And now, walking out of the Maher show, I realized that what I had feared most - expulsion and derision - didn't really even hurt, not when you are standing up for what you believe. I raised my Cactus Coller in honor of the individual who came up with teh aphorism "That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger." Nietzsche, by the way. I realized that while adulation has its moments and can be like a bath in warm water after coming in from a snowstorm, the psychic high from standing up for what you believe in and being attacked for it far surpassed the comfort to be dreived from that bath of praise.Taking a page from this book, have you seen Paul Ryan's speech from last night? Talk about taking the offense on Obama. He brought up the $16T deficit, the spending $1T over budget each year, the unfulfilled promises, the lack of positive change in the economy, the financial realities facing Medicare, unemployment - he left nothing out.
I had passed what I call the Coulter Threshold: the point where you understand that Ann Coulter and those like her are standing up for what they believe in, feeling the righteousness of living without fear of missing a dinner invite from Tina Brown or fundraisers with Steve Capus or Ben Sherwood or Steven Spielberg or Jeffrey Katzenberg - or worse, the agony of being excoriated by those conservatives who fret that their liberal overlords will start admonishing them for keeping company with you. Feeling the thrill of sending a message to these people that we reject their worldview the way they reject ours.
I want to bottle that and get it out to every American. I want to teach everyone I know that there's nothing to fear but fear itself, and that there's strength in numbers. I've been looking directly forward instead of into the rearview mirror, not worrying about what people think about me, and it has empowered me. And it can empower you. Not only can you take assaults, you can weather them and be strengthened by them - and gain the power to punch back, to go on the offensive. Our opponents have spent so mnay years on the offensive with people lying prone at their feet that they've forgotton what it's like to be on the defensive. If we come after them, they won't know how to respond.
** Check out Condi's speech too!