Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Monday, August 22, 2005 3:16 pm

How should we feel about Cindy Sheehan?

Filed under: There but for the grace of God ... — Lex @ 3:16 pm

Jesse Kornbluth at Belief.net, who has spent a great deal of time with parents who have lost children, has an opinion (scroll down to “On Losing a Child: How Should We Feel About Cindy Sheehan?”):

If you have a shred of imagination and compassion, you realize that Mrs. Sheehan is in the middle of a trauma that will last all the days of her life, and you will be glad that you are going to sleep in the comfort of your own bed tonight instead of a motel room in Texas. Which is to say: You will cut her some slack. How much? All you have to give. Because she’s in the grip of emotions that are off the charts. She hurts more than — please God — you will ever know.Cindy Sheehan is a Compassion Test. Your willingness to support her in her grief — whatever your opinion of her politics — says volumes about your tolerance for people in pain who don’t remind you of yourself. Me, I think she can be strident. And, sometimes, wrong.

But, dammit, I admire her guts. …

When Jesus was crucified, Mary had a unique reason to grieve. So does Cindy Sheehan. So do all the mothers — on every side — who have lost children in this war. Give them respect. Stand aside. Lower your eyes. And if you have a tear left, for God’s sake and yours, shed it for these poor people who gave all and will get nothing back.

For better or worse, I see Cindy Sheehan as one citizen trying to ask the guy who ostensibly works for her the most important question anyone in America can ask anyone who works in government these days. It’s not only constitutional and legal, it is, in form at least, admirable. You don’t have to like her politics. (If you don’t, simply recall that Paula Jones took on Bill Clinton in much the same way.) Anything else that happens — the media feeding frenzy, the involvement of Michael Moore/MoveOn.org/invaders from Mars — is irrelevant to the merits of what she is trying to do.

And remember this: Even in a slow-news August, if anyone had had a good answer to her question, this story would have gone away quietly a long time ago.

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