Friday, June 13, 2008

Of arrogance and transcendence, a post in two parts (part 1)

Of arrogance

Yesterday a reader wrote to me directly, unsure of whether her words were appropriate for a comment. I agreed they were not. I thought they belonged in a post. So, I use this reader's words to begin a consideration of arrogance.
I am writing you because I am "samsgrandma" and I didn't know if I should just post this in your comments or not. This is a conversation I had this morning with someone on Betty McCullum's staff. I am still [angry] about it. What I would like is to have a million people call Betty McCullum's office in Washington and tell them there just who is misinformed. Can you help?

I am so upset.
I just got off the phone with an aide to Betty McCullum Representative from MN. I have sent email after email to her, sometimes 2 or 3 a day and I never ever do I get even a robotic acknowledgment of them.

The aide said he was sorry and he would take my comment now and be sure Betty got it. So I asked him why Betty McCullum stayed silent over the sexist treatment Hillary received from the DNC and the media? Why she was silent over the travesty of May 31 when the R&B committee destroyed our party?

I told him my main comment is: I want Betty to switch from supporting Obama and support Hillary.

He told me the nomination was over and Obama won. I said the nomination was not over. He said “yes it is.”

I said the nomination is not over until the Denver convention.

He said again, it’s over, Obama won and is the nominee. How do you figure that, I asked, since the Super delegates can’t cast their votes until the convention in Denver? He said “its over, because Obama won and has already started GE campaign “.

Finally I said - young man, either you are telling me that to pat me on the head and make me go away or you are grossly misinformed.

His reply was “We are not grossly misinformed in Washington” - his tone of voice was so smug and left unsaid was how stupid I am.

Now that I write this all out I guess he was actually admitting he was lying to me to make me go away.

In February, I called her office to let her know how I felt about her endorsing Obama. The aide who answered then got flustered and told me “this was supposed to be over by now, it wasn’t supposed to go on this long”

That was when I knew the “fix was in”

And am I really the only person in MN who is writing to SDs?

"Samsgrandma" heard the arrogance in the aide's voice. That, more than anything invoked her ire.

One dictionary defines arrogance this way:

Main Entry:
ar·ro·gance Listen to the pronunciation of arrogance
Pronunciation:
\ˈer-ə-gən(t)s, ˈa-rə-\
Function:
noun
Date:
14th century
: an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions

Note that arrogance is a very old word in the English language, as are so many words that name the vices and virtues related to personal interaction. Note too the inherently inegalitarian nature of arrogance. The arrogant assign themselves superiority; they aggressively display contempt for others; they presume.

In a democracy, people despise arrogance. Politicians - and their aides - who ignore this, do so at their peril. (For those who care to discuss this, or any other matter with Congresswoman McCollum, here is her contact information. Her website recommends contacting her by phone, email or fax rather than snail mail.)

6 Comments:

Blogger samsgrandma said...

I guess yesterdays phone conversation held the same kind of tipoff I got in Feb.

Since I have now learned that Obama moved the Democratic Party HQ to Chicago and plans to cancel the convention. No Denver = no risk. In Chicago he and Dean plan to hold a nominee appointment by self acclimation.

June 13, 2008 at 8:34 AM  
Anonymous adamonis said...

What has happened to civility and grace?

June 13, 2008 at 8:48 AM  
Anonymous hill4pres said...

I will give you something that struck me a "it's fixed".....

The day Hillary suspended her campaign, I heard several media people state that the Convention/nomination takes place on the anniversary of MLK's I have a Dream speech.

as if

they knew he would "win" so he could give his own speech to accept the nomination on the same day....

June 13, 2008 at 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the OED:

"1303 R. BRUNNE Handl. Synne 3120 ys ys pryde and arrogaunce Vnwryly e to auaunce."

Human nature hasn't changed much in 700 years.

June 13, 2008 at 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Thank you for posting this letter HLF. I’m at a loss for words but feel the anger bubbling up. I’m becoming more and more convinced a vote for BO will translate into another footprint grounded into Hillary and our democracy. Thomas Jefferson said, “The price of democracy is external vigilance.” Many will remember in November.

June 13, 2008 at 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The hubris demonstrated by DNC et al has truly awakened a dragon. I shall never forget what they are trying to do - nor shall I give up on stopping them.

It has been done in such an amateurish way with arrogance that begs to be prosecuted. They have been so ham-fisted - so stingy and meager to our best and brightest.

For the life of me I can not figure out how in He!! his supporters call themselves or others call them elitist. The word elite has always brought to mind the very best, as in Milliary Elitr Sharp Shooters.

Well, I just checked my American Heritage dictionary for Elite, they quote such as "Poets may easily conceive of themselves as an elite .....entitled to spurn the masses". Ah, there you go - I should have looked it up sooner. Fits.

Samsgrandma is sharp as a tack and I commend her efforts.

June 13, 2008 at 11:12 PM  

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