Red, Blue and Orange
In the tiny heart of the Vermont summer, I thought things would be different this fall.
I thought we'd be hunting more.
Not "we" meaning me and my friends and family. But "we" meaning the larger population, the Greennecks in cities and towns across the country, and specifically the non-hunting people who've been increasingly concerned about food.
It was an extrapolation. A plausible future for the localvore track that ended up with housemoms and golf dads spending a few days every fall looking to fill their freezers with locally grown, organic, free-range whatever.
It was a leap, I know, but it made sense in that X + Y = Z kind of way. I could see it happening. I could see Bill McKibben and Ariana Huffington in orange flannel. I could imagine both Angelina Jolie and her lips bringing home a buck for little Brad and the kids.
But then we met Sarah Palin.
Full disclosure: to call me a hunter would be about as accurate as calling me a climber. In both cases, I've been there, I've done that, but mainly it was just to enjoy the post-event benefits.
Along those lines, it would be equally flawed to call me a Sarah Palin supporter. I'd rather be James Caan in Misery.
But since Governor Palin's nomination to the GOP ticket, the sneering remarks about hunting have caused even me ... a once-every-other-year fair-weather hunter at best ... to cringe.
From friends, from strangers, from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, from newspapers and magazines to Facebook and MySpace, the down-your-nose disparaging of Governor Palin because she "hunts" (said with maximum iciness) has been constant.
Regardless of whether people consider themselves to bleed red or blue, the broad brushstrokes of anti-orange sentiment have been an unfortunate side-effect of an incredibly contentious election year.