

For three years now, the chances were strong,

Why does it always go so wrong,

For this team whom my heart belongs?

The Minnesota Vikings.

 

Was it the youth of my sweet Daunte?

Or was it just not Carter’s day?

How did the Giants shut down every play?

Of my Minnesota Vikings?

 

I know that Moss can’t be to blame,

’cause he’s the best one in the game,

But in the end he hung his head in shame,

Of the Minnesota Vikings.

 

Some say it’s the quarterback,

You see, Daunte Culpepper is black,

They say you just can’t win like that,

Oh, my poor Minnesota Vikings.

Note: I know Doug Williams did it in 88.

 

Some say it’s the secondary,

That makes the great team play like fairies,

And unrivaled offense, alone, cannot carry,

Even the Minnesota Vikings.

 

So, Denny … would you help us, please?

And grab a couple new DB’s?

So rings will come with relative ease,

To my Minnesota Vikings?

 

Alas, another season has ended,

And for the third time I have defended,

This team to whom my heart I’ve lended,

The Minnesota Vikings.

I know that “lended” is not a word … but it had to rhyme.

Ride, Sally … Ride.


The Importance of Liberal Punditry

Elizabeth Jensen wrote piece in the New York Times today about Sally Kohn … something I’ve actually been intending to do for a while. I took this as a sign that today was the day, so here we go:

I’m not sure how I ended up following Sally on Twitter, but I have for quite a while. Her tweets are always easy to spot. They sing that old familiar song from Sesame Street, “One one these things is not like the other …” That’s Sally in a nutshell. Hard-cutting, unapologetically liberal opinions floating in a conservative sea of red. At least that’s what it looks like on my Twitter feed.

The first time Sally joined our show was in the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy. I’d seen her on Fox News from time to time, but I’d never read anything she’d actually written. But this time, she’d constructed a piece regarding “shooter bias” that I couldn’t ignore, and I knew we had to have her on.

Since that day, Sally is — and continues to be — one of the best guests we have on the show. I wish I could stop writing at this point, letting a compliment just be a compliment and move on, but I can’t. A trend — a disturbing one — occurs after her segments, without fail and regardless of topicality. I’m always inundated with negative feedback via facebook, Twitter, listener phone calls, etc.

A few examples:

“Why are you wasting your time with that liberal nut???”

<insert random juvenile insult about sexual orientation>

“I literally have to turn off the radio when you have her on.”

Seriously, people?

Aside from the personal insults and low blows, the shallow nature of this just screams of ignorance.

I guess different producers have different goals for their shows. Obviously the element of entertainment is crucial, but when it comes to the shows’ missions, they vary. I think the vast majority of conservative programming is designed to energize the base, and I appreciate that, but my approach to our show is not unlike my view on what church should be.

I will always want to go deeper.

I don’t go to church to hear about how God loves me unconditionally, and how perfect I am in His eyes. I go to church to be challenged, convicted, and compelled to act. It shouldn’t ever feel like Six Flags Over Jesus.

Feel me?

When Sally joins us, I walk away with these same sentiments. She displays consistent resolve on the issues, which challenges me to give thoughtful consideration to my own. As I examine the logic behind my own positions, I find that, typically, I’m taken to a deeper place of conviction. When the contrast is laid before me, and I see — what I believe to be — fundamental error in the agenda of the other side, I’m energized, that much more, to be proactive in defending my own mission of limiting the size of government and promoting personal liberty.

And to Sally’s credit, on occasion, <gasp!> I have slightly amended my position — not because she’s a master of deception, no, but because sometimes we are just so scared of that evil “other side” that we fail to see the flaws that lurk beneath the surface in our own thinking.

Were it not for the inclusion of strong liberal commentary like that which is offered by Sally, I would likely keep the channel on CNN (save my sacred 5pmCT hour with Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday). I already watch CNN the vast majority of the time because I don’t need to hear my beliefs regurgitated by one conservative pundit after another. I need thoughtful exchanges and challenging commentary that force me to appraise my own political heart and moral compass.

That’s what Sally brings, and for this I am grateful. So from one cold-hearted snarky conservative to one equally snarky, but consistently bleeding-heart liberal, I say, “Keep riding, Sally.”

I consider you a sister, and I appreciate you.

Killing the Retards


Ann Coulter tweeted something rather offensive during Monday’s Presidential debate in which she used the word “retard,” and the entire world is now up in arms calling her an insensitive hatemonger. I have my own opinions about the hysteria over this word, and I suppose that’s a topic for another day, but what shocks me is the moral “outrage” over Coulter’s tweet, when pro-choice people all over our country support, well … killing the “retards.”

Between 90-92% of parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome terminate their pregnancies. Of course, it’s a painstaking decision, and I don’t believe that the majority of parents are cavalier about it, but ultimately, this is the choice they make.

… and then they kill the “retard.”

If my callous tone disturbs you — good,  because if we as a country can allow this (GRAPHIC: Do NOT click in the presence of children) … then we really have no business being offended by the insensitive words of a political pundit.

When I witness the left’s exasperation over a tweet, yet they refuse to advocate for the “least of these” — and furthermore, support the extinction of those whom they deem imperfect (remind you of something?)–  I’m sorry, but that’s just lopsided, screwball morality.

Maybe I wouldn’t feel so strongly about this were it not for the fact that my church has one of the most dynamic special needs ministries in the state of Texas. Leadership decided a long time ago that it was our job, as the body of Christ, to minister to the marginalized in society. Is there any greater example of a marginalized group of people than those who face mental challenges?

Can they often be loud, obnoxious, and sometimes difficult to understand? You bet!

(Did I not also just describe myself? Absolutely.)

We love these folks. We don’t force them into a particular “section” of the sanctuary on Sunday mornings . They integrate into everything we do. They worship with us. We bless them, and more important, they bless us.

We all have special needs.

We’re all imperfect.

We all deserve a chance to be brought into this world — wanted or not — and to glorify our Creator in the unique way He intended.

So, get over the tweet. Get over the word. And if you really care about the sanctity of life … ACT with your vote and your treasure.

My Krist-O-Lantern Fail


Our annual family pumpkin carving party was yesterday, and as I considered various design options, it became clear to me that I needed to follow my heart and attempt what I have always wanted to attempt: the Krist-O-Latern.

I went online and Googled the terms “Bill, Kristol, pumpkin, carving, template,” and I was shocked — SHOCKED — to discover that no such carving aid exists. (Certainly I’m not the first young politico to have such a need.)

I found templates of everyone from Elvis to Dwight Schrute to those ridiculous characters from the Twilight movies. The President, Mitt Romney, Steve Jobs … ample carving guides exist for all these folks, but not ONE exists of the greatest conservative political mind of this modern era. Ridiculous!

I improvised …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shortly into the carving process I realized that this was headed for disaster. My beloved Bill looked like his head had been fed through a meat grinder. I don’t dare post a picture. It would most certainly ensure that the current restraining order he has against me would never be lifted.

Anyway, the point of this post is to draw attention to this travesty, and to ask that you all join me in requesting that the Weekly Standard, next October, provide carving templates for the Krist-O-Lantern (and I think it would also be appropriate to provide one for up-and-coming superstar Stephen Hayes  — complete with signature goatee and glasses).

Some will say I’m fanatical. Others will recommend mental health therapy (why does everyone keep saying that???) but I still contend that I’m the voice for millions who share my belief that what the world needs now is a hearty dose of  “Kristol clarity.”

Thanks for reading.

UPDATE: After I gave up on my Krist-O-Lantern, I settled on this.