Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Undefeated - From Right and Left, Part 2

Last week, I reported in The Undefeated - From Right and Left, Part 1 how I was honored to review a rough cut DVD of The Undefeated in my home and attend the 8 PM screening in New York City. I wrote my review as a Palinista and invited the man who is the father figure in my life - William E. Thomas - to attend the 3:30 PM screening. His review is also included in the original story, and Damian Germinder's report, rounding out the perspective from the right.

I concluded the review with,
"The point is to bring in the independents, and those somewhat right or left of center who believe the fiction that has been spread about Gov. Palin over these past three years and/or simply do not know her record. In my opinion, the movie will succeed or fail not on winning minds and hearts, but on getting these people to the theaters in the first instance."

From the Left...David from the Diner
I met a hard leftist the morning of screening day at a diner where I occasionally have breakfast. Out of the starting gate he called Gov. Palin an "idiot" and a quitter." To him, Obama is "the best President in United States history." Needless to say, we had a heated debate. Then the light came on. "Sir...are you doing anything at eight o'clock tonight?" I asked "No, why?" "Well, I can get you in to see The Undefeated. It's about the woman you just called an 'idiot' and 'quitter.' I'd like you to see it and see if it changes your opinion of her." "Well, I do have an open mind," he said. "Sure, arrange it." He gave me his email address.

So, I did. David was to be there for 8 PM screening. I never saw him there, though there were two screening rooms and he may have been in the other one. In any case, he never returned my email asking if he showed up and what his thoughts were. If I run into him again, I'll be sure to ask. Maybe, there will be a Part 3.

From the Left...The Man in the Elevator
In the elevator, as Anna Marie Barone, LJ Regine, and I left, we met a balding man, who in the excitement I did not get to identify. He said, "I'm a Democrat, and I've got to tell you. This woman is brilliant! I can't understand the blind hatred toward her." We could see in his face that he was ashamed of vicious hatred that was on display in the movie's opening minutes. We thanked him.

From the Left...My Wife
I've been married to Elsy for 14 years and six months. We're still passionately in love, but one area where we are as different as night and day is politics. I'm a Reagan Conservative. Elsy is a borderline socialist. Couple that with her jealous streak, and let's just say it was a toxic recipe for a while. When she came home a month after my heart-signing in Bethlehem, PA, I wound up riding around with my entire "Sarah stash" in the back of my truck for three weeks. Elsy had found a rough draft of my post on the event, and let's just say she was not happy about it. Aside from the political differences, Elsy flat out saw Gov. Palin as "that woman" I was spending way too much time on. There were other things going on as well not related to politics.

But, time marches on and time heals. The non-political issues ultimately got resolved. We saved our marriage and our home. Elsy began to have more acceptance and respect for what I do. I opened up more and hid less.

A major break came involving a Palin event this year. "Sweetheart, would you like to go with me?" I asked expecting a flat "NO!" Elsy actually accompanied me. She was delighted to. She simply wanted to share with me, and not be excluded from what I was doing. Though things did not go as planned, her accompanying me was a major break-through. She even posed with my big Palin sign. Though she disagrees politically, she did it to support me.

But, could I get her to watch a two-hour movie about "that woman"? To be blunt, were she not my wife, Elsy would not have seen the movie on her own. She is just too dug in on her positions. But, knowing my history and involvement, she agreed to do it.

Monday night, I put the DVD in the player, closed the door to the master bedroom and went upstairs to run the site, syndicate, promote, and do Organize4Palin work. Though she had many criticisms of the movie (minor cinematography stuff that has since been resolved), and claims she "would have walked out half-way through," she watched it all the way to the last second. She still disagrees with Gov. Palin on policies and politics - and was able to articulate her points of disagreement. But, there was no hatred. No bile. No insults.

Though she does not like Gov. Palin the speaker, Elsy liked Gov. Palin as Wasilla's Mayor, as the AOGCC Chair and as Governor. Then...Elsy quickly said some things I never thought I'd hear her say about "that woman":
"She's a good person who has done good things."
"She could win in 2012. She's a fighter."

Elsy is still a leftist. Did the movie change her opinion of Gov. Palin? The jury is still out on that, but the prognosis is positive. She'll probably never admit it. But, I'll know over time. In a certain sense, getting her to watch The Undefeated was a journey that began on August 29, 2008 at 1226 EDT. It was in fact Elsy who post-viewing recalled Reagan (who she does not like). She recalled how I had pull over to the side of the road when I heard a woman's voice on the radio, whose name I did not yet know. I would not even know what she looked like for over an hour, but I knew what her forebear looked like and what his voice sounded like....

1976 = 2008.

1980 = 2012.


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