Ask Auntie Pinko
June 2, 2005
By Auntie Pinko
I am surrounded. Republicans everywhere. How do I work and interact
with these people on a day to day basis?
I mean, before in my life if someone told me "I am a Republican"
I would smile and nod my head and ask them something about Reagan
or Nixon. Now if someone tells me that they're a Republican, what
they are really telling me is that they are an uninformed Kool-Aid
drinker, hanging on Rush's every word. I don't want to be prejudiced
against them, but I don't see how I can't be.
It's easy for people to shrug off the people in cowpoke towns
in the red states as unedumacated, waving their confederate flags
- but these people I see every day are intelligent human beings.
They are savvy, kind, well mannered, Volvo driving, IGNORANT ASSHOLES!
That have been nothing but nice to me.
How can I respect and admire anyone who is pro-Bush or his
administration? There is not one thing I can latch onto and say
"Well, they are sending this world to hell in a hand basket but
at least they..."
Conservatism, although I don't agree with it, can be understood.
But this outright lying and evil administration - I don't see how
anyone with a half a brain could support them.
How do I not hold these people in such contempt? Please tell
For starters, you can remember that politics, while certainly
important, is not The Most Important Thing Ever. It is not even
the most important thing about an individual human being. You say,
"There is not one thing I can latch onto and say 'Well, they are
sending this world to hell in a hand basket but at least they...'"
How about this? "(They) have been nothing but nice to me." If
that doesn't count for anything, Christian, you are suffering from
a serious deficit in your sense of proportion. Please remember that
(unless you work in marketing or public information for a living)
it is not your job, or even your sacred responsibility, to make
everyone see the hideous error of his or her opinions.
Mr. Bush's administration has lied. It is responsible for much
evil. There are many people in the administration, and many supporting
it, whose actions appear to be based on the most selfish and ignoble
of motives - personal profit, self-aggrandizement, the lust for
power. The results of their actions have brought great harm to many,
while they themselves, and their friends, have prospered.
The justifications advanced for their public policies and actions
show little appreciation for values I (and many other Democrats)
hold dear: that the merit of a government should be judged, not
by how effectively it adds to the abundance of those who already
enjoy abundance, but by how effectively it relieves the misery and
suffering of those less fortunate; and that it is one of government's
most important responsibilities to ensure that future generations
will have clean air and water, habitable land, and a sustainable,
Even the values I do share with this administration and its supporters
- that an ethical government must uphold the principles of political
and social self-determination in its dealings with other governments;
and that government must assure the domestic safety of all citizens,
especially the most helpless - appear to be subject to some strange
distorting lens when seen by this administration. The actions they
attribute to these values appear hypocritically selective, and are
carried out in counterproductive ways that cause more damage from
long-term problems than the short-term damage they mitigate.
This administration and its supporters also profess to hold dear
some values which I detest - social Darwinism as a basis for community
progress, and relying on the profits of business to determine the
level of citizens' economic security and success, rather than relying
on a broad base of economically secure and successful citizens to
support the profits of business. For all these reasons, and more,
I oppose this administration and am determined to replace them with
public servants who share both my values, and my understanding of
the ethical and effective way to implement those values.
But I do not personally know any members of this administration.
While I do believe the leadership of this administration bears responsibility
for the misery created by its actions, I cannot see into the deepest
hearts of any one individual in the administration and condemn them
as "evil," however evil the results of their actions might be.
Auntie Pinko lives in a small rural town in a very "red"
part of an otherwise "blue" state. My GOP neighbors sport "W" bumper
stickers and festoon their vehicles with yellow magnetic ribbons.
I don't share many of their political opinions, and I am frustrated
and disappointed in their apparent unwillingness or inability to
see what is so blatantly obvious to me. This is especially true
since I live among them and know what decent, caring people they
are. They are good neighbors, the kind who keep an eye on your house
when you're away, who bring casseroles and hugs when neighbors are
grieving a loss. They chip in willingly, with both time and money,
when friends and community institutions are in need.
My GOP neighbors have supported their sons and daughters who are
in the military, fighting in the sad, misconceived war in Iraq.
They worry deeply for their safety even while they seem utterly
unable to connect the lies and ambition of Mr. Bush's administration
with the danger threatening their children. (Although some of them
are starting to have doubts!) When a local man, a young husband
and father, was badly wounded in Iraq, my neighbors of all political
opinions instantly established a fund to meet the travel and accommodation
expenses for his young wife to go to Texas where he was being treated
in a military hospital, and neighbors stepped in to help his family
If I were struck by some disaster - a sudden illness, a fire,
loss of a close family member (God forbid!) - I wouldn't have the
slightest hesitation in turning to my GOP neighbors for help and
support. They'd be there for me, even if they pull the "wrong" handle
in the voting booth. Even if their vision of the ideal American
government is different from mine in many ways, they would reach
out to me if I were in trouble, and do their best to help. How could
I feel contempt for such people, even if I vigorously disagree with
their political opinions?
Your dedication to the social and economic values Democrats share
is a wonderful thing, Christian. Don't lose it; work hard and persistently
to help bring about change for the better in America. But if you
find yourself getting lost in negative feelings, it's time to step
back a bit. Take a break from politics for a while. Life is much
bigger than politics, important as they are. People are more important
- all people, regardless of whether they agree with you politically.
If you want to live in an America where diversity of opinion is
valued, where free speech is cherished, where differing viewpoints
are respected - be the change you want to create. And thanks for
asking Auntie Pinko!
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