Sunday, August 28, 2005

The other day, I was sitting in my car listening to "Big Ed Schultz" (who has an ego the size of the great outdoors), when he did an interview with Cindy Sheehan. If you haven't heard, Cindy is the mother of Casey Sheehan who was killed in Iraq, and who has been waiting outside the Bush compound in Crawford Tx. to ask President Bush a question.

Anyway, Ed continually tried to bait her into making inflammatory statements, particularly about the counter protestors that were coming to Crawford.

Cindy refused.

Cindy, with great eloquence, diverted the focus of the interview to compassion and understanding for everyone affected by the war no matter how much Ed tried to get some red meat for his broadcast. Jim Qualls lost a son in Iraq too, and he disagrees with Cindy Sheehan's questioning of the war. In fact, he took out a TV ad (probably with some help from some swift boat types) challenging Cindy to a debate.

Cindy refused.

She calmly explained that she understands Qualls pain and respects his right to disagree. With a voice that is gentle and calming, she explained to Ed that she still doesn't know the noble cause for which her son died, and desperately wants to know. While maintaining her beliefs, she described Qualls as "that poor man" giving you the you KNOW, that she knows exactly how Qualls feels. And she respects that.

Cindy Sheehan is no Ghandi. But that's exactly who came to mind as I listened to her talk. Her use of a soft, caring message to confront even her most venemous detractors is gold, and certainly a contrast to most political discourse these days. It struck me then that this is precisely why Cindy Sheehan may have struck a cord in the American public, why when she hits us all with the pillow of her beliefs, we can hear it.


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