Today's blog entry goes out to Amy Myers, the 16 year old that is the center of recent news stories calling out Michelle Bachmann to challenge her because of her mistake of where the famed "shot heard round the world" was fired. According to this article, Myers is now running for class president. I doubt Myers or Bachmann will ever read this blog post, but what the hey - I had to get the following off of my chest.
First, let me wish you well on your pursuit of class president of your school. Awesome! Best of luck! :-D
And I do hope Michelle Bachmann takes up your challenge, as well as all holders of office. They ALL should have a good knowledge of our country and its history. However, in the pursuit of Bachmann, you need to know that you are being used in a way that I am sure that you did not intend. I say this because in the article linked above, you state that you were angry that so many of the most visible female politicians were seen as fodder for jokes and ridicule. I'm afraid that this is not quite accurate.
Women like Sarah Palin and Bachmann are not being ridiculed because they are women, they are being ridiculed for being conservative - who happen to be women. What you are noticing is that the critics of such conservative women are taking what would be called cheap shots at them, and it is a cheap shot because they are ridiculing them in ways that they would not ridicule men - or even women who are politically liberal - by taking shots at their looks, their clothes, or even their children.
Had you publicly challenged Nancy Pelosi or Elena Kagen, then you would have been a non-story to the press. No one in the national press takes cheap shots at Pelosi or Kagen, because they are politically liberal, and they don't tolerate anyone else taking cheap shots at them, either. And they certainly wouldn't report on some 16 year old teen from New Jersey publicly challenging them over a factual mistake they made, no matter how bad the mistake was. My dear, publicly criticizing liberal women just isn't done by the press.
Criticizing politically conservative women is a whole 'nother matter, however. In the eyes of the left-leaning (and they are left-leaning, no matter how much they deny it) press, conservative women such as Palin and Bachmann are fair game for all manners of crass, crude and unprofessional insults. Not only that, they are not above using you as a potential opportunity to further humiliate Bachmann. It's why you haven't heard from Bachmann yet; because she doesn't want to give the press the satisfaction that they successfully prodded her into responding to you.
Not only that, to take up your challenge would end up hurting her in two ways: One, she kicks your butt. Then the press will say, "Oh, look. Big mean Bachmann takes it out on a poor defenseless child!" (and they WILL call you a child in order to make Bachmann look even worse. Then there is the second way, in which you defeat Bachmann. Then the press will say, "Oh, look. Bachmann is so stupid that she can't even win against a child! Therefore she shouldn't run for office." Either result is a losing scenario for her.
Truth be told, Amy, all politicians make the kinds of mistakes Bachmann made. For example, back when President Obama was campaigning in 2008, he claimed to have visited all 57 states in the country (and with one still to go!). I think that kind of factual error is actually greater than Bachmann's historical error, but again, all candidates make these kinds of mistakes. The reason? They're all human. Even the female candidates. So if President Obama can be forgiven for momentarily thinking that we had 58 states, then I think Bachmann can be forgiven for an historical error.
Ultimately, though, what this shows is that the liberals share the same fear that they say conservative men have, and that's the fear of powerful women. As you run for office at your school, you might encounter that fear from others as well - and not just from boys but from girls as well. Just know that you are not alone. Know that women such as Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and Hillary Clinton encounter this all the time.
The way to counter this is not to run away, because that's what they want you to do. Instead, stand tall and proud, because that's the best way to fight off bullies. And yes, those that would take cheap shots at powerful women like Palin and Bachmann are indeed bullies. Bullies ultimately are cowards, because cheap shots are what bullies use against their targets, and bullies are also not above using others to do their bullying. This is why I am asking you to not be used by them.
However, I am not going to ask you to retract your challenge to Michelle Bachmann, but instead to expand your challenge to any lawmaker willing to take you on. That would show that you are a woman with guts! Just be prepared to not be a story to them any longer, because then you will no longer have a use to them for their bullying tactics (because again, no one challenges one of their own liberal kind). But at least you will have stood up for yourself and freed yourself from being used by them.
So stop being a tool for bullies, Amy. Instead, be a force for good and righteousness by standing up to those who would use you for their own selfish ends. Once you take this lesson to heart, then you will have taken an important first step in being a true leader in our society; something our society will need in the future. God bless you on your strength and courage, Amy Myers. Stay on the right path, and good things will come your way. :-)