Wednesday, June 13, 2007

crazy?

My 52 year old sister didn't recognize a picture of Dick Cheney, yet she joyfully settled in for a three hour Anna Nicole special a few nights ago. My 63 year old sister pickets for (yes that's for) the war in Iraq. My stepmother never misses an opportunity to castigate Hillary and Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi, while admitting she's disgusted with her Republican party and doesn't recognize these asshats in office. My precious nephew, the one with the softest heart, the most generous nature, is a rabid Glenn Beck fan. My other sweet nephew believes O'Reilly and Beck make a lot of good points. I have a nephew very hostile to me who's crossed the line from conservative to wing nut.

The point of all of this is that none of these individuals, with the exception of the eldest sister and her husband, are able to converse in depth on any of the issues facing us in this country. Those two don't read much, just take their news from Fox. When I press any of these folks, my loved ones, on their convictions, asking for explanations behind their views, they just laugh it off and change the subject. These are intelligent, college-educated people. They are not religious crazies, most of them are pro-choice, pro-equal rights, for gay marriage or at least civil unions. When I am surrounded by all of this I begin to doubt my own sanity. Do you ever feel insane in the midst of those who love you best?

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17 Comments:

Blogger hellojed said...

I can't imagine how hard that must be for you. My family are all liberal, but my boyfriend's family are slightly conservative and blame the Indians and Pakistanis who live near them for everything that's gone wrong in Britain (until I pulled them up about it - I just couldn't bear hearing it anymore) I've realised that they are unable to see past their little bubble, and they just repeat the stuff from the tabloid rag they read. I reckon the suburbs have a lot to answer for! If people were forced to mix with other classes and races, it would be harder for them to shut their eyes and ears to the world as it really is, and not how those rags like to sell it. That's my two cents, keep up the good work!

June 13, 2007 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Tater said...

YES!!!

My parents have two straight kids and two gay kids, have nothing but love and acceptance in their hearts for us and our partners, yet both watch Fox news, voted for the pinhead TWICE, and when questioned about their beliefs, they shrug off the conversation. It's like, we love and accept you honey, but don't ask us to explain our political beliefs. My dad isn't capable anymore due to Alzheimers, bless his heart, but my mom surely is. I don't get it. She has a liberal social outlook, but still votes Republican. INSANITY. It does make me pause and wonder if I am nuts from time to time.

June 13, 2007 9:34 AM  
Anonymous lynette said...

tater, i think they're voting old style republican, which was more like modern day progressive. it's odd. my dad is cognizant of the fact that george w. bush is the worst president ever, and he didn't vote for him the second time around, but what they all say is "it's better than the alternative." only it's not. it's far, far worse and it's going to be the destruction of our country and likely the world. forget the muslim horde they all like to rant on, the greatest danger in this world is american aggression and imperialism and rampant corporatism.

June 13, 2007 9:53 AM  
Anonymous lynette said...

forgot to add that the sole progressive-like-me among my kin is stationed on an aircraft carrier off the coast of iran.

June 13, 2007 9:56 AM  
Blogger Paige said...

OMG!! Your family IS my family!! My brother is one step away from being a wing nut. He's only 24, and if Rush Limbaugh spouts it, my brother believes it. My mother only watches/believes FOX news...she argues with me if I say I saw something on CNN.

Sigh, what's sad about this is I consider myself a Republican....yet if the "next generation" of Republicans act like my brother.....I'm in deep sh*t!

June 13, 2007 10:03 AM  
Blogger mumblesalot (Laura A) said...

Interesting, sounds like my family. Mine are religious right. Very right about everything. God told them.

Two of them work for Washington think tanks. I find it mind numbing and rather frightening.

June 13, 2007 10:52 AM  
Blogger Red7Eric said...

When I tell my parents that I heard something on NPR, they roll their eyes with derision, yet they believe Bill O'Reilly when he says, "Welcome to the 'No Spin Zone'" ... it could drive a person mad.

June 13, 2007 11:41 AM  
Anonymous Crixi Van Cheek said...

My family is Catholic. They are against abortion, but they are also against gays adopting. I had a foster son with AIDS. He was only ten and a half when he died, but they never visited, sent a birthday card or attended his funeral. He was too brown for them. That is the spirit of Christian Republicans in America. I have AIDS too, and in the 26 times I was hospitalized, I have never gotten a visit from siblings who live close by. They go apeshit at protecting the rights of the unborn, but if that child is born and turns out Mexican they will hate it with every fiber of their being claiming that child is stealing their healthcare and jobs. They claim to follow Jesus, and yet they use words like Nigger, Kike, Faggot, Coon and Wetback regularly with the same tongue they receive communion on. They have bumper stickers that say 'Support our Troops' and 'Never Forget 9/11' but despise New Yorkers. They absolutely believe killing 650,000 Iraqis is justified even though Chrisitanity claims that you should love your enemy. I suppose love means kill. They think Iraq attacked us on 9/11. They don't care that Bin Laden has never been caught. They think they are safer except for those damned brown Mexicans. And they think nothing of belonging to a church that officially says their gay brother is not allowed to particpate in and will burn in hell for all eternity. Christian Republicans are no better than terrorists. They just drive better cars and have central air.

