21 November 2008
Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer
I mentioned wanting to read Mike Huckabee's new book to someone the other day, after hearing an interview with the former Arkansas governor.
No one who has met me in person has any doubts a'tall about my political leanings. So this person did a double take, and immediately asked "Why would you want to do that?"
Disagreeing with a political movement or a particular point of view does not mean that the other side is dumb. What is stupid is shouting at one another, not having a rational dialog. How can you defend your point of view when you don't know why your opposition feels the way that they do?
Over the summer, I had a plethora of books checked out from the library, a lot of non-fiction from biographies to political dissertations and everything in between. I never finished any of them, *AND* I incurred massive library fines from having the books in the back seat of the car for a few months.
Two of the biographies got raised eyebrows at the pool; one by Benazir Bhutto, and another by Vicente Fox. Bhutto's, obviously, got raised eyebrows because the cover had her pictured wearing a veil. Not a full hijab, but a scarf covering her hair. I get very offended when people make remarks about all muslims being terrorists. Islam is a profoundly peaceful religion, and if we don't try to understand why an extremist faction is intent on raining destruction down on the western world, we're never going to get anywhere. As I said, I didn't finish the book, but it was a fascinating read.
Fox was more conservative than I had previously realized, and someone did stop by my poolside chair and ask why I had chosen to check that book out of the library.
For the same reason that I want to read Huckabee's book: to understand.