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.