Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Positively Republican

That's a bumper sticker on a car that's often in the parking lot of my Walgreens. Someday, if I'm lucky, I'll bump into the driver.

I remember thinking kindly of Eisenhower, perhaps only because he was the first president I was aware of, and I believed, as a child, that presidents were right and good. Or heck, maybe Ike was right and good.

I assume I started viewing Republicans as absolute other around Nixon's time, but I wasn't always like that. I remember hanging Kennedy-Johnson posters with my best friend Linda Seth. She was Catholic: of course she was going to vote for Kennedy. Or would have if we weren't ten. The point is, I wasn't against Nixon. I was for Kennedy.

By the time W came to steal the election, my stomach hurt every time I heard his voice. I had breakfast the other day with a friend who couldn't stand his face. She covered her own eyes as she said it, just as I cover my ears when I say my bit. The repulsion is real. Perhaps it's just -- "just" -- that we've made him stand for everything that's stupid and violent, dangerous and arrogant in this country.

In this country? I almost changed that to "in the government," but these days, I see all Republicans as Bushites: stupid, violent, dangerous, arrogant. I can't stand that they're pro-life and pro-war. Just how does that work? I can't stand that they're big fat Christians, but killing is somehow okay. The bumper sticker WHO WOULD JESUS BOMB? doesn't even strike them as sarcasm. They stroke their beards and think about it. Hm ... who would Jesus bomb? Let's see, we got them A-rabs, of course, and maybe a buncha Jews ...

I got a mass email today with a really funny joke about a Muslim (of course) terrorist (of course). Our American forefathers, in this hilarious scenario, greet him at the Pearly Gates, although how such an evil person made it to heaven is not explained. These righteous Americans take turns committing violence upon him (yes! in heaven!), while quoting the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and their own historical speeches (although not the bit about religious freedom, of course). When the poor man is finally left alone, weeping, an angel appears. The Muslim cries bitterly that this was not what he was promised. "I told you there would be seventy-two Virginians waiting for you in heaven," quoth the angel. "What did you think I said?"


I burst into flames when I read that, of course. Well, the email was from a woman in a group of friends from a conservative rural area. Does that also mean Christian? Probably. The kind that hate? Yeah. This whole God Is Love thing that Christians like to promote, based on their own holy text, is nonsense to most of them. Or maybe it's more like a selective love. God loves Christians and whites, for sure. I suppose He loves men more than women, brunettes over blondes, swords over ploughshares. I'm pretty sure He just doesn't have quite enough love for gays, though. Or liberals.


I know I have at least one (1) Christian reader here who actually embodies that God Is Love thing. And I know there's at least one (1) Republican, based on that hopeful bumper sticker, who is probably merely conservative, not stupid, violent, dangerous, or arrogant. She (I'm so sure she's a she!) wouldn't refer to her president using a racial slur, even though she may have preferred McCain. So there's hope, right?

Mostly what I want is for me to quit being so sure that all Republicans are idiots. I can't stand it that I'm right there in the black-or-white, either-or world, but I am. I can subscribe to the theory that we're all multi-faceted and that we shouldn't be judged (if at all) by just one facet. What if you judged me only by my near-total inability to find my car in a parking lot? But if you believe in torture, then how we are in the world -- our orientation -- is so very different that I don't know if we could find things to talk about at lunch. If I know that you automatically think black people are less than white people, how can we even chat about books? Don't our politics reflect our core values? I don't know how I can enjoy your (non-religious, non-political) humor while also knowing that you think Palin is a fine example of American womanhood.

Deleting without reading emails from certain "friends" doesn't seem to be the answer. I'm already an ostrich in so many ways. Right now, I'm incapable of calm, political discussion, and I may always be so. I had to take a psychological test when I worked at The Widget Factory. It turned out that in all my reactions, I was never "neutral" or "moderate." I was either "passionate" or "extreme." That doesn't sound like a good dinner companion, does it?


jeepgirl said...

God has enough love for everyone. Yes...even gays,terrorists and Republicans. It's not for us to judge, but for Him. As long as a person has accepted Him as their Lord and Savior, it doesn't matter what sins they've commited. We all sin...but if we ask forgiveness, He grants it.

Barbara said...

But- But- what about non-Christians like myself? I don't accept "Him" as my lord and savior, so the only thing left is an eternal gnashing of teeth? Ouch. There goes that love thing again ...

Anonymous said...

"God has enough love for everyone." THAT I believe. I also believe it includes EVERYONE who tries to make love the center of their motivation for their actions. ("God is love"!) Muslim? Hindu? Buddhist? Whatever. If Jesus indeed said "No one comes to the Father but by me," why can't he be the one guiding the feet of ALL who try to live in love? -- Eunice

flahoos said...

