DNA makes us all the same
Just because someone shares DNA with me they seem to think that my political views will match their own, or that they can send me something that will change my mind about a candidate. The fact that so many of my relatives are semi-literate does not phase them; they sent me the Swift Boat letter four years ago and threatened to stop speaking to me when I sent them a link to the refutation of those claims.
This belief that we will agree politicaly seems to include some online friends, but there is a good reason some of us refer to online friends as Imaginary Friends, but more about that later.
Non Sequiturs R Us: Email from Uncle Dummy:
My dear uncle, the lone surviving member of that generation other than my father, sent me a screed yesterday that insisted that we shouldn’t be complaining about the cost of the Iraq war, because illegal aliens cost us even more. It cited statistics that claim that illegal aliens cost us $338 billion a year, but if that’s true we should be outraged about the cost of both. I haven’t been able to find reliable sources to either support or refute his numbers, and some of the links given didn’t work, usually a sign of unreliability. In my feeble attempts to research the claims of this rant, I ran across several sites that seemed focussed entirely on Mexicans, some to the point of outright racism.
What’s interesting about that is that while most people in the Southwest think of Mexicans when the term “illegal alien” is used, when we lived near San Francisco, the term usually made people think of Asians. There was a steady stream of reports of Aisan refugees being smuggled aboard boats, but no word of a sea wall being built as of this date.
Saturday we went to a party at Mr Pie’s cousin’s house, in honor of the cousin’s parents. We absolutely love them. These are good people, but Mr Pie’s uncle has decided in recent years that he has a religious duty to make sure we vote the way he thinks Jesus would want. His idea of Jesus’s political beliefs is quite different from mine, even though Unc and I share the same political party. The last time he cornered me was four years ago at lunch following Mr Pie’s mother’s funeral. He wanted to know how we were going to vote in the upcoming election, which is not usually the sort of subject one brings up at these events. I told him John Kerry and he nearly choked on his iced tea. He tried to point out the vile canard(s) of the Swift Boat Veterans but I wasn’t having any, and when he saw this he retorted, “Well, his wife is ugly!” Right. That was the entire reason I shouldn’t vote for Kerry. If I hadn’t been so annoyed I would have seen how amusing this was.
So, on Saturday he wanted to find out who I’m voting for, because, I mean, he just doesn’t know what he’s going to do about the election this time. I wondered if this meant that he was actually considering voting for Obama, but I quickly realized that he meant that there was no one candidate who was willing to do Jesus’s bidding. He made it clear that he couldn’t vote for Obama because the man was so awful. So awful? I was afraid to get into that with him, and just told him that I didn’t want to argue politics with him. He smiled. I did tell him that I did vote for McCain in both this primary and the one in 2000, but that I was worried that McCain might be too friendly with the wrong people. This satisfied him, since he could imagine that I was as worried as he was that McCain might not be as attentive to the Evangelical Right Wing as Bush pretended to be. That is one disillusioned bunch of people, as they well should be. I am not one of them. My Christian beliefs align more with policies on the Left than on the Right these days, and I was not disillusioned at all by what W & Co. have done.
Mighty disturbed, but not disillusioned.
And then there are my online friends who think that because they have my email address I would welcome a much-forwarded letter about, oh say how Obama is a Muslin (sic) sympathizer. I have little sympathy for muslin; as a fabric it serves its purpose, but that’s about it.
Oh, you meant Muslim. Right. That group of people that is the current favorite bogeyman of people who have never met one. They’re different from us therefore we fear/hate them.
Today’s email brought me a wonderful article about how McCain is not using his son’s military service in his campaign (although today’s paper cites Lieberman as doing so), and how this is noble of him, etc. so we should vote for him.
Um, explain to me why he would cite his son’s service in his campaign? I expect better from him and I am glad to see that he isn’t disappointing.
This is the letter I sent back to my friend, who is my friend because I purchased a photograph ($65) in an antique mall that had a name on the back of it, tracked down the descendants, and sent it to her for free:
Thank you Traci, but despite my great respect for McCain I will be voting for Obama. I voted for McCain in the 2000 primary, when George W Bush’s loyalists smeared him as “too angry to be president” and even referred to him as the Manchurian Candidate. I also voted for him in this most recent primary, because I am a lifelong Republican, but I won’t be voting for him come November because of his vote on the issue of torture. He, of all people, should have stood fast against that bill and he didn’t, and it makes me think that he is willing to abandon all principles in order to be president; I worry that the same Neo-Cons who brought us thewill still be hanging around the White House.
I admire the fact that McCain has decided not to kowtow to the Evangelicals, but I worry about his “100 years of war” statement. I am also disturbed by the way he treated his first wife when he returned fromto discover that she had been disfigured in a car accident while he was a POW. When I read about his behavior I wondered aloud that only the Democrats seem to have intact marriages, and that’s a shock considering what my party is supposed to stand for.
The main reason I’m voting for Obama, though, is that I think the Republican Party needs a good shaking-up. It needs to return to the middle, it needs to shed the Neo-Cons who are so willing to send other people’s children to war but unwilling to make a similar sacrifice themselves.
Now even though your first impulse after reading this may be to strike me from your list of contacts, but I hope you don’t. I would like to remain your friend even though our political goals are different.
It would have been too ironic for words if this son, Jimmy McCain, had been his son by his first wife, but this is Cindy’s boy.