Background and Context:
The Subject of the email I sent was, "A strong statement on this voting day."
I'd just seen Keith Olbermann's Special Comment last Monday night, and felt it worth sharing with some friends, two of whom are Vietnam-era Special Forces vets and one of my college roommates who'd sent me politically oriented emails in the past.
Please take moment and view last night's Special Comment from Keith Olbermann. http://www.crooksandliars.com/Media/Download/23154/1/Countdown-SC-Torture.wmv
Remember that this is OUR country, though great efforts have been made to wrest its control from us. Military men and women have fought, died, and lived their lifetimes with their war disabilities for us. We should not let them down when it comes to holding our representatives and leaders accountable for their decisions and actions.- Advertisement -
Please vote, encourage others to vote, and drive someone to the polls.
My college roommate's response really stunned me.
I totally disagree with everything he said. It was upsetting to hear such brazen slander. But you probably knew that didn't you. So here's my request. It's probably a good idea that friends as old as we are stop all future discussions of religion and politics ( no, I'm not kidding. Life's too short. We'll just agree to disagree, ok?) There so much more interesting things to talk about anyway. Have a great day!
In an effort to better understand my long-time friend's perspective, I thought I'd make sure I understood with WHAT he disagreed. I went over Keith's Special Comment video, compiling a bulleted list of Keith's points.
(following the "You disagree that" bulleted list)
That's a pretty scary list of which you disagree. Before I stop discussing politics (and religion) completely, let me ask you why it was ok to send me the political emails you've sent me (or forwarded from [your retired Navy pilot brother-in-law]), but it isn't ok for me to do the same? I've known that you and I probably vote differently for some time, but that doesn't mean I want to stop the discussion of potentially important ideas. I thought we could discuss most any topic and still be friends because we love and respect one another. I'll saddened at the prospect. :-(
Rather than opening a long overdue dialog, I received this you-don't-respect-me response:
I apologize for sending you politically charged emails in the past. I won't any longer; I didn't realize we were such polar opposites. However, since I ask you not to continue discussing these inflammatory issues, and you chose to do so anyway, I have to assume that my wishes and my feelings regarding this are somehow unimportant to you. I pretty much knew your feelings on these issues or you wouldn't have sent the video it in the first place.
I doubt that you are anymore saddened by the prospect than I was to receive it to begin with, and your response, after I asked as politely as I could muster, that I no longer wished to discuss these types of things fell on deaf ears. Your friendship is too valuable to chance loosing over politics or religious differences. However, our friendship is not invulnerable nor impervious to destruction if either of our wishes are wantonly ignored. I'll get over my sadness, and I'll always call you friend...now if my thoughts and beliefs can just keep from being such a complete and total disappointment to you, I might get the courage to email you again sometime. We do love one another, but I have serious doubts about the issue of respect.