Friday, March 14, 2008

Young's (Not So) Excellent Adventure in 2000 Election

Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 18:00:13 -0800 (PST)
From: "Young H. Kim"
Subject: RE: Young's (Not So) Excellent Adventure in 2000 Election - Re: Real Intolerance

Right, Mike, I was so naive about the whole thing, knowing that we had offices in Texas; I knew I wouldn't change anyone's mind, but I actually thought I could have an effect on the undecided voters who, as I recall, were plentiful right up to voting day. "Liberals Only"...I know, you can spot liberals just by looking at them. ;-)

--- Michael Busick wrote:
Young, if only you had set that e-mail to send to "Liberals Only", none of that would've happened. :)

From: Brian Menard
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 21:31:10 -0500
Young: Yep, putting aside the corporate policy faux paux, it seems like familiar
territory in the reaction department and subsequent concern about standing in the organization.

----- Original Message -----
From: Young H. Kim
Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2008 6:40 PM

At the risk of revisiting a topic that is beyond stale, I would like to share my experience at work during the 2000 presidential election. Not sure if I shared this with any of you, so pardon me if I'm repeating. I was barely a year into my new job as a Software Test Engineer at a company called Metapath Software International (MSI) in the heart of downtown Bellevue. I happened across an article in the New Yorker about how the Gore/Bush matchup has turned into a mere personality contest ("I can imagine having a beer with Bush, but not Gore."). In my naivete and poor judgment of workplace email policy, I forwarded, no, spammed this article company-wide to the offices in the US. I invite you to imagine the reaction I received. Here's the link to an abstract of the article as The New Yorker does not have the full article online, but you'll get the idea:
They've Got Personality

Pretty harmless, wouldn't you say? ;-) I mean, in hindsight, it's truer now than it was then. Naturally, I received some but few email in favor and in agreement with my political leanings. And there were brutal, personal attacks against me personally and intellectually. So I know, BRM, when you talked about the fear of losing your job for voicing your political opinion, especially when one of the most vocal criticism came from the Senior VP in charge of the engineering division, who is from and works in Richardson, TX, a suburb of Dallas--sort of a "Don't mess with Texas!" attitude. I am still looking for the email and the replies I saved somewhere. Suffice to say, I received negative reaction in the following vein:
1) Don't fill my inbox with your biased political crap.
2) Cease and desist from such abuse of company mail lists.
3) The New Yorker is a rag whose objectivity is more than questionable. (YHK: It was obviously an op-ed piece.)
4) Send your liberal pablum somewhere else. (YHK: Morton Downey, Jr. popularized the word "pablum".)
5) Yet another example of bleeding-heart, knee-jerk, elitist liberal position. Get better informed about the information you're spreading around.

Fortunately, I only got a slap on the wrist from my manager and director afterward, "Young, you know better than that. But I trust that this will never happen again." Needless to say, I learned a big lesson about using intra-company email. In any case, at the time, I just couldn't believe that a man like Dubya actually had a shot against a much more qualified Al Gore. I still believe that Gore would be the Dem nominee this year if he chose to run.

Couple of quotes that are popular among Dems about the Bush Years:"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plainfolks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." - H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

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