Columns

One Small Voice: An open letter, rebuttal to Army Bob

by Lynn Mandaville
When I first read Army Bob’s column “Unhinged Left Can’t Get Over Losing the Election” I found myself quite put out.
Because Bob paints with a very broad brush, I take his criticisms personally.  He doesn’t allow that not all those opposed to Mr. Trump fit his convenient assessment of them.   I do not fit conveniently into his generalized category of anti-Trumpers.
There is surely some algorithm that would calculate how many people I represent with my particular set of opinions, assumptions and voting patterns who do not fit the populace Bob assumes to exist without variation.
Rather than respond to Bob in the comments section of his column, where so many of readers have expressed their objections, I choose to address his issues in my own space, knowing that I am not unique in many of these thoughts.
First, Bob, I am over “losing” the election.   I am one of those voters who lost before she ever cast a ballot, because both choices were repugnant to me.  What I can’t come to grips with is Trump’s clumsy, embarrassing, juvenile approach to governing our nation.  But he is the president, not Hillary and not Barack.  So I criticize him and his administration without calling names or resorting to personal attacks.  I address his issues, policies and character traits – not those of Hillary or Barack – in as intelligent a manner as I can muster.  I have written in this publication my strong feelings toward the inappropriate free expression of others who take issue with the president.
Second, you make certain, inaccurate assumptions of liberals in general.  You say we all advocate violence.  We don’t,  just like not all Trumpers subscribe to his “punch ’em in the face” mentality.  You say we are all Hillary fans.  We are not.  Some of us take issue with her questionable alliances on Wall Street.  Her mistakes are hers and hers alone.  She misread the voting public and lost the electoral college.  You say we ignore that other presidents won elections by way of the electoral college.  We don’t.  We feel that the electoral college is an antiquated override of the popular desires of the people and should be abolished.
Third, you claim that the Russia investigation is baseless and unnecessary.  Well, that ship has not yet sailed, Bob.  Several intelligence agencies of the United States believe that there is sufficient grounds for an investigation to be conducted.  So what’s the harm if it serves to reassure a doubtful demographic that our president is on the up-and-up?  Let’s let it play out and calm the waters.
A few random observations before I close.  I don’t think all Trump supporters are stupid.  I have tried to listen and understand from where they come in supporting him, and some of it I get.  I do believe, however, that some are misguided, that The Donald has sold them a bill of goods over which they will eventually have buyer’s remorse.  I didn’t love Bill Clinton.  He was a morally bankrupt man and I yelled my share at the TV over the Lewinsky debacle.  I don’t demand a military coup to undo Trump’s presidency.  But I do demand transparency, and bi-partisan government as opposed to closed-door drafting of legislation, i.e., a health care bill.
Finally, you say that liberals’ ideas are “outside of the American mainstream.”  But the popular vote indicated that three million more people leaned toward ideas other than Trump’s, so who’s ideas are mainstream, and whose ideas are “other?”
I offer these observations, Bob, not to demean or discount your feelings or opinions.  I offer them respectfully, to ask that you not make broad assumptions about everyone who takes issue with the current President of the United States.  Because that IS the American way that we must protect.  We must be able to disagree in an agreeable manner.  We must be able to see all the nuances involved in being a participant in this republic we so love, in spite of her failings.  Long may she wave!

8 Comments

  • I couldn’t agree more, Lynn. I consider myself a liberal progressive and have voted as a Democrat all the way back to when I campaigned for Eugene McCarthy. I fought in Vietnam so, unlike the vast majority of Americans, many of whom call themselves patriots, I have been of service to my country.
    Yet, contrary to the assertions of many who do not agree with my political perspective, I am a pacifist. I am not hostile, or accusatory, or hateful toward any of my fellow humans. I believe in the principles upon which this great nation of ours was founded including the right to free speech and the thoughts and beliefs behind them.
    So, please, those of you who disagree with me, stop hating and attacking me just because I am a liberal. And stop asserting that, by the mere fact that I am a liberal or a progressive or a Democrat, I am evil. And please stop blaming me, and Hillary, for everything you don’t like about your world of today.
    I identify as a liberal according to this definition:
    “Favorable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms”
    To quote Rodney King, “Can we all get along?” I certainly plan on doing so.

