Passion and bitterness without circumspection


by Eric Pusey, 5/10/08 • Y’all probably notice that I don’t write about the Presidential race much at all. First because my goal is to write about MN politics. Second cuz I’m a wonk and if I were to start, it’d be all I’d write about … ever … its a wee bit complex as you all know. Third, there are MORE than enough people covering it … from the gasbag, lying, egotistical pundits to sites like Daily Kos, Crooks and Liars, firedoglake and Huffington Post to thousands of blogs across the country.

Eric Pusey blogs at mnblue

With so much at stake, we are all very passionate about the candidates we believe in. That is, of course, the danger.

Each side believes they are right and the other is completely and utterly wrong. Because we all feel so strongly about our candidate, we tend to vilify and denigrate the opposing candidate. I find myself doing it, too. Then I see people trash-talking the opposing candidates supporters. I also see the supporters on the winning sides taunting the supporters on the losing side cuz they’re winning.

You are not stupid because you do not support my candidate.

You are not less of a Democrat because you do not support my candidate.

Nobody’s candidate is perfect despite eveyone’s protestations to the contrary.

While it is probably too late, while its probably true that we’ve already gone too far, can’t we all remember this next time?

Take Charley Underwood, Grace Kelly and I as an example. We all write here at mnblue. We couldn’t be farther apart on the US Senate race. Charley always gives me **** every time he sees me about supporting Al Franken. I don’t mind because my friends have fun giving me **** and I think its all in good fun. Grace Kelly just sighs and roles her eyes cuz I support Al.

We’re all doing everything we can to get our candidate endorsed by the DFL in June. But we are not going personal. It would serve no good purpose for me to go after them because I know that we’ll be working on the same campaigns at some point in the future. So far they haven’t insulted me for supporting Al.

While on occasion I fail, I always try my best to maintain a circumspection to all this. You never know when at some point in the future you’ll need someone as an ally in a cause. If you’ve told them off in the last campaign, its going to be a little hard to work together this campaign, init?

I always try to keep in mind how other people see me. I would like to hope that while I have campaigned hard against other people and their candidates, I have done so fair and square. And I have done so respectfully and graciously.

I learned long, long ago that I will never change anyone’s mind if they’ve made it up. When I campaign, I’m looking for the people who are undecided. I’m looking for the people who are willing to listen. For anyone who’s made up their mind and decided to support the opposing candidate, I’m done. I’m not going to waste my energy bashing my head against a wall. The more I might try, the harder they’re going to resist.