Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I Want to Talk About Sarah..

Some love her, some don't, but every Alaskan will show signs of hypoxia when her name is brought up - light-headedness, fatigue, nausea, severe headaches - if only because it's exhausting to talk about her given the myriad contexts through which people get their exposure.

When I heard a soundbite from her NRAAM speech saying that, "Water-boarding is how we baptize terrorists", I too was overcome with a piercing migraine.

Even though I reject her delight in water-boarding and personally find her use of the term "baptize" in this context to be abhorrent, I also happily defend her right to offend. My first reaction was simply to think that she's starting to believe her own myth a little too much. Like a top-tier chef once said of Gordon Ramsey, she's in danger of her personality taking away from her real talents. It's a shit politician that rallies the worst in us rather than challenging us to be better people.

No, my real gripe is that my organization, the NRA, put her up on that podium and rather than rally a crowd about 2A issues, she rallied a slice of members on unrelated - and controversial - issues, and in so doing, tied those issues to the RKBA movement, alienating both another slice of the membership and potential future members. I'm not sure if there's a better metric by which to judge the effectiveness of speakers at an NRA meeting, but staying on point and growing the tent on the issues we care about seems to be pretty good. When one gets in the way of that, they start to look more like the enemy.

The last couple weeks, we've talked about how the NRA needs to focus on its single issue, not yoke itself to other causes. It needs to bring more people into the tent. Sarah's comments fail in this regard and do nothing to help the brand of the organization or the effectiveness of our political outreach.

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