The Courtesy Of A Straight Answer

by Neil Rowland, September 25, 2008

I've noticed a pattern in the past year among Democrat politicians and political activists. They speak a great deal about politeness, scolding their critics for being impolite, while being colossally discourteous themselves. Let me give you two examples.

The first is Carol Shea-Porter. At what was billed as a constituent event in Epping this Spring, Carol spent upwards of twenty minutes giving what amounted to campaign speeches before anyone was allowed to ask her any questions. Those who sucked up to her were allowed to drone needlessly while those who either questioned her or asked her for help were given short shrift.

The irony is that one of her talking points was how impolite people were in Congress, except in the committees, which are dominated by her own party.

But that's not the most impolite thing she did. The most impolite thing she did was she gave no straight answers to serious questions. She dodged, she equivocated, she blame shifted. But she did NOT give straight answers except to the most trivial queries.

Carol is not averse to rude people so long as they are on HER side. A pair of AFL-CIO bigwigs shoved a citizen reporter's camera on the way in to her campaign office. On the way out they told him to "drop dead" and suggested he ought to be thrown in the river. She has also accepted help from Jack Murtha, who has slandered our troops. Carol has no problem with such associates. But she won't brook any questioning from us uppity voters.

The second example is a fellow named Andrew Sylvia who is running for state Representative in Merrimack. On a recently shut down online discussion group Andrew was repeatedly asked whether he would support a broad based income tax. At first the queries were civil but as he steadfastly refused to give a straight answer the tone became more hostile. This is what precipitated the shutdown of the board. All along Andrew blamed the incivility on those who insisted on a straight answer. And all along he refused to give a straight answer. He did however say some very impolite things about the opposing party.

He has since continued this pattern on nhinsider.com, even deleting the posts of those who question him.

I suppose I should also mention Barack Obama's assertion that those who don't support him must be racist.

The American people desperately need straight answers from our politicians. But when we ask for them they chide us for being impolite. I say it is THEY who are discourteous. Which is worse, to have bad manners or to withhold the truth we all hunger and thirst for?

I think we can all do with a little less politeness and a lot more candor. Let's extend each other the courtesy of a straight answer. And when that courtesy is not reciprocated let's refuse to submit to a double standard of so-called politeness. The creators of our great nation thought nothing of tarring and feathering the arrogant before riding them out of town on a rail. I'm not saying we ought to go quite that far but there's precedent for anything up to that.

Let us demand truth of power. Demand it loudly and insistently. If they don't comply then let's politely show them the door on election day.

BIO: Neil Rowland is a Web developer and independent political activist, supporting the people's liberties, accountability in government and fiscal responsibility. He resides in Fremont, New Hampshire.