I like Chris Christie in large part because he is a happy warrior. He engages in political fights with intelligence, vigor, and a singular lack of animus. He wades in joyously, and emerges refreshed and happy. He wants to win, but he takes no joy in his opponent’s destruction, nor does he thrive on humiliating or brutalizing people. Reagan was like that. Palin is like that too.
I am not a happy warrior. Part of why I’m a sniper (i.e., an anonymous blogger) is that I find direct confrontations incredibly upsetting. This is true even when the direct confrontations are over the internet. A case in point is a facebook exchange I had today. A liberal friend rejoiced over what he perceived as O’Donnell’s incredible constitutional ignorance, rushing to Coons’ defense by repeating over and over that “separation of church and state” is in the constitution. I very politely explained — with facts – that, historically and constitutionally, O’Donnell is in fact correct in her interpretation. The friend didn’t reply, but one of his other friends waded in on his behalf, with one of the rudest, most ill-informed screeds I’ve seen in a long time.
I’ve never met this woman. I will never meet this woman. She is an ignoramus, and she’s a bully. You’d think, therefore, that what she said wouldn’t affect me. But me, being me, I went into total fight or flight mode. Had I been in the room with her, I honestly don’t know if I would have hit or her run away! As it is, I wrote and deleted three incredibly insulting, denigrating replies, before settling on a slightly snide and condescending response that wouldn’t insult the liberal who started the whole discussion (after all, he wasn’t rude to me). I’m still a little shaken, though. And that’s why I’m not a happy warrior.
Obama, incidentally, isn’t a happy warrior either. He’s a bully. He enjoys a fight, not for the joy of battle, but because he wants to destroy his opponent.
UPDATE: A new blog on the block linked to this post, making a good point, namely that discourse with liberals is emotionally fraught because, not only do they not espouse the same means as conservatives, they no longer espouse even the same ends. A good debate can be had about different means to the same ends. It’s almost impossible, though, to debate with someone who sees the ends you espouse as inherently, and irremediably, evil.
By the way, I did end up coming to verbal blows with the rude person at that facebook site. I spelled out, chapter and verse, the person’s inane and insane historic inaccuracies. By the time I was done, my hands were shaking on the keyboard. The person fired back with another assault, which I didn’t bother to read. It is impossible to engage in any sort of forward-moving debate with someone who lives in an alternate factual universe, one that is utterly unsupported by the historic record. I can only hope that what I wrote has an impact on others who read that facebook thread, and who are not so ideologically blinkered.
UPDATE II: The coda to all this is that I got a very nice email from a lurker to that facebook thread, thanking me for stating clearly and correctly the Constitutional standards. I didn’t change any minds, but I made one person happy!