I have much more sober and significant matters to be concerned about with this blog, than engaging in tawdry wars of disparagement. I am compelled to engage and contest what I sincerely believe are relatively common but very socially pernicious modes of thought and behavior in
However, one pursues what one deems important for the day while still pausing to dispose of the waste material of life. Frankly, I hardly merit the trouble, as I have no credential, achievement, or platform to command any attention other than years of screaming from my little gopher-hole on the Internet, recently elevated to the imminently modest status of one of tens of millions of yowling bloggers. Even among Huckabee bloggers I am not a particularly innovative or assertive source of information, with few tricks up my sleeve other than to ponder and opine. Some years ago, I broadcast emails with a sig: “The Voice of One Crying on the Internet.” But, though I tarried long with the increasingly hostile and shrill rhetorical reflexes of Stephen Maloney, he ultimately saw fit to post screeds of disdain and denunciation on Thursday and Friday, labeling not just my acquaintance (not his), Dr. Lawrence White, but rolling in me along with him as self-serving, America-hating “pro-life phonies.” While I don’t, with his work as one of America’s foremost and ablest pro-life speakers, Dr. White certainly does merit attention from such foolish attackers: MIKE HUCKABEE: DECISON TIME ON AMERICA-HATING SUPPORTERS, Pro-Life Phonies: Larry Perrault and Laurence White
In traditional media, they used to say that bad news is better than no news. Perhaps I should be grateful for being mistaken as a worthy target. Mike Huckabee has felt privileged to be a prized target of some political headhunters. Sort of like me when I was 14, Stephen Maloney has discharged his BB-gun at a backyard blackbird. So, if he sees fit to broadcast my name as a subject of ridicule, maybe I ought to be grateful for any reader who sees fit to investigate my site. In fact, I might wish that he were a more able and provocative rhetorician.
Mr. Maloney first contacted me as a Huckabee blogger to call my attention to
I do disagree radically with what I’m sure he honestly believes to be a pragmatic pursuit of relatively conservative ends. He believes we MUST support Rudy Giuliani as the most likely “winner.” I do not and will not, but that’s another matter. My disagreement on a productive approach to social problems would hardly be unique to my disagreement with Stephen Maloney. Disagreement, I’m familiar with. But, I conduct civil exchange with people that I disagree with to a far greater extent than Stephen Maloney. But, this is a pattern that I have observed in his contact with other people: first somewhat agreeable, then points of disagreement, followed by Maloney’s pathological impulse to read evil motivations into the dissenter that he has already established a measure of cooperation with. This extends not merely to distorted perceptions, but to speculations about people’s failures and derelictions, even in their personal lives, which he knows nothing about!
And, of course, Maloney did the same thing regarding Dr. Laurence White, even after no personal contact at all, but just reading a few of White’s writings. So, it actually comes as hardly any surprise that, after I stood by my convictions about what I believe to be a productive course in Republican politics, and then rose to the defense of Laurence White after Stephen’s reckless attack, that I should ultimately find the crosshairs of his moral derision trained on me. And, this even after I had watched him behave irresponsibly toward other people and warned him about his malignant impulses while continuing to be personally solicitous and engaging in weeks of discussion on our mutual blogs:
So, I’m not angry with Stephen Maloney. I think he is in dead earnest. He just inhabits a world of blinkered and jaundiced delusion that naturally provokes a reactive and destructive disparaging response. It brought to mind a couple of movies: In The Truman Show, Jim Carrey’s character, Truman, thought that the elaborate reality fabricated by a TV producer to make a program of Truman’s entire life, was the real world. Maloney’s perceptual framework is not so idyllic: he actually thinks the monsters of his wild perceptions are real. Again, I know Laurence White from pro-life and Republican co-travelings. I have spoken with him and heard him speak many times, including at meetings in his own church. My online acquaintance with these other bloggers was more passing. I might be disposed slightly differently on some matters (I usually am), but there clearly were not the deep flaws of personal character that were invented in Stephen’s nightmares.
At least in The Truman Show movie (good movie – I heard one lecture liken Truman’s reality to the ubiquitous delusion that we typically perceive through popular media: big issue with me), Truman eventually ventured to the outside reality, which he doubtless found more daunting though less controlled. Stephen Maloney is older than I am: at this point, such life-changing awakenings are less common, though still possible. Stephen is a Christian: we should pray that he could express a measure of the grace that he has been afforded. As things are, the other movie I thought of was from back in VHS days when my children were small. In Toy Story, Buzz Lightyear once simply responds to Woody: “You’re a sad, strange little man.”