Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Open Letter to Sarah Palin

Dear Governor Palin,

I just watched your conversation with Sean Hannity, and I want to tell you as one mother to another that I, as one of the wee-wee liberals you disdain, am not telling you to shut up. I am asking you to turn down the volume.

I've noticed that you and I have something in common--a love of referencing folksy, personal stories. So let's pretend we're neighbors, and not neighbors like that creepy so-called journalist who rented that house next door to yours last summer and then pretended like he didn't do it to irritate you. What if you and your family were playing your music too loud after midnight, and I called to ask you to turn it down? How would you respond?

I hope you wouldn't respond by telling me that's too bad, but you have the right to play your music as loud as you want, any time of the day or night, and that as a matter of fact, you're going to turn it up louder, because darn it, this is America, where people have gone to war and died to earn the right for the rest of us to do what we want when we want to. Because I actually had a neighbor tell me that when I so rudely interrupted his loud hot-tub party at one a.m. to ask him to quiet down. No matter that he and his friends had so rudely interrupted my sleep during my sixth month of pregnancy. Somehow he turned it into that I was raining on his parade.

"Tell that to the police when they arrive," I said, turning toward my house to make good on my promise.

Here's another story I think you'll relate to, as a hockey mom: At a soccer match for second-grade boys, I asked a parent who kept walking in front of me as I sat on the sidelines to please not walk in front of me during the game. Of course this begged the question, why wasn't he sitting in a chair like all the other spectating parents were?

He got so angry so instantly I was afraid he was going to hit me. His responses are in quotes, mine (real and imagined, I'll let you make the call) in parentheses. "Who are you to ask me to stop?" (Uh, another parent watching my son's match.) And "Everyone knows our team always sits on this side of the field." (How would I know that? I've never laid eyes on you before in my life.) And my personal favorite: "You could have asked nicely." (I did. I was very direct, and as polite as I could manage, given that your pacing was ruining my view of my son's game. Maybe next time I'll say, "Can you please sit down and shut up, asshole?")

But wait, that would just be throwing fat on the flame. I wouldn't want to be irresponsible or anything with that hard-won right to free speech.

I've learned when people are determined to be aggressive, they will resist all efforts to restrain them in any way. It sounds to me like that's where you're coming from, Governor.

No one knows better than me how tough it is to practice what you preach. But if you want the right to express yourself freely, it works both ways. You'll have to expect some sassy responses from wee wee liberals, the lamestream media and anyone whose opinions differ from yours. That's how I understand America's commitment to free speech.

So are we going to be happy neighbors, or are we going to be at odds?

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