A political rant and nothing more

I was reading another blog just now, and the author casually mentioned that she’s not sure how her liberal family turned out a republican army person who is currently deployed. This brought me to think of several things. And I’m sharing familial political views here, so I may be a terrible daughter/wife/sister, but I’m willing to remove it if one of them gets legitimately upset by it. Consider that a disclaimer.

I was raised by two republicans, both of whom were army majors, and retired out of the reserves with 20 years under their belts. With the exception of my father’s love for gun ownership/cleaning/collecting, I never heard them SAY anything that sounded socially right-wing. They both seemed totally fine with immigrants, environmental thought, evolution, etc. I never heard them say a word against the people we knew who’d had abortions, and I know for a fact they were okay with homosexuals and homosexual commitment, on account of they let a nice, openly lesbian couple be my childcare providers for quite some time (explaining my love for Stephanie March). If I had to say their reasoning, in a nutshell, it would be that they loved A-Murr-Ka, and thought that republicans loved A-Murr-Ka more, and possibly democrats would get rid of the military.

Then I came along, and was a republican for my formative years and first election, because that’s what my parents were. Also, I really liked the OG Bush, and also was fond of saying Du-kaka. When I turned into an adult, I still loved A-Murr-Ka, but took stock of some big issues. My thoughts on abortion (pro), environment (pro), homosexual marriage (pro), separation of church and state (propropropropro–dinosaurs existed and evolution isn’t mutually exclusive to God), and figured “hey! I might be a democrat!” I was certainly a democrat socially, and the second Bush administration had me legitimately fearing the fuck out of a military under the command of a staunch republican. So why not? If we ever get a fiscally conservative, foreign-policy-competent, socially-liberal president, in either party, I will vote for him or her over and over and over, until my fingers bleed and I run out of false identities.

My husband is also a major in the military. He is so liberal that he’s almost taking pink puffy paints and drawing anarchy symbols on his BDUs. Here’s a fun story: when Chris’s tech, with whom he shared an office, got in actual trouble for being sexually provocative for having pictures of McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) on her wall, she was upset and complained to Chris about it. It wasn’t like a nudey picture or anything. So Chris removed them all from her wall, then reposted them on HIS wall. Along with a rainbow. When the commander asked him why he had those pictures, he replied “You’re not allowed to ask, and I’m not allowed to tell.” That is one of my favorite all-time Chris stories. Love him. He would rather eat pieces of his sand-colored air force boots than be deployed.

My brother has most of the same views as I do on social issues. But my brother wasn’t thrilled about the capital gains tax, so he voted thusly. His choice was totally respectable to me, because he had a well-thought-out reason. He is also a marine, but seemingly has figured out that one can be pro-A-Murr-Ka without necessarily supporting the values of the Republican social platform. He would cry himself to sleep at night if he weren’t ALLOWED to be deployed.

My sister…well…she’s only 19. But she holds exactly the opposite view on every single social policy of how I view them. I sometimes cannot believe we had the same upbringing in the same liberal church. I mostly just hope she gets really busy with her schoolwork and forgets to vote, because any attempt to convince her otherwise usually earns me a “Kristie, you need to go listen to ‘Have you forgotten’ by Darryl Worley. And then usually I get off of the phone and am catatonic for a few minutes before shaking my head like a bloodhound and trying to forget that the conversation ever occurred. I love her. She’s smart and pretty and loves animals (won’t even eat them), but we are the political equivalent of mortal enemies from planet Zoron.

So all of those views–all of them–come from a single family. I think of my family, on the whole, as very intellectual and with excellent reasoning capabilities. I like to think that each and every one of us examines our values each time the vote comes along. I pray for that, because it’s what everyone should be doing.

Sadly, I fear that many Americans just don’t think at all. That is the only explanation I can possibly think of for why, when someone in front of me at the local grocery store pays with their food stamp card, they almost always wheel their giant cart out to a beaten, broken vehicle with a McCain/Palin bumper sticker. I mean, hi? Do you not understand the political impact on economics and social policies? Probably not. Now go home and eat your feelings (in the form of Flamin’ Hot Chee-tohs).

And who doesn’t believe in dinosaurs?!?

And how come people are STILL bitching about Obama being elected and hoping for him to fail? I never once hoped that Bush would fail, because even though he was a card-carrying window-licker, I still wanted him to succeed for the sake of the country.

And the next person with a bumper sticker saying “Drill here, drill now, pay less” is going to get rear-ended by a silver Honda civic driven by an irate blonde girl. What a giant, waving flag of jackassery. Nothing on earth inspires more road rage in my person than that sticker. Not even the ones that have fetuses on them.

11 thoughts on “A political rant and nothing more”

  1. Amen, sister. Why would anyone who claims to be a "patriot" want the country to fail, only because the old dude they voted for didn't win? I've been scratching my head on that one for a while now.

    BTW, they believe in dinosaurs – they just say they were here 6,000 years ago, or something ridiculous like that.

  2. You know I'm not cool with any of this, of course. You guys are free to think anything you want to think, but trying to act like Republicans are all (or even primarily) hypocritical, fundamentalist morons is the worst kind of bigotry and prejudice (except the kind against Jews). Sometimes people vote Republican simply because they think the government sucks at running things and they don't want to pay all their money in taxes for crap they can do better for themselves. These days voting R isn't much better than D, since both sides just want to take all your money and shove it into lame special interest projects that waste money and don't do anybody any good. It's a little better, though, and that little bit is all a fiscal conservative has left.

