Am I One Cup of Tea Away from Voting for Sarah Palin?

When I met Sarah Palin in March of last year, I wrote about it, and was immediately admired by some, and shunned by others.  Members of the Republican Party praised me for being kind, and some of my liberal friends told me I was talking to the devil and needed to never speak of her again.

There was not of lot of middle ground in my circle of friends, which I continue to find so interesting.  Can people who have different political affiliations not be friends?  As a liberal minded person, must I hate those who are conservative? Can there ever be harmony in politics?

I have some friends that I simply do not talk politics with, and it’s too bad because I like talking about government. I have a dear friend who refers to my encounter with Palin as a “lapse of judgment”, and “forgives” me for talking to her, but I am never allowed to speak of it with her again.

I find it a little sad, but mostly hilarious.  At the end of the day, I love this country, and want a bright future for my child, so my political leaning is toward who is going to provide the most opportunities for my son as he becomes a man, and heads out into the world to find his way.

Rachelle Frieberg is a woman who contacted me after I wrote about Palin. She is an interesting young woman, and the most politically aware person I have ever spoken politics with.  When she contacted me about my meeting Palin I though she was Jewish, but it turns out she is a Born Again Christian.  I went to school with an African American man named David Levy so shame on me for assuming.  Rachelle knows a lot about politics, and while she is a fiscal conservative, she is knowledgeable about both sides.  I was a guest on her radio show last year and we have becomes friends since then.

She reads my blogs about Palin, which started off quite flattering, and of late have been full of quite harsh criticism.  I know she must think I’m unkind when I write such things, but she never says anything.  She congratulates me on articles she likes, and stays away from the Palin ones.  I thought I was a pop culture expert, but Rachelle has me beat.  She knows her stuff, and curiously was never a political person.  Her first election was in the year of the hanging chad, and she voted for the idiot.  ( Love ya Rachelle!)  She admits her early political leanings came from her parents.

I love her honesty about how she became political.  So many people say they decided on their own, but I think we are what parents tell us, until we are old enough to choose on our own.  Some people stay with what they know, and some educate themselves before solidly picking a side.  Rachelle is a fiscal conservative.  She is pro life, but understands there are times when abortion is the only option.  She believes in the 2nd Amendment.  She would not go to a gay wedding, but would send a gift and celebrate their happiness.  She follows her beliefs, without hate.

When the tragedy of 9/11 happened, she decided she wanted to understand government and educate herself.  She found that she was Republican for real, not because she was born into it.  As her opinions strengthened and she learned more, she landed in the camp of Sarah Palin.  Rachelle is not a dumb girl.  She is a teacher, and has a Masters Degree. This is a woman who has selected her political party based on politics, not religion, and she is the first supporter of Palin that I have met who has done that.  She believes in God, and knows God has nothing to do with Palin.

She thinks it’s unfortunate when people think of Sarah as uneducated and not ready to be President.  When I write about Sarah not having a shot in hell, she still reaches out to see how I am, and supports me through the vicious attacks I get from some of Palin’s supporters.  Rachelle is my friend, and I admire her convictions, both religiously and politically. In fact, we spent an hour on the phone the other day and at one point I almost suggested we go to a tea party event and that I thought Sarah had possibilities, and there was no Kool-aid being served.

Rachelle is able to discuss politics without judgment, and so it is a pleasure. I learn, understand more, and can appreciate that not everything is set in stone. I want a great future for my son, and the only thing I know for sure, is if Michele Bachmann is elected, we’re going to Canada.  There will be a lot of political tension over the next 14 months.  Some people will love what I say, and others will hate.  It will be entertaining to be sure, and in the end, Rachelle and I may never agree on politics, but we will be friends, even through a presidential election.

Political views are not something worth ending a friendship over, and it’s a shame that I did.  The next year will be more interesting because of Rachelle. I used to rely on Tim Russert to explain things to me, not I’ve got Rachelle. I’m a little nervous that I drink so much tea everyday, but all will be fine if I educate myself, and keep the faith.