Friday, March 23, 2012

The 12 Talking Points That Republicans Are Using To Guarantee Obama's Re-election

I met a good friend for breakfast the other morning. We hadn't seen each other for a few months and it was so nice to catch up on her family, and her on mine. We were neighbors for years. Our children are the same ages and went to school together. I adore her children, she adores mine. To say she has been a wonderful friend throughout the many years we have known each other would be an understatement. She saw me through some very difficult times and me her. I will always love her.

When we first met, our kids were pretty young. I still thought I was a Republican. I still thought I was a Catholic. And I still lived life in my little cocoon, happy, completely immersed in my family, and extremely, blissfully ignorant of anything other than what was going on in my little tiny world. (ugh it hurts to look back and admit this)

The years passed, our older children entered high school, and I was thankful to have her to moan and groan with about the usual stuff that goes along with teen angst and hormones. I shared pretty much everything with her. After all, we were on the same page on pretty much everything - family, faith, and even politics. Perfect friendship. 

Then, my husband and I found out our middle son was gay when he was a junior in high school. My life pretty much turned upside down. And I slunk into the closet from which my son finally freed himself. I didn't share this news with anyone, not even this friend - not because I thought she'd react badly, but because I had too much to digest, too much to work through, and I certainly was not going to make this announcement until I could make it with the peace and tranquility I knew I'd eventually reach. And that - as it so happens - takes time, longer for some (me) than for others (my husband).  

And all of this transpired in 2003, smack-dab in the middle of the Bush re-election campaign, with a promised Federal Gay Marriage Ban stirring up truly ugly, hateful homophobia and undying support from the so-called "good" Christian evangelicals they call their base. And oh how my Fox-loving neighbors were getting into this campaign, not because of the gay marriage nastiness although for some that was a bit tantalizing I'm sure, but because they could not fathom that oh-so french elitist, John Kerry, ever being able to lead this country as well as Bush. 

I no longer could be around it all. I was confused. I was furious with myself for it taking a big event in my life to wake me up to what was happening. Why did it take learning my son was gay to open my eyes? I felt such revulsion and disgust for being so ignorant and selfish.   

So I shut myself in, shut my friends out, and started re-thinking everything I thought I believed. And ooof, what a transformation I went through. R after my name: gone. My Catholicism - lapsed and then renounced. My concern for life outside my own little nuclear family - huge and growing by leaps and bounds. My desire to rejoin my friends and publicly announce my new stances and why I'd had such a transformation - pathetically low.

Well then we moved from the neighborhood and the urgency to announce I had a gay son and I was now a flaming, godless liberal was not so urgent anymore. But I was still  getting together with my friends and old neighbors - just not so frequently. And slowly but surely my need to start divulging that I no longer shared their views on just about everything was getting more pressing (I already hated myself for being such an ignorant twit for so many years, I didn't need to add two-faced twit to the list too). I'd started paying attention.I stopped letting cable tv talking heads, politicians, and the priests within the church tell me how to think. I had started reading everything I could get my hands on - from all sides. And I started forming my own opinions. And confidence. And thick skin. Damn, it was liberating. And I started talking.

My friends were not impressed with my political changes of heart. They were not swayed with my arguments. Some nearly dropped to the floor when they learned I'd be voting for Obama. But they all accepted the news  about my son just fine. I was happy. Convincing them their political views were wrong would be impossible and probably wrong for me to even try. Maybe they too would need some life-touching event of their own to open their eyes. And who the hell was I to judge? 

Which brings me to my friend and my breakfast the other morning. She never understood my transformation, but our friendship remained intact, her love for my son never wavered. We get together every few months. But something was different this last time, I noticed cracks. Her oldest son is getting married. He is not Catholic but his soon-to-be wife is. They are taking the obligatory classes the Church requires to get married in the church. Neither of their hearts are in it. They are coming home and talking about the church's/politician's (hey, separation of church and state does not exist right now with the GOP or the Catholic bishops) views on contraception, women, gays, the poor, etc  and they are openly showing their disdain for the 16th century views of both the GOP and the church. It is getting harder for my friend to deny what is right in front of her when her own children are seeing it. There are cracks forming in my friend's views and I am starting to see them.   

So when I saw this chart of 12 talking points that Republicans are using to guarantee Obama's re-election and I realized that even sane people stuck in cocoons eventually have to break out one day and see what is out there. This friend is not dumb, and she certainly is not blind. She has to be seeing some of the crazy going on around her. We live in Arizona for god sakes. We are surrounded by it. So even though I didn't ask her, I walked away thinking there might be hope for her and maybe others as well. And maybe it doesn't take learning that you have a gay child for it to happen. Maybe it just takes a political party going off the deep end.  

One can only hope.

Via TPC who got it from


1 comment:

Jarred said...

I'm glad your friend is starting to see the painful truth. I am quite sympathetic to her, however, knowing that while ultimately necessary, it is a painful process.