Politics and the American Language

Three or four more overheard tidbits in today from the local “conservatives” such as: “What those liberals are going to have to realize is how we’re going to..” and “These people are appeasers and immoral and don’t belong here; they need to take the next plane to France” and my favorite “The real problem is in the universities. We need to shut those guys down while we have the chance”.

I grew up in the 1970s, the decade of divorce. Of course in Orange County we were token liberals in a sea of conservative Republicans, but the odd part was this. Of my school friends growing up, maybe three fourths of them had divorced parents. And said divorced parents were heavily into the disco scene, the coke, the quaaludes, the adultery, and probably the whole wife-swapping open-marriage disaster too. It was messed up, especially for the kids who were supposed to pretend that everything was cool when an alarming amount of “adult” crap was being dumped on them.

Meanwhile my parents had a forty plus year marriage of love without cheating, drug abuse, orgies, swinger parties, conspicuous consumption, or even disco music. They had a glass of wine with dinner. Their lives were dedicated to their children, each other, and their professions. My father taught at universities for 40 years and worked his ass off at it. My mother taught preschool. They raised both of us to be law-abiding, respectful, productive, and tolerant.

However, I can now see where they went wrong. In my family we were taught that the weak deserved protection from the strong, and that the wealthy had an obligation to share with the poor. We were taught that religious freedom was an American value and that we kept the church and state separate so that all could worship in peace. We were also raised to be suspicious of wars and war leaders; to take pronouncements from wealthy businessmen with a grain of salt; to pay careful attention to our government and be citizen watchdogs against any erosion of our liberty; and to respect the opinions of others and build consensus whenever possible.

Apparently that’s the real problem! Strong family values, hard work, and a critical but moderate liberal attitude toward government are the new Communism. The triumphant blowhards whose Talk Radio Nation won a narrow electoral victory are mopping up, and can’t quite decide whether imprisonment, deportation, or mere disenfranchisement is enough of a punishment for my failure to conform to the new Statethink.

I went home and cleaned my guns tonight.

8 thoughts on “Politics and the American Language

  1. i was brought up in a completely different (though somewhat politically similar) place (arizona), without parents or stability, and yet i was taught almost the exact same things–almost as if those values you mention were some kind of common, shared American values. Not so, apparently. What the hell is wrong with us, anyway? I mean, I had the right wing religious indoctrination like so many people apparently did, and it just bounced off me like rubber bullets off superman. Why won’t our tiny little brains learn to cooperate with the fascist evangelical conservative steamroller? Is it some weird mutant genetic resistance or something?
    Thankfully we’ll soon be rounded up into tidy little camps and we’ll have time to discuss it.
    They’re going to lose eventually, you know. It may suck getting there, but it’s inevitable. It’s cold comfort, but right now that’s the only kind we have.

  2. We continue to have entirely too much in common. 🙂
    I was just talking to my mom the other day about how, growing up, I had the only still-married parents among my friends.
    Growing up in NYC, however, I probably had a better buffer between us and the Republicans.

  3. Same life story here. My parents were anachronisms, apparently genetically incapable of noticing trends around them. We have mainstream Catholic and Hindu values of charity, without any interest in hunting down the baby killers or purging the nation of unbelievers.
    I wonder how much one’s model of power is based on one’s family. When things went wrong for us, it was because my parents had blinkers on, or my brother was selfish and capricious. When I think about the government, I find myself believing that everything will be all right if only the dissenters were more disciplined and that the people in power would open their eyes.
    Maybe that makes me a fool. Maybe I extend the olive branch to people I shouldn’t.

  4. You are so right
    I got this email today from the Corona Del Mar Republican Assembly. Yes, I am still on their mailing list. If for any other reason, emails like the one below for entertainment value.
    Dear Sandy,
    Both my son and I plan to join you at the CDMRA meeting on the 21st.Recently members of the CMRA received word from President Mike Berry that your organization had invited Costa Mesa Club members to attend your next meeting.
    Rip, my son, desires to be more active in the Republican Assembley next year and if I can ever get through my divorce I intend to become more active. We will start now to react to the Mountejoy new “Illegal Immigration Drive” by getting petition signatures for submittal.
    Ralph

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