By nature mhere didn’t do things by half-measures, when she embarked on any new adventure, whether it be cooking, sewing, exploring, or this new forum of posting messages on these internet message boards – mhere gave it her all. Even in family discussions mhere’s children knew her nature very well and in the words of her youngest daughter, “Mom’s always gotta have the last word even if it is just posting a news article.” Web etiquette posed a whole new challenge for mhere, because she used capitalization to emphasize her points, without being aware that online that was considered rude. Her first posts in trying to break through to marfark and to remind him of the oath she thought he had taken as a soldier were filled with capitalized statements like, “I BELIEVE IN THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES!’ and other loud statements.
Every day presented new and interesting possibilities to interact with these posters on the message boards, because the topics changed frequently and many provocative topics got tossed into the mix. During this time in America the mainstream media kept talking about dangerous, right-wing militias and mhere felt a few might be posting on these message boards too and she tried to reason with some of the more strident posters. If there was one thing mhere believed in, it was in following the rules and in America that meant the Constitution of the United States.
In her youth, mhere felt privileged to be selected to attend the Presidential Classroom for Young Americans and she spent an entire week in Washington DC seeing the monuments, visiting museums and she even got to meet one of the senators from her home state. Her mother had a booklet she received in high school and when she passed this booklet on to mhere, she explained that in America, everyone should know how to be a “good citizen”. mhere spent many hours reading and rereading this little booklet titled, Good Citizen”. In junior high school, mhere had a US history teacher, whose politics were very liberal and much different than her parents’ conservative views, but mhere thought he was a fantastic teacher. He challenged his students to argue both sides of many of the more important Supreme Court decisions and mhere felt like she was on a scavenger hunt to research and then build her arguments. A whole week in Washington provided a lifetime of memories for the young mhere, but truly she felt in total awe when she stood before the Supreme Court of the United States. When she stepped inside that building, she felt like the luckiest girl in America. mhere just loved reading about anything having to do with the Constitution and she bored her many siblings and her classmates with her fixation on “following the rules”. Any game they played, mhere could be counted on to insist on clear rules.
In typical mhere fashion, she started talking to the extreme posters and reminding them about the rule of law and droning on about the Constitution. It pained mhere to think that marfark had lost faith in the Constitution and she kept reminding him about the oath they take and how important national defense is. Her efforts to reach marfark ended up in angry exchanges and mhere felt like he was locked down in a personal hell of some sort, but when challenged he would berate mhere and angrily shout, “mhere, you need to think anew!“. Her hopes of reaching marfark and getting him to open up and talk faded and as time passed he rarely posted comments on the message boards. mhere worried that her attempts to break through this craziness he was spouting had failed and it hurt to think that she may have driven him away, when all she wanted to do was help him.
mhere was starting to lose interest in the message boards, when out of the blue, a huge political scandal rocked America. The message boards became a frenzied, hot-bed of partisan flame-throwing, because this new scandal reached the highest levels of the US government. Oh my gosh, mhere’s favorite topics to perch on her soapbox and ramble on about – the Constitution, following the rules and lying – all wrapped up in one scandal. By nature, mhere avoided confrontations, because in real life she struggled with stuttering and only by rigid discipline had she learned to speak without stuttering non-stop. From the time she learned to read, mhere spent time every day practicing how to say words. When her parents bought a set of World Book Encyclopedias, a large dictionary came with the set and mhere’s siblings teased her constantly, telling her, “No one reads the dictionary!” mhere did. She would sit for hours on end trying to figure out how to say words and it could get confusing to remember, because some words could be pronounced more than one way and she worried about forgetting and having other kids laugh at her. But mhere felt free to talk when she wrote things, because the rules in writing, especially in creative writing, allowed her to experiment and try new ways of saying things. Of course, she could also use words in writing that she knew she would never be able to spit out.
This new scandal brought forth a horde of new, very determined, left-wing partisan posters, who swept onto the message boards like Genghis Khan from the Steppes (to borrow a John Kerry analogy). These were smart, wily, organized posters, not like the usual amateurs posting here and these newcomers seemed to work together to silence the right-wing posters. They came loaded with a political technique they bragged about called spin (lying) and they armed their ranks with talking points to repeat and twisted reasoning to silence their opponents. mhere felt a new challenge, because she loved to win political debates.