Saturday, June 24, 2006

Two anecdotes:Funny, but tragic

Every once in a while I experience something that is so tragic that it is funny. One such occasion happened to me as an L.D.S. missionary. I taught one person, who was living in a hostel, about a law of health commonly called the Word of Wisdom. When asked to give up coffee he was, at once, willing to do so. However, he had just purchased some gourmet coffee in bulk and felt it would be wasteful to just throw it away. My missionary companion and I could see no harm in putting the coffee in the common area of the hostel for someone else to use. This person kept his commitment and was baptized soon thereafter.

A short time later, this new member referred his friend to listen to us. As we sat down to commit the friend to abstain from coffee, tea, tobacco and alcohol we were told, 'I would love to give up these things, but I recently starting drinking a lot of coffee. I didn't really drink it before, but I found some free coffee in the common area about a month ago. I think I'm addicted now.'

Funny, but tragic.

Fast forward to just this week. I was out campaigning for Ron Mortensen. I've come to learn that he and his Republican opponent are very similar in their ideology.

Similar, but not exactly the same. One, notable, difference is that Mortensen has signed a tax pledge vowing to not raise taxes, while Neuenschwander has refused. He justified this stance by saying the following.

"I agree that we will probably never see a situation to raise taxes. It[a tax pledge] does tie your hands to a certain extent. Like, taking care of certain primary services that are necessary. I believe that I have the right as a legislature to look and see what is best for the people."

I ran into Neuenschwander in my area, and as we talked, I was asked about one of my neighbors that is ranked highly for voting Republican in the county. (Apparently, we are all ranked if we are members of the party). I, gladly, showed him the location of the house. Before we parted company Neuenschwander related that he thought Mortensen was more conservative, and that he had learned over the years that one cannot get things done in politics unless one is more moderate.

Tonight, I finally had a chance to talk to my highly-ranked neighbor and he said, "I'll tell you what I told the other guy. 'You're too late!'" He went on to explain that he had voted early and that he had "flipped a coin" on the two and picked the one that he thought was more conservative-Neuenschwander!

I gasped and said, "Neuenschwander would disagree with you! He said to me that Mortensen was further to the right."

He retorted, 'Right can mean anything, but I wanted the one that is more fiscally conservative!'

Just then his phone rang, and before he answered it I blurted out, "but Mortensen signed a pledge not to raise taxes, and Neuenschwander refused that pledge!" I may have misread his facial expression, but I can guess what raised eyebrows mean.


Funny, but tragic.