    • Thank you, Walt. I knew I wasn’t out here alone. I was a McGovern Democrat in my day, and, like you, am a pacifist. I identify myself by the same definition of liberal you state above. Let’s heed Rodney King and work to get along.

  • Ms. Mandaville,

    Lynn,

    Well said; I may have been over-generalizing the left, using the main venues as examples of being unhinged and over the top. It was not meant to paint all liberals as unstable; you and a few others may indeed be a voice for calm. Most folks in the liberal groupings, probably some 90%, are not so free of hate.Let me refer you to MSNBC and CNN for a picture of most folks who refer to themselves as liberals.
    Thank you for the column, it is good to have an articulate writer with a different view of the world.

    • Bob, you give me great hope that we (meaning reasonable, thinking adults) can open and maintain civil dialogue in a troubled time. I am well aware that all sides of our national political divide can fall prey to hateful rhetoric. I try to chalk it up to a need to vent the frustration that can sometimes overpower reason. I dare even venture that your 90% estimate of those not free of hate may be a tad exaggerated. In my experience, people just want to be heard, and it has gotten too hard to be heard over the din without resorting to extremes. Truth be told, I’d guess that 90% on either side are just softies whose personal filters haven’t quite engaged. If you and I can fairly share and learn from each other, who knows what might be possible in the larger arena.

  • Bob (may I call you Bob?),
    “Most folks in the liberal groupings, probably some 90%, are not so free of hate” is not over-generalizing?!?!? And the statement “unhinged and over the top” is not made with extreme prejudice?!?!?
    And referring us to only two cable news sources as sufficient evidence of the attitudes, beliefs and philosophies of most, if not all, liberals is not only narrow-minded, but downright criminal.
    Your weak and duplicitous attempt at “accepting” a different point of view served you only as an opportunity to again drive home your perspective. Acknowledging begrudgingly that only a whopping 10% of liberals to be free of hate is, in and of itself, a spiteful and antagonistic statement to make. And where are the raw data to substantiate your claim of 90%? And why, above all, use the word “hate?” I may disagree, even strongly disagree, with you, but I don’t hate you.
    I anticipate your biases and prejudices will motivate you to respond in less than a gracious manner. And I don’t intend to hang around for the fallout.

    • Mr. Tarrow,

      If you ever met Army Bob, he is a most agreeable and gracious fellow, and a good thinking person. He handles liberals with kid gloves and mostly with a smile toward those of liberal afflictions. I, however, will only pile on to the degree I think Bob was a little kind to liberals and those afflicted with TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome). The author of this website, David, has a number of liberals besides himself – Mr. Basura, Ms. Mandaville, Mr. Tarrow and maybe Mr. Marsman, but let’s just say at this time 4 against 2 (Army Bob & Ranger Rick). Evidently, David feels he needs an overwhelming roster of Liberals against Conservatives to comment weekly. While some would think this is overkill, I think it is about right, since the majority of Americans are conservative, even if they don’t describe themselves with that moniker. And a good Conservative thinking mind is worth 2 to 3 Liberals any day.
      Liberals usually lack common sense (surprisingly is not so common now) and if they get into public office, love to spend other people’s money and can never find enough liberal ideas to burden us with stupid laws, give away programs, aiding our enemies, additional taxes, and don’t abide by the Constitution (just as some establishment Republicans don’t).
      Army Bob and Ranger Rick, keep up the good fight and keep all liberals on the defensive, as they sure are riled up by your comments!! Hoo Rah!

    • Mr. Tarrow,
      Sir, thank you kindly for making my point. Pleased to see you are so open minded “your biases and prejudices will motivate you to respond in less than a gracious manner”.
      Thank you for your service, have a great day.

  • “Free Market Man,” why are you complementing “Ranger Rick”? You’re clearly the same person. Dunning-Kruger in full effect.

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