Last Thursday, I published a letter from a man who complained about the violation of “safe zones” — zones that ought to be free of partisan politics. (For that post, go here.) For him, these violations occur mainly at his synagogue and at the folk-music venues that he and his wife like to haunt. But our guy does more than complain — oh, yes. In fact, he doesn’t complain at all, really. He carries out a remarkable idea.
When a “safe-zone violation” occurs, he goes home and — right away — writes a check to some conservative organization. (The violations are always from the left, it can perhaps go without saying.) And he tries to tailor his check to the particular violation. What that means is: If a rabbi or singer plumps for gun control, he, our reader, writes a check to the NRA. If the violation has to do with immigration — how America hates brown-skinned people or whatever — he writes his check to the Center for Immigration Studies. If the violation is a general leftist rant, rather than something specific — the check goes to the Heritage Foundation. (I said, naturally, “Don’t forget a certain blue-bordered magazine!”)
Well, many readers have written in about this man and his practice — and many are saying the following: “A brilliant idea. And the contribution should be made in the name of the person who has committed the violation. To put icing on the cake, have the organization send a letter to the violator telling him about the contribution. ‘Thank you so much. So-and-so has sent a check for $50 in your name. We promise to put it to good and energetic use.’”
One reader had an objection to the letter-writer — the original letter-writer. I’ll put it in my own words (if that’s all right): “That man and his wife can’t expect to go to folk concerts and not hear leftist politics from the stage! Come on! That’s like going to a Chinese restaurant and objecting to the sight of rice.” Well, maybe: I don’t know. Are there right-leaning folkies? Performers, I mean? I bet there are. And I bet many are closeted (as right-leaners are in the classical-music world).
One reader wrote,
Three cheers to your e-mailer. I was a very prolific jazz reviewer for years — live performances and recordings — but totally quit when Obama got elected. The constant e-mails, liner notes, and remarks at gigs that trashed Bush and the Right, while extolling the coming of The One, enraged me, and I just couldn’t take it anymore. Why should I spend one minute of my (volunteered) time helping jazzers when they obviously despise what I stand for?
I had to e-mail all sorts of people, asking them to stop sending me CDs. The responses I got were both shocking and disheartening.
Readers may remember that I started this whole “safe zone” business — I mean, commentary on it — after Obama was elected, when musicians kept commenting on the glory of it all. And they weren’t content to be pro-Obama — that would have been all right, or at least better. They had to say the snidest, falsest, and worst things about Bush.
One more letter from a reader:
I am reminded of an experience of my own. Planned Parenthood sent me two things in the mail: a postage stamp and a refrigerator magnet. The stamp was to help me send in my absentee ballot for their preferred candidate. The magnet was to remind me of Election Day. Well, I used the stamp to send in a donation to Catholic Answers, and, on Election Day, the refrigerator magnet reminded me to go out and vote for my preferred candidate: the Planned Parenthood guy’s opponent.