    Also, as far as the "fail" thing goes, I can't help but think you guys on the left are willfully and intentionally acting like you don't understand what it's about. Nobody on the right has said they want the country to fail. Nobody wants us to lose a war or get taken over or to have our soldiers die. What they want to fail is the bid to turn America into some half-assed France/Sweden crap country of sissies. When the president's policies are leading to that, and you don't want the result, you are hoping that his quest for such a result will not succeed. You are hoping that he will fail in ruining America. That's what everyone who has said that is talking about. Now you know and you can stop pretending that you don't. You should probably also stop pretending that you didn't want Bush to fail. When he made the case to invade Iraq, a lot of people wanted him to fail in that bid. When he wanted to pass the Patriot act, a heck of a lot of people wanted him to fail at that. Wanting the president to fail at doing things you don't like isn't the same as saying you want the whole country to catch fire and die. It's just like saying you want the guy who's trying to steal your cooking homework to fail. It doesn't mean you want all culinary schools everywhere to collapse.

    Anyhow, I'm sure this will start a giant battle of crap, so I'll end by saying I know you're intelligent and you have a good heart. I don't think any of us are nearly as different as we think we are, we just get caught up in the hype and the particulars of the day.

  3. Jared, I think you just made a very well-reasoned and important argument that I appreciate, except for it had nothing to do with what I actually wrote beforehand.

    I listed people in my life (whom I love and respect) who hold republican beliefs. I stated explicitly that I respect anyone who votes with sound reasoning.

    I even said I would vote for either party if they came up with my ideal candidate.

    I listed republican presidents I have supported, and of whom I think very highly.

    I think my blog was designed to make maybe three main points:
    1–I hate when people vote for things they don't understand based on just some radical misconception (Obama's gunna steals awl my guuuuns!)

    2–Families can have a wide array of political philosophies within a tight-knit unit of people

    3–Here are some interesting stances on social policy from people I know and love.

    Sure, there were some side points, like some peoples' hope Obama fails. You'll note I said "people are bitching" and not "republicans want our country to fail".

    I know there is a very distinct partisan line dividing Americans right now. I know you hold beliefs that are very different from mine, and have always respected yours as being founded by your own intelligent reasoning. I've learned to respect independent thought above ANY mob mentality (rep. or dem.).

    So I'm sorry if I offended, but please remember that sometimes re-using blanket arguments may not always apply to the statement you've addressed.

    And I'm still a fiscal conservative. And I didn't want Bush to fail in Iraq. I just wanted him to eventually STOP.

  4. If every response I write has to relate to the original material, I'm well and truly lost. I really only function when I can grab several lines out of an extensive document and argue with those. Trying to argue with the whole thing just means I have to write and think more, and I simply have too much online shoe shopping on my plate to worry about that.

  5. I grew up in a socially 'conscious' family who are quite left wing, but not radically. They raised ME, and you know what I'm all about. Then I have one brother who's a radical leftie conspiracy theorist who lives in the woods and smokes pot with his wolf hound. I have another brother who works for the RCMP and is a right wing Baptist who tries to scour the streets for all the drugs my other brother enjoys so heartily. I agree with you that in a single nuclear group political persuasions can vary immensely.

    Also, there are SPICY Cheetos? And FLAMING LIMON CHEETOS?! Dude, we're friends, right? Here's my plan: I fly down in the morning, we hitch a ride to the Creation Museum in Kentucky (www.creationmuseum.org – FUN FUN FUN!!!), I stockpile a duffel bag full of delightfully flavored Cheetos, and then I steal Obama's unicorn to spirit me back to Canada in style. After all, once Harper hears that OBAMA has a unicorn, he's going to want one too….except our Canadian unicorn will actually be a geriatric pack mule with a screwdriver taped to it's forehead. Sigh.

  6. You were pretty close to nailing my opinion there. I would vote for a goldfish if he or she had an economic policy I thought would work. I have gay friends, so I can't support far-right conservatives there. I am all about gun ownership, because I like to shoot things. Having seen two "perfect" arguments on abortion in my philosophy classes, I have decided I can't hold a legit opinion on that until it becomes more personally meaningful to me. I like the environment because I like clean air. I think global warming is a cycle that happens on Earth, so I am not about to switch to 50 dollar laundry detergent yet.

    On a bumper-sticker-related note: Far-left liberals need to take their IMPEACH stickers off of their Subarus. We have a new president now, and I doubt they want him impeached. (Unless NPR told them to believe that… let's be honest)

  7. P.S. Working at whole foods allows me to interact with a variety of actual hippies. They suck and smell. Also, one tried to tell me that because Scandinavian countries pay for all young adults to go to college, we should follow suit. This was blatant disregard for population differences, GDP differences, and I-don't-want-10-dollar-a-gallon-gas-because-of-taxes differences. I almost exploded.

  8. i knew someone who actually doesn't believe dinosaurs existed.
    Fossils? "Someone put them there."

    I do not remember her political views but she believed in evolution. Strange huh?

  9. Amen, Sister.

    I work with your mum and think she did an awesome job of raising you all.

    My one tiny disagreement is that, yes, sometimes folks want a president to fail because his IS going to fail and if he IS ALREADY GOING TO FAIL then at least bringing a lot of attention to HIS failure will mean that HIS party will not be in office for a while.

    I didn't want this economy to happen, but it was GOING TO HAPPEN.

    I don't even blame it all on Bush, but am glad that Republicans are taking the bulk of the blame for it.

    So when you say you "still wanted him to succeed for the sake of the country" — yes, no one wants anything bad to happen here. But bad economic policies coupled with continually kicking down doors overseas do tend to come back to haunt a country. So at least you want it to be attached to the correct political party.

    Am I making sense?

    This is my time reading your blog and I LOVE IT. You're a really fun writer.

    Congrats on your wedding. I loved the photos I saw on your mum's Facebook account.

    Jeanie

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