Nikki Haley’s book, With All Due Respect: Defending America With Grit and Grace, is an adventure over enemy lines that has been quite fascinating. Lately, I have been reading books written by “people on the left” analyzing conservative extremism and Trump supporters, but I have dabbled in reading books directly from prominent conservatives, and Nikki Haley’s is definitely the most intelligent, tame, and respectful. I couldn’t even finish the trash I have read in the past.
To give you an idea, I have read Ann Coulter’s book and Judge Jeanine Pirro (this one was significantly worse, and I didn’t make it past the first chapter). They were so inflammatory and calling ideological adversaries corny playground names didn’t make their arguments any more compelling.
I’m on a journey to become more open-minded. It’s such a turnoff when people stick their fingers in the ear and refuse to listen to logic, so I want to listen to their logic. I do have my limits, however. F that white supremacy, homophobic, transphobic, hate BS. But if you have a convincing argument rooted in medically accurate science (and not religion) as to why a governing body should be able to control a woman’s bodily autonomy in deciding to have an abortion, for example, I still may not agree, but I am more than willing to listen to what you have to say!
As for Nikki’s book, I have to admit, the book started off with a lot of points I agreed with her on. I was pleasantly surprised to see she wrote extensively about racism and the shooting at Mother Emmanuel. For the most part, we were on the same page.
I can also see how much she loves her home state of South Carolina. Fun fact: when I tried to google her birthday, google auto populated birth chart and I was like “If you insist!” Apparently, she is a Capricorn sun and a Pisces moon, which makes total sense why she was so preoccupied with maintaining the image and PR of the state, but also has a lot of feels about things and takes a lot of things personally. I hated South Carolina growing up, but after living away for almost two years, I gotta say, home is where the heart is.
Nikki makes a lot of conservative talking head points (some of which were appalling considering her status as a woman of color who is the daughter of immigrants), but she doesn’t make me want to throw up. I think I actually appreciate her point of view. I agree with her when she says that there is toxicity on both sides of the aisle (not quite to the level of bad on both sides). I followed this page on Instagram that inspired me because they were radical black women who weren’t afraid to tell the establishment about itself! And then it got hateful and that was a turnoff.
When they clowned a doctor for providing medical attention to a Nazi, that’s when I had to do a double take. Um, doctors have a whole ass ethical obligation to provide services to every patient (whether they do that equitably is another conversation I could go on about, and I have in this previous post).
At the end of the day Nikki seems like the type that would be open to different ideas than the ones she currently holds, and I think I could debate with her without it becoming personal attacks in a shouting match. Very unlike some of the clowns she endorses and supports.
I’m still learning when and how to engage with people who are clearly wrong (lol, I’m kidding, unless they’re racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or ableist, then they are clearly wrong). It’s especially hard when I’m at work or around family. Accepting that someone won’t change their mind is also hard for me.
One thing I will say I admire about Nikki and want to take as a lesson from her is how to smite my enemies with grace and intelligence. Bless your heart.