I’d like to talk about why that is, if only because the title of this post tickles me so dang much.
Roger and I had an early falling out; the kind of falling out that most acquaintanceships don’t recover from. I think I’ve told you this story before and some of you lived through it with us. I wrote about the time I was almost raped, a big long post, as I often write, but I made a bunch of points one might want to argue with before I was all “Yeah, here’s what happened to me.”
Brittney, then, over at NiT posted a bunch of the post, but just the first part–all the points one might argue with but not the bit at the end. Roger, having only read the NiT bit and not the whole post, made some comment about how, if I was going to hold those kinds of opinions without thinking them through, I deserved whatever I got.
You can see, instantly, how that went wrong. I thought he’d read my whole post here at Tiny Cat Pants and was commenting on the attempted rape. And so I went off. I mean, really, I thought he was the biggest misogynistic sick-o on the internet. And he, not having read my whole post, thought that he was making a reasonable point about how, if one is going to be confrontational, one should expect confrontation out here in the blogosphere (a point I agree with, in actuality) and that I was revealing myself for the psycho feminist bitch I secretly truly was.
There’s no coming back from that, usually.
And yet, here we are, with me writing a post, trying to explain why we lefties love Abramson. I guess that would be reason number one: No matter how bad the blood, if Abramson comes to find you think he’s done you wrong, he’ll apologize and mean it.
Let’s call that character.
Second, Abramson is not anti-intellectual. So many Republicans at the state and local level seem to think that anything that requires book-learning is ridiculous and anyone who has too much of it is suspect (Just read Terry Frank for a few weeks and see if you don’t notice how suspicious she is of education.). Roger, on the other hand, is intelligent and well-read and doesn’t seem to be knee-jerk against everything that comes from college campuses.
Third, he’s thoughtful. If you’re having a discussion with Roger, even if he disagrees with you, he takes your position seriously. You might never change his mind or bring him around to your way of thinking, but you feel like, when next he approaches these ideas, he’s going to keep your perspective in mind.
I mean, let’s say that the Right’s goals are as follows:
1. Try to take over the world
2. Start a bunch of wars
3. Outlaw abortion
And my goals are:
1. For us to refrain from harming as many folks as possible.
2. For us to actively help as many folks as possible.
3. For us to preserve as much liberty as possible.
And let’s say that Roger is made Supreme Commander of the world. I would expect for him to move on to starting a bunch of wars and outlawing abortion, as those were his stated goals, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find that, once finished with that, he turned his attention to my goals and whether they could be made to fit into his agenda.
In other words, I don’t think Roger instantly discredits ideas simply because they come from the Left.
Last, Roger doesn’t assume that people with different political views than him are his enemies or that people with the same political views as him are necessarily his friends. And he doesn’t automatically assume that ideas from the Right are always correct and best and ideas from the Left suck.
So often, and I’m as guilty of this as the next person, even though I try not to be, we view politics like a sporting event, with some of the country loyal to one team and another part of the country loyal to another team and a third part of the country that goes back and forth and a fourth part of the country that isn’t interested and none of the other three-quarters can figure out why.
And we all argue our positions and root for our guys and cheer when the other team takes a hit.
But the truth is that this is the country we have, this right here, this America, and we all have to work together in order to keep it working.
All the cheerleading in the world, no matter how fun, isn’t going to save us from self-destruction (or the needless destruction of others). That can only come if we figure out how to work together.
To me, that’s what I see in Abramson, a person with whom I can take off the team jersey and just talk person to person.
I guess that could be irritating to others on the Right, but I don’t see why it has to be. We all have to share this country. We might as well find some way to enjoy each other’s company.