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Are There Any Signs of Intelligent Life in the Republican Party?
Defending the Defense of Jesse Jackson

By Mario Giardiello


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Recently I appeared on "Hannity and Colmes" on Fox. I had the pleasure to defend a man who has served this country his entire life, Jesse Jackson. I argued that his recent sexual exploits cannot negate the lifetime achievements he has made as a politician. He is human, and like all of us, he makes mistakes. 

Granted, cheating on your wife for years and having a baby with your girlfriend is more than a mistake, but it should not exclude him from public service and his continued assistance to less fortunate people in this country. I argued his ability to mobilize the masses for social change is too powerful to throw away. You may not agree. 

Many Democrats were especially quiet on this issue because they were too afraid of damaging there own fragile reputations (probably the reason I got the opportunity to be on the show in the first place), but America represents the epitome of free speech and I exercise my right as often, and as intelligently, as I can. Unfortunately, this right goes out to all people, some of whom are not articulate enough to state an opinion or argue a point - so they resort to insults and vulgarity. That being said, I thought I'd share a few of the over fifty e-mails I have received in response to my appearance.

I am sometimes a little too proud of my Italian heritage so it was a shock to read, "You're a disgrace to Italians."  I'm not sure why being of a certain nationality makes ones views any less or more important, but this person certainly thought it lowered my status in Italian circles. He went on to sing "If you only had a brain." Now, just in case I didnít get the reference he felt it necessary to include it (The Wizard of Oz). His closing argument was succinctly, but poignantly stated, "You Dummy" with three exclamation points. I suppose this means he really, really, really thinks I am a dummy. I can top that. I am not a dummy!!!!

One person kept it simple: "You should commit suicide." Now, does this person really think that my views are so outlandish that I deserve to die?  We're talking about Jesse Jackson here. I like the man, but he's not worth dying over. Or does he feel that I do not deserve to live because I am too intelligent and my mere existence embarrasses his conservative sensibilities?  Well, I think I will not kill myself over this one issue, but if I get too many more unintelligible e-mails, I just may have to end it all.

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Another person, with obvious bad taste offered this assessment of me: "You ugly liar!"  Now, I may exaggerate my point of view occasionally and I may have lied a few times in my adolescence, but if you saw me on the show you would have to agree that I am damn good-looking. At least my wife and mother think so.

I obviously made some people literally sick.  "You make me sick", screamed one writer.  Another exclaimed, "I am sick of you bleeding heart liberals!"  Is there an epidemic in conservative circles that people get sick when they hear intelligible opinions without the attack-squad smear tactics that they are so used to hearing from their own party?  One writer gave me insight into why I seem to get so many people sick. He writes, "...the stink of your viewpoint causes people to feel a sudden need to puke whenever you flap your gums...".  Can you imagine the fun this talent is at cocktail parties?  I can't wait to get invited to the Whitehouse.

The most shocking letter insinuated that I enjoy flapping my gums around Jesse's genitals.  He argues that if I could just take it "out of (my) mouth long enough to see what it is attached to" that I would see he represents the "useless black rabble".  He goes on to say that the only people that respect him are the "least educated among our society."  In a way, this person, regardless of his racist comments, pinned the tail on the donkey.  The people that respect Jackson the most are the disadvantaged, the one's without voice.  That is precisely why people like this particular writer hates him, because he is afraid of a level playing field in this country.  Maybe heís just afraid to lose ground to these uneducated, black people. That's right, many black people are uneducated, but once they get an equal opportunity to be educated, then he will see that they aren't lazier or dumber than others like this one writer would have you believe. They are as good as any one of us and this is what Jesse knows, and this is why I defend the man.

And please stop writing that all Republicans aren't rich. The point I am making here is that the party represents this segment of our country and they are the ones who control this party.

Honestly, there wasn't one letter that I felt deserved a response because no one had the guts, or maybe the intelligence to debate my opinions rationally, with real arguments. There was not one point made. This does not fare well for you conservatives. Is there anyone one out there that can argue intelligently? Give it a shot. Do not insult because this tends to make people defensive which usually does not result in a rational debate about issues. I am not Jerry Springer, but then, you are not a party that has a record of confronting issues. Prove that I am wrong.

Previous Column:  Jesse Jackson: The Persecution Continues

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© Mario Giardiello, 2001, All rights reserved.

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