For all the reasons you sum up SO perfectly in your blog, I have "evolved" from an eye-rolling agnostic to a militant atheist these past 10 years...Bush pushed me right over the edge...

Anonymous said...

I find it difficult to have any conversations with Republicans because they never tell me what THEY think, they just repeat the latest talking point. I swear they have a chip in their brain that the Republicans program on a daily basis with the latest talking points.

And my word verification? scrotol.

Don Dewsnap said...

Personally, I have little truck with anyone who identifies himself as a Republican OR a Democrat. Party "platforms" would not withstand a stiff breeze. Neither party has a good answer for almost anything. The best we get to vote for is the least ridiculous. Any sensible changes that might occur (and I'm not counting on them anytime soon) in this country will come from outside the political realm, grow in popular support just because of their obvious logic, and then be co-opted by politicians of both parties, who will do their best to subvert and convert them. Cynical? You bet. Hopeful? Always.

Anonymous said...

...and you ARE the MOST delightful dinner companion! Rene

Conservative Curmudgeon said...

To falhoos:

Funny, your comment is interesting.

I owned rifles and a shotgun for years, having purchased them as a teen way back in the sixties. After being trained to kill as a soldier, my passion for hunting faded and my firearms collection was slowly sold off. I saw no need for them anymore.

Then, after our friends, and I use that term very loosely, the Clintons occupied the whitehouse, and especially once Hillary became a senator, I have become an avid National Rifle Association member, I have re-supplied my home arsenal with firearms and ammunition, and I find I am politically right of Hannity, Limbaugh, and maybe even Savage.

Bush pushed you one way, Hillary pushed me the other...hmmm.

Anon #5:51 pm...C'mon, kid, you people perfected the art of parroting talking points, give me a break.

Mr. Dewsnap...I tend to agree with you more than any of the others.

As far as our blog auther and host, well, I am somewhat disappointed in her. She comes close to offending with her pidoen-holing of everyone right of center. She should understand that "W." was not the president many conservative voters pulled the lever for (oh, that's right, no one pulls levers to vote anymore). Our problem with him was that he became more like what the opposition might have liked.

I find the total aversion to George W. Bush, portrayed by so many on the sensitive left even at this late date, about as sensible, well founded, and rational as children filing down an elementary school corridor, passing the place where some other child previously vomited, and they themselves now find themselves puking their guts out. They weren't really sick before they saw the spot, but now they are and, like dominoes falling in line, they make each other sick over and over.

OK, we get it that you don't like the man. Get over it. Billie Boy Clinton gave me the creeps but I don't bring that up every time I encounter a Democrat. Move along people, that era is over.

I also want you to know that we stupid, violent, dangerous, and arrogant people (I will accept that mantle, since I am staunchly right of your everyday Republican) had huge reservations about serving in our military as one trained to kill others.

It wasn't a duty this idiot took lightly. Had I chosen to go to Canada then, I would assuredly have dishonored my wife, our families, and our friends, well most of them. We who went (so some of you didn't have to soil your hands doing so) may not have believed killing to be the right thing to do, but we did know if someone, some nation were to attempt to kill our loved ones, our families, we would do what we had to do to try to keep that from happening. In so doing we also prevented "them" from doing the same to you and your families.

So, we who value life, our own, our spouses, our families and children can and do believe in killing those who would like to kill us, our spouses, children, and families.

Read your history and absorb the vast numbers of people killed during wars, especially the two World Wars.

Big numbers, huh? And many of those were neutralized by their own governments...their huge, powerful, religion-free governments.

I can't even respond to the rant our author has laid upon us. It is obviously well memorized, seriously thought out, and seems long adopted by her. It is also not what most people I know believe.

All that love stuff is great, but for "those people" it stops as soon as the line between Democrat/liberal/left and Republican/conservative/right is crossed.

I sensed our author was one who harbored great passion for things like her art, her people. I never considered she might be extreme, but the open categorization and condemnation of those who might be substantially different from her (as in ME) does point in that extreme direction.

I sincerely hope it is not a perennial condition.

Conservative Curmudgeon said...

My fingers are stubby and un-cooperative. My spell-check not working. Please forgive the goofs, misspellings.

Pi-Dave-ke said...

Have I lived up to your notion of a Republican, Barbara? Worse, I am registered C O N S E R V A T I V E !!

I imagine we have absolutely no soul or feelings, much less having an original thought, since I am even more conservative than the evil Repubs.

Having never been given the chance, I suspect many, you included, will have no opportunity to know.