It’s hard being the only flaming liberal in your little family. Okay, my aunt Vicki is also a flaming liberal. So there are two of us, I guess, among a sea of red. Red so red that I am regularly inundated with emails calling out Obama for not being patriotic enough. Not loving his country enough. Not saluting the flag enough. Not being Christian enough. And my dad has been saying for years that Obama is an undercover Muslim hellbent on destroying the U.S. from the inside. He knows this because he heard it from a guy who does construction for some Muslim dude who said it was true. I like to imagine that scenario: Muslim prankster chews sandwich and scares the shit out of a couple of nearby white dudes by confirming their biggest fear.
I try to keep my mouth shut because we all know arguing with your family about politics is a nonstarter, but sometimes I can’t. Keep arguing long enough and you realize there are parallel realities happening. It’s scary.
Just this weekend my family was in town for Holden’s birthday party and apparently (I found out the next day when I left for work) my brother ripped up my Obama yard sign and my dad replaced it with a Romney sign. I don’t run around ripping up his Confederate flags and putting down, uh, American flags. Because that’s his thing and even though I disagree with it and think it’s divisive and hurtful, that’s his property and his house. I let it be. I reckon those rules have changed though, going by precedent.
Here we are in the afterglow of a re-election victory. What a relief. I haven’t called or texted anyone to gloat. I remember how I felt in 2004 when Kerry lost. Just fucking beside myself with grief. How could the country be so stupid? I’m sure Republicans are reeling in the same way. Those stupid Democrats and their stupid lack of stupid comments about rape. And their stupid legal weed and their stupid marriage equality.
God, I want to gloat.
Four years ago, in January, I got to witness history being made. That picture up there shows an enormous crowd at the Obama inauguration. It was an honor and a fucking blast to be present for that. The vibe was incredible and it’s one of the most important and cool things I have ever done. I’d like to go again.
It feels good to win but it feels even better to see the tide turn toward sanity. I have to remember that it is a tide, though, and sometimes it will recede. We take steps forward and then get yanked back sometimes. You can’t lose hope and you can’t check out. Politics is not a game and I get irritated when I hear people dismiss it as such. Those people in slick suits politicking are going to make the rules you live your life by; you sure as shit better pay attention, read something every now and then, and contribute.
And for god’s sake, don’t get caught on the wrong, hateful side of history.