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Ask Dr. Helen: How Do You Deal With a Palin Hater?

When political passion becomes obsessive and unhealthy.

by
Helen Smith

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October 6, 2008 - 12:08 am
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Reader Sean emails to tell me he is concerned about an advice column in Salon that gives some… not so good advice:

Dear Helen, I wanted to get your take on this article on Sarah Palin at Salon.

I will not repeat the entire question and answer that Cary Tennis, the advice columnist at Salon gives to a woman who identifies herself as A “Hater” (you can read the whole thing yourself if you are so inclined).  The highlights of it are that a woman writes in stating she is a Democrat, a mother of three, a full-time attorney and a Palin hater:

And then came Sarah. My reaction to her, and the way the Republican Party threw her in our faces, and the pandering and hypocrisy that was behind their decision to do so, was immediate, visceral, and indeed, vicious. I have crossed every line I believed should never be crossed in public discourse — I have criticized not only her policies and her record, but her hair, her personal style, her accent, her abilities as a mother, etc. I’ve also begun to suffer personally and professionally. I bore my friends with my constant tirades against her, and am constantly distracted from my work by my need to continually update myself on the latest criticism, and indeed, ridicule, of her. In my hatred for her, I have begun to hate myself. I don’t want this woman ruining my life before she even gets a chance to ruin our country. How do I stop? Is there a self-help group for this? A “Hater”

Now, one would think that a decent response might have been to give some advice on how to handle political exchanges with family members, friends, or others — but no such luck.

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