What’s Worse?

What’s Worse? 

So, I was watching a little blurb in an email today, about Michele Bachmann, and it got me to thinking about something I think is terribly wrong in the world.  Let’s see if you feel the same way.  What’s worse?  Believing in something generally thought of as wrong or just saying you believe to gain political (or whatever) footing?  I consider them both bad, but the latter really disturbs me.

I am naïve to a fault:  I don’t understand why people do bad things for money, don’t understand it at all; I don’t get why a woman has to cover herself up because men can’t control themselves; and I really don’t understand why you would stand behind a position you don’t believe in just to get something you want, especially if it’s one group of people putting down another.

I watched a video of Michele Bachmann that was initially very funny.  She’s at a book signing (if she can do it!) when an 8-year-old kid shyly approaches her and wants to say something.  MB can’t hear him and leans over the card table to hear him.  He says something the microphone doesn’t catch, but MB stand straight up, looks utterly shocked, and waves bye-bye to him.  Google ‘Michele Bachmann vs. the 8-year-old’ if you want to see it.

What the little boy said was, ‘my Mom is gay and she doesn’t need to be fixed.’  I had to laugh at the look on MB’s face.  She was not expecting that sentiment from the young boy.  I thought about that look for a while.  Why would that statement surprise her like it did?  Because it came from a child?  Because it’s easier to tell an adult ‘you are going to hell’?  Should it be that hard to tell a child why you believe in something?  Or is it because she doesn’t really believe homosexuals are evil?  Come on, she married one.

MB got me thinking about a 60 minutes episode I saw, many years ago, about George Wallace.  His story is the first I had heard about (in my short, sheltered life) where someone sold their soul for a little power.  I didn’t understand it then and I still don’t understand it today.

George Wallace was the Governor of Alabama when America finally tried to right the tremendous wrong of ‘separate but equal’.  He refused to let blacks join whites at schools across Alabama.  Here is one of his many ugly thoughts back in the day:

“In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

While Governor of Alabama, GW took his hate tour on the road, campaigning for President of the United States.  Wouldn’t that have been fun? While campaigning, GW was shot 5 times by a man who wanted to be famous.  The price some will pay for fame.  This ended his presidential hopes and pretty much his political career.

The 60 minutes episode pulled into the present (at the time) and talked with the black man who now took care of GW.  I can’t remember his name, but he was asked how he could take care of a man who so clearly hated people of his color.  His reply went something like this:

Oh, George doesn’t really feel that way.  He just said those things to get elected.  This was Alabama in the 60s.  He never really felt that way against people of color.  He’s really not a bad man.

I couldn’t believe what he said.  I’d never heard anything like it before.  Why would anyone say something they don’t believe in just to get a position of power?  Isn’t that like stealing something that isn’t yours?  My Mom taught me stealing was wrong.  You shouldn’t take that which isn’t yours, she told me many, many times.

Which brings me back to Michele Bachmann.  If you believe in something you won’t talk about with an 8-year-old, is it something you should believe in?  And if you don’t really believe in it, just parroting things you hear (like from your husband – I’m surprised you can hear him, from that far back in the closet) or things you think your base wants to hear, are you being true to yourself?

I can respect you if your opinion differs from mine, many opinions do go against my beliefs.  But believe them, don’t just say them.  I believe in the golden rule; I believe we choose the life we live; I believe being true to ourselves will make the world a better place; I believe ignorance is a dangerous thing; I believe those who deceive for power are especially dangerous and should be watched very, very closely.

jenn

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