Saturday, October 14, 2006

An Open Letter

I heard a disturbing story recently. It's hearsay, but I'm perfectly happy to give the subject a forum to respond and give their version of events, should they wish.

I've never met you, but apparently you have personal connection to Senator Goodman, and should recognize yourself.

The story that I heard about you went like this:

The Kreider campaign had folks doing a literature drop in your neighborhood. The campaign had not been to your house, so you had not seen the literature that they were distributing. In fact, you did not even know what campaign was in your neighborhood that day.

So when you were pulling out of your driveway, and you saw a volunteer, you rolled down your window, and asked him what campaign he was with. When he informed you that he was with the Kreider campaign, your demeanor changed. You demanded to know why he was there. Because this was part of their district, was his reply.

"Get out of our district!!" was apparently the response you gave to that.


My unease with that vignette, assuming it's fairly close to the way things actually happened, arises from a number of things. The first one is the immediate sense of arrogance and entitlement that your response implies. It was not "get off of my street" or "get out of my neighborhood," it was not even "get out of the district," it was "get out of our district."

The second thing is the apparent anger at the Kreider volunteer. Exactly what were you angry about? Were you really angry at him for doing volunteer work for a candidate? For supporting a candidate who wanted Mr. Goodman's job? Just for being one of "them" in an us-and-them world?

I've watched the Kreider campaign. They've knocked on doors and walked through neighborhoods. Lots of them. Maybe not the 50,000 doors Mr. Goodman claims to have knocked on when he first ran for this seat, but I wouldn't be surprised. They are trying to get to as many people in the district as possible to let them know about Emily Kreider, and your family resides in the district. Senator Goodman once said that knocking on those doors didn't make a bit of difference, that TV ads were the only way to communicate with voters. Maybe that's why you had a hard time understanding why any candidate still runs a campaign this way.

I've watched the Kreider campaign. They haven't put up negative television ads or questioned Mr. Goodman's character. I, on the other hand, have made negative amateur web-ads featuring the Senator. I would expect and deserve legitimate anger if I had questioned whether Mr. Goodman was a good husband or a good father. You know him better than I do, and I'd certainly have to defer to your judgment in those domains. What I have questioned are his judgment as a legislator and his forthrightness as a candidate, things that affect me as a constituent. Legitimate issues, in my opinion, and fairly standard stuff of politics.

But let me re-iterate: As far as I've seen, if attacks on Mr. Goodman have made you angry, I'm the only person in this campaign that you even have a smidgen of a reason to be angry at. Taking out your anger and frustration on a young man engaged in the democratic process is pathetic and wrong. I don't know whether you are misguided, arrogant, simply temperamental, or had a bad moment that you now regret, but I think that if your words are even close to the ones recounted to me, you should apologize.

And if you want to pick a fight, pick it with me.


Anonymous said...

Apologize? You are kidding right?

an impartial observer said...

I appreciate your relating this incident. My husband and I were at the debate at Otterbein and i was amazed at Mr. Goodman's condescension toward Ms. Kreider in his response to the very first question. His attitude throughout the debate was arrogant and sometimes, cocky. His facial expression was even described in a local accounting as a "smirk." What angers me is the deceitfulness of his campaign ads, portraying himself as the challenger. I never knew anything about him before, had not heard of him or from him, but I surely hope voters will see through his disgusting tactics and remove him, and others who portray themselves asbetter than the rest of us.