June 13, 2007 12:46 PM  
Anonymous lynette said...

crixi. i am so, so sorry.

June 13, 2007 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Crixi Van Cheek said...

Oh Lynette, if your heart gets any bigger there gonna make it a State. (And I'd bet it would be one o' them states where I could get married!).

June 13, 2007 2:52 PM  
Blogger more cowbell said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 13, 2007 4:44 PM  
Blogger more cowbell said...

In a word, Yes. Mom is religious right ultraconservative. Daddy, not religious, but conservative. (Mom used to be ultra liberal, hippie, the whole deal, until she found the Spirit.) They're bootstrappers.

It is very hard for me to class my parents in the same boat with the WingNutters. They are college educated, funny, witty, ethical, caring people. It's very difficult to reconcile their SELVES with their beliefs. It's like a symbiotic Republican alien is trapped in their gut.

My mom, daughter and I had a conversation about religion on my last trip home. Mom got really worked up, took things personally, got almost hostile. The conversation ended with her abruptly snapping, "...because my way is RIGHT, that's why, Christianity is right, Jesus is the Savior, and all those others are wrong, and I don't have to sit here and debate it."

Mom and dad love my (biracial) kids more than life, yet remain convinced that the Mexican horde is taking every last right away from us. They don't see the conflict. They're anti-choice, anti-gay, anti social programs. Mom sends me "joke" emails about Mexicans, Muslims, whatever, along with God-mail, hoping to reconvert me.

But my parents are not Bill or Dick or Dubya or Ann Coulter. They're Mom & Daddy, and the rest of them is so wonderful ... how is that part of them tied up with this rightwing crap? It's hard for me to reconcile it.

Crixi -- good thoughts to you.

June 13, 2007 4:47 PM  
Anonymous lynette said...

crixi, my heart's a blue state and yes, you could get married therein. :-)

MC . . . it's crazy, like multiple personalities. almost a double standard: many things are okay for me and mine that aren't okay for the rest of those yahoos. my problem has always been being able to put myself right smack into the shoes of the others, after which it's impossible to dismiss them as unworthy.

June 13, 2007 4:47 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Damn, Crixi's family is just heart-breaking.

My mother jumps from discussion to hostile indignation in about 30 seconds when it comes to abortion, gay marriage, gays in general, and whatever other political topic comes up. She hated gays before they ever became a major political force. It's at a point where you're better off avoiding the conversation. Sad.

June 13, 2007 9:04 PM  
Blogger lisalgreer said...

Lynette, thank you for posting this. I was raised southern baptist, fundamentalist. And recently, my parents have turned into rabid Republicans. My mom actually organizes stuff at the county level in her community, for the last 5 years. Ugh

I was really hurt last week when my dad told my best friend that I am basically a wacko-- religiously (mind you, I'm protestant and very much still orthodox in my beliefs but I go to a church of the Brethren that does not believe in Bush's wars, etc) and that I have no mind of my own since I married. LOL. He means politically. Funny thing is, both me and DH have different opinions on it all but we both KNOW that what is going on is nuts and are decidedly moderate Dems lately and for the last 9 years-- prounion etc. I was very hurt by the lack of love for me and respect for my views from my dad. he has always been a loving man, but he listens to 2 hours of FOX every night and now he's a rageaholic. And I'm freakin' indignant and pissed off!! I mean, the thing is, I have an MA and I TEACH friggin' critical thinking and writing. My DH has a Ph.D. in biology. We are NOT idiots. I know what I believe and why I believe it; I have tested my schema many times and have grown much over the years. I just get angry sometimes when people who voted for Bush, who voted for the killing, who actively partcipate in the party doings, who still believe that interracial marriage should not go on in Alabama (yes, they voted in 2000 against getting rid of that law), who say they are Christians but have nothing in common with Jesus in my view, and who hate anyone different than them could dare to judge me for having some sanity and compassion.

Wow!! Sorry for the vent. I feel for you. I am praying for us all. This is ripping families apart, and I just want it to end. Because I will NOT give in or over to this insanity. I will stand firm for justice in our country. No matter what that leads to... and that scares me.

June 13, 2007 11:46 PM  
Blogger mumblesalot (Laura A) said...

Crixi I am sorry about your siblings and family. That certainly is very painful and sad. You are obviously a very compassionate person. How incredible to adopt a child, that is very special. I am sorry you are ill and so sorry your sibings can't be there when you most need them. I will send some love your way. Best of everything to you!

June 14, 2007 1:57 AM  
Blogger David said...

I'm one of the lucky ones, too. Family, both immediate and extended, is fully open, accepting, liberal-leaning if not full-out liberal, and loving.

June 14, 2007 10:06 AM  

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