I was asked to write a light-hearted op-ed for the Washington Post, which appeared this past weekend, in advance of Obama’s inauguration. The piece was a humorous take on the plight of the young conservative as he or she prepares for the big party to which he or she was not really invited. Yes, conservatives are moving on, hopeful about the future, and proud of this historic moment, but we are also a little skeptical, a little overwhelmed by Obama-mania, and a little hung-over.
Though the piece was hardly derogatory, it elicited scores of angry emails from enraged and annoyed Obama supporters. The letters range from appalling to hilarious, and offer a fascinating glimpse into the fragile psyche of a self-satisfied Obama fan. Our new president is revered the world over for his promise to usher in a new era of bipartisanship, a new rhetoric of togetherness and tolerance, and an end to embittered bickering. And a silver lining for conservatives was the hope that Obama will mean that liberals are generally happier, more patriotic, and more open-minded during this administration. Perhaps, when he gets a minute, President Obama can go over what he meant by hope and change…because I don’t think this is it:
Is Obama a Cult? Because, This Sounds Like a Cult…
“I don’t think I’ll read your book too soon, but I wonder if you bothered reading Obama’s books.” Leonard Hoffman
“I myself have been studying how Obama responds to situations and how he communicates with others and have found it immensely helpful as I have only recently become engaged politically on a local level, and am dealing with those who have a more ‘old-school’ strident partisan liberal tone that I find unhelpful.” Leslie McColgin
“You don’t get the overwhelming intelligence of Mr. Obama and how outclassed in everyway McCain and the Alaska Governor were.” Stuart Sovatsky, Ph.D.
“Please be silent and do your pennance without the public sob stories. You and your movement that still passes itself off as conservative should be in the wilderness for many decades for your transgressions against the country and the world.” David W. Walters, Ph.D.
“I am writing to suggest that perhaps you and other conservatives would do well to consider, however briefly, these words of Marcus Aurelius, often translated as follows: ‘The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.'” Paul Cerra
“On Tuesday I will be watching and hoping that the first man I actually believe has the smarts and skills to lead America since Eisenhower will be able to fix the mess that W and the neo-cons left us. I pray he has the political skill to build bi-partisan solutions; the diplomatic skill to develop a foreign policy that starts people working together and the courage to go on Fox News and challenge the flawed ideas of the conservative ideologues who are hosting their shows.” Tom Buzi
And You Say I Need to Move On?
“I come from a tradition that values learning. Apologizing for a nonreading, incurious, rigid, dry drunk for the past 8 years could not have been an enobling experience.” Steven Grenell
“You young republicans with your patronage jobs supported an unelected rich kid who ducked serving in Viet Nam, then lied us into an illegal war.” Robert LaPointe
“After living for many years under conservative rule, I can only hope that my twin granddaughters will have seen the last of conservatives ruining our great county, will live in a safe country & world, & will have air & water that have not been outsourced to Halliburton.” Rick Penn
“After eight years of supporting the worst president in our nation’s history, which forgive me if I assume you did support him, how about doing something constructive? Really.” David Heil
I Would Argue Your Point, But I Don’t Understand It
“An child of an African man and a Caucasian woman is neither, to use the, inept language we have developed, black nor white, but bi-racial. This idea that the child of such a union is ‘black’ comes from the old racist code that anyone who has ‘one drop of black blood’ is black. Well, blood is neither black nor white; it’s red. Now that you know you are a racist will you try to do something about it.” David Vallaire
“He did not care for all the Blacks in New Orleans during the Catrina, but now it’s an irony that a Black man is kicking him out of the White House. What can I say about you conservatives, just go away and get your solace in Fox News Building and EIV network.” Subhash Sen
Ah, The Highroad
“I hope you enjoy that bathtub of warm spit over at Fox.” John Cassell
“Did you get this position because you were a gimmick? Young? Your parents knew someone? You slept with an editor?” Matthew Duffy
“My, what an effete little self-absorbed whiner you are. Wah wah wah.” Stuart Carrier
“I just read, with TOTAL DISGUST, your pathetic article about Obama’s inauguration. Obama will bring RESPECT and PEACE (something you ‘Pube hairs have not a CLUE about) back to the US and our FORMER allies around the world will be allies once again.” Elwyn Henderson
“You, your ideology, and your writing, quite frankly, are a joke.” Kelee Robinson
“Alas what can i say other than you are a well programmed robot spouting the inanities of the modern ‘conservative’ which is now sprouting donkey ears as we speak!” Ed Tuttle
“Though not as bad (or as disgusting as other ‘conservatives’) you are well on your way to becoming good company with Anne Coulter, Bill Kristol, Rush Limbaugh and G. Gordon Liddy just to name a few very narrow minded and bigoted people.” JSG
Now That REALLY Hurts
“By the way, is S.E. your real name, or is it some wax-paper-thin wink to being an S.E. Hinton-esque outsider? If so, lose the schtick. We’ve tolerated enough hucksters over the last eight years.” Jeremy Kehoe
“One must assume that the ‘S’ must stand for something really awful if you only use ‘SE,’ but I am too polite to ask what it is.” Michael Colligan
And When All Else Fails, Condescend
“I just read your column about the inauguration. I realize you are young, but you come across as remarkably immature.” Leslie McColgin
“Wow, you are young, not just in years but in outlook. I’ve been a conservative almost 3 times as long as you’ve been alive, and have voted for more conservative candidates than you probbly know the name of.” R.Murray
“Young Fool – you are a true anachronism: a 20-something dinosaur living in a 21st century New York!” Robert Ogletree
“As long as you are being paid for writing down your opinion for the rest of us, why not stand up like an adult and forge one, instead of jumping so eagerly into the role of party lapdog.” Greg Tucker-Kellogg
“You sound like a well-spoken asshole but you’ll grow out of it.” Peter Melocco
“Take a deep breath and relax, you’re still very young. 30 years from now, maybe you’ll have learned a thing or two about what’s really important. And if you haven’t, then you weren’t paying attention.” John Ficor
“Sorry but I only read half of your totally self indulgent piece.” JSG
“Go there. To the wilderness. For forty years. Examine the rapacity and paucity of your conservative accomplishments, ask G-d’s forgiveness…then maybe I’ll be interested in what you have to say. …….. On second thought, don’t bother…I won’t be reading your fantasies then either. Buh bye.” Susan Goldstein
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