My Big Daddy reads my blogs every day, and sometimes prints them out. I think he used to print all of them, and then realized that he liked some more than others and now he's selective in his use of paper and ink. Or Carol, the mom I should have been born to, is busy upstairs and reads it first and she'll print it out and bring it down to him. They have the marriage I want to have in twenty years, they give each other a lot of space, and yet are together most of the time, especially when they're touring the continent in their most giant of motor coaches. I don't know how they share one email address though, I'll have to draw the line there.
He referenced the blog I wrote the other day (http://wordworldoflaurabee.blogspot.com/2009/09/straight-teeth-imaginary-money-and.html) and said he was really happy to hear that I'm actually a Republican. That's like hearing that even though your parents gave you a girl name and you grew up thinking you're a woman you've actually been male this whole time. A Republican? Me? He quoted a few lines and said that this is how Republicans think. He softened the blow by saying I was probably a Libertarian. I wasn't writing politically, I was just asking questions about the economy and voicing my alarm at the way things are going. That one statement made me realize that I need to research what exactly the baseline party platforms of the Big Two actually are.
Seriously, this hit me like finding out I had been adopted as a baby would. I have been so anti-Republican my whole thinking life, and yet I think all I really know is what the media spins about the two parties and what they're doing and who they are. Add to that the fact that most networks slyly support one or the other but don't tell you which side they're on, and I see that one could choose a party simply because they like the people saying the endless words about the world, and that it was imperative to choose the opposite party of my dear Father in the interest of spirited political debate. I've suspected for quite some time that both parties have deep and ridiculous flaws in them, and that I'm really neither, but I tend to lean toward making sure everyone is taken care of rather than ensuring the top two percent of the rich get to keep all the money.
One thing that really disturbs me is that the Christians have not only ridden on the coat-tails of the Republican party, they seem to be wearing the whole coat these days. Not the quiet Christians who follow that set of beliefs and try their best to live the life described in their book (like my Grandmother or Carol) but the radical, scary, sign waving people who will gladly bash your head in with the same bible they say is their "Word of God."
These are the people who say that hurricane Katrina and 9/11 was caused by God's displeasure at the country's tolerance of homosexuality. They believe that HIV/AIDS is God's punishment for homosexual behavior. They want to take away a woman's right to reproductive choice, and yet deny her any funding to raise babies she couldn't afford in the first place. They carry signs that are mean and ugly, like "God hates Fags" or "How many babies have you killed today?" They plot and bomb clinics that preform abortions. They want to put their prayers in schools where children who have two same sex parents, or a different religion than the prayers they're pushing. They say "In Jesus' name" at the end of everything, and I think if Jesus were alive he'd flip them right over like the money changers in the temple in that one story from the bible. They want to use random snippets of that book as statements of fact when arguing their point of view, which I reject as a platform of logic. They believe the world is only a few thousand years old, and that Satan put dinosaur bones in the earth to test the faith of the true believers. They scare the shit out of me.
I have actually done hours of study in bible groups, back when I hoped it was all true, and then just to gather ammunition to debate these people. I'm familiar with the book. I came across a version once, where all the words attributed to Jesus were in red, and the rest of the words were printed in black. I read the red words from start to finish and skipped the rest. Jesus was a really cool guy, and he and I would have shared many of the same beliefs about life and how we should treat people. If you skip the virgin birth and the resurrection, which are myths and archetypes you can find in many stories dating long before his arrival, I'm totally down with Jesus. It's the Christians I take issue with, and they've infested the Republican party like termites, and this old house is going to fall down soon, I'm really afraid it's beyond repair.
I've always been a Democrat, sort of by default because of this. Come on, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton VS Richard Nixon and either of the Bushes, it's easy to see who would win that battle even if they weren't allowed to use weapons and had to fight bare-handed. Even if Dick Cheney slipped in under the ropes with a metal folding chair to unfairly participate in the fight. If I were to be honest though, and you have to promise not to tell my Dad, I'm not so sure I like how the Democrats handle money. Shhhhh.
So now I'm left without a position to debate him, which is one of the greatest joys in my life. Winning even one point against my Dad is precious and worth more than gold. He's very crafty and will turn my own points against me. I think I have scored maybe three times in my whole life, and I wear those around my neck like that big-eared, pot-smoking swimmer from the last olympics with his eight gold medals. What will happen if I start to agree with him? We'll be reduced to discussing the weather. He's very tolerant about all my passionate equality issues, there's no real debate there. He's not into any religion so we agree on that. How will I even get through the second half of my life if I start agreeing with my Dad? He used to say "When you get older you'll understand." which is the most obnoxious and provocative statement you can make to a young person. Just try saying it to my daughter if you want to test that theory, she knows everything already, and she'll come at you with her claws out. Really though, what if he's been mostly right about everything this whole time? I can't digest that thought.
Since I won't be having a gravestone, what if I have to wear my epitaph on a t-shirt that says "You were right dad."? I just won't be me any more.
Astrology, past and future lives and communicating psychically with animals. That's where I'll get him!