And all I get is this lousy t-shirt…
During one of countless book-related radio interviews this week, a liberal radio host insultingly asked me whether I write my own column. His question was prompted by vicious anonymous bloggers who portray me as a greedy Asian whore/dupe/brainwashing victim who simply parrots what my white slavemasters program into my empty little head. These critics have stepped up attacks on my husband Jesse as a fanatical right-wing puppeteer orchestrating all I do and say.
I assume these tinfoil-hat wearers also think I’m secretly wired during my TV and radio appearances, speeches, and debates– you know, just like George Bush.
As I’ve noted in several newspaper profiles and television interviews, I met my husband in college, where he founded a right-of-center student publication that I wrote for and edited. He started off as a Berkeley-born Dukakis liberal; I was a congenital conservative who helped him see the light. We have been each other’s best friend, editor, and sounding board for nearly half of our lives. He followed me to Southern California when I took my first newspaper gig in Los Angeles. He followed me up to the Pacific Northwest when I was hired by the Seattle Times. I followed him to Washington D.C. when he got a lucrative health-care consulting job. And when my career took off after I published my first book in 2002, he cut back on his own ambitions to be with our kids.
In his spare time (such as it is with an active kindergartener and an Energizer bunny preschooler), he helps me out when he can. Al Franken needs a dozen, overpaid Harvard-trained research assistants. I have my hubby’s help for a few hours a week.
Our partnership has spanned my editing of his Rhodes Scholarship essay to his formatting of my footnotes in Unhinged to the most important project in our lives–our kids. He has done copy-editing on my three books, conducted background research, taken dictation, drafted language for business letters, reviewed contracts, mailed my thank-you notes, helped me with a handful of blog posts out of the estimated 3,000 I’ve written since June 2004, corrected the math in a few of the estimated 800 newspaper columns I’ve penned since November 1992, and provided me with emotional support and encouragement through good times and bad. In turn, I’ve proofread his dissertation, conducted background research, reviewed his grant applications, helped him with speeches and conference presentations, picked out his ties for interviews, corrected his grammar, rewritten ledes for his business-related op-eds, brainstormed and edited some of his research proposals, and tried to provide as much emotional support and encouragement to him as he has to me. Message to crackpots and haters: This is not a right-wing conspiracy. This is marriage.
As for my husband’s “influence,” why yes, he influences me all the time and vice versa. Spouses tend to do that to each other over the years. When I came up with my idea for Invasion after 9/11, he was skeptical. We don’t agree on everything, but I’ve pulled him to the right on national security, the Second Amendment, and some social issues. He has put up with my insomniac writing habits, investigative obsessions, and workaholism for more than a dozen years, and I have successfully converted him to the conservative cause.
The racist and sexist “yellow woman doing a white man’s job” knock is a tiresome old attack from impotent liberals that I’ve tolerated a long time. It is pathetic that I have to sit here and tell you that my ideas, my politics, and my intellectual capital are mine and mine alone in response to cowardly attacks from misogynistic moonbats with Asian whore fixations. My IQ, free will, skin color, eye shape, productivity, sincerity, and integrity are routinely ridiculed or questioned because I happen to be a minority conservative woman. As a public figure, I am willing to take these insults, but I cannot tolerate the smearing of my loved ones. Because I have always been open and proud about his support for my career, my husband has taken endless, hate-filled abuse from my critics. His Jewish heritage, his decision to be a stay-at-home dad, and even his looks, are the subject of brutal mockery.
If you have a problem with my work and what I stand for, go ahead and take me on. Keep calling me whatever four-letter-word makes you feel better when you can’t win your arguments. But leave my family alone.