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Monthly Archives: April 2011

…So THAT Was Awkward…

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I live in a very RED, South Side county in Illinois.  In fact, most of Illinois is red, conservative.  Except for Cook County which contains within it one of the greatest cities in America – Chicago.

The county I live in about forty minutes outside of Chicago is, dare I say, blood-red.

During the lead-up to the 2008 election I was very cognizant of what the mood was around here.  Huge McCain/Palin support rallies took place down the street from me.  All attempts to avoid driving past those things proved fruitless as there are only two major streets to use in order to get to the grocery store or gas station.   I had to dig deep to avoid flipping the bird to these supporters as I drove by and saw signs that said “Honk if you Hate Obama”.  The only campaign signs on the neighbors lawns read “McCain-Palin”, and there were many of them.  The view driving down my long, winding street was very much like driving through a field of annoying, red flowers which I was having an allergic reaction to.

I had ordered my “Obama-Biden” swag but as the election drew nearer I still had not received it in the mail.  It irritated me.  I wanted to put my signs up too even though I fully anticipated wiping farm-fresh eggs off of them daily.

But finally, my order came in…the day before the election.  I had ordered “Obama-Biden” buttons too.  I have three small sons and was in a hurry to pick them up from afternoon daycare.  I put one of the buttons on my coat, forgot about it in my haste and left.

I love the daycare my children attend.  I love the people there, am very friendly with them and trust them completely with the care of my kids.  I’ve known the caretakers there, and many of the parents, for four years.  We’d always had great conversations and genuinely liked each other.

As usual, I walked up to the Director’s desk before getting the kids bundled in their coats.  We’d talk about our day, have a few laughs, etc.  Only on that day she was…odd.  Stand-offish.  I just chalked it up to her having a very busy, hectic day.  I turned to say hi to a parent, and then turned back to her.  That’s when I realized that she was staring at my button.  The look of shock on her face was well, shocking.  In my head I thought about ignoring it and continuing on with our conversation.  But I’ve never been one to ignore, literally, the elephant in the room.

“Ohhh….the button.  Are you surprised?”  I asked lightly with a laugh.

“Um, yes, I guess I am.”  she replied.

“Really?  Why?  I know we’ve never really talked about politics or anything, but I kind of just assumed from what you know about me that I am pretty Liberal.”

“Well, I don’t know…it does shock me I guess.  I never really pegged you for a Democrat.  Do you really LIKE Obama?”

“Ha!” I retorted.  “Yeah, I’ve been a Liberal my whole life.  Really Liberal.  And yeah, I like Obama a lot.  Are you going to kick my kids out of here now?” I again asked with a lilt.

“Oh, no.  No, come on.  I’m just kind of shocked that’s all.  Everyone’s got their own beliefs, that’s what it’s all about… I guess.”  She said half-heartedly.

“Yeah, we’re a real melting-pot, huh?  Okay, well I’m going to get the kids now.  See you later!”

End scene.  Wow.  Tension.  It threw me.  It really did.  I felt off my game.  And I very rarely feel off my game.  As I walked throughout the building retrieving my three boys I began to notice the other stares I was getting from people.  As if I were moving in slow-motion.  Looks of incredulity.  It was fascinating.  It was if I had walked in there naked, with a bullhorn, shouting “Hey, piss off people!  You suck and I’m an idiot!”  That’s what their looks on their faces seemed to convey, but maybe I was just so weirded out at that point that I interpreted them that way.  I doubt it though.

It took a good couple of weeks after the election for things to return to “normal” between me and the people there, but they did.  Sort of.  We never mentioned the election or its outcome and never mentioned the scarlet letter “O” that they had clearly seen emblazoned on my chest.  However, I’m pretty sure in the backs of their minds they are still shaking their heads…tsk-tsking me….sighing heavily, not understanding how they could actually like me, but liking me none-the-less.   See I never had that emotion.  I assumed that all of them were very conservative, wrongly or not.   But I don’t think it ever occurred to them that anyone would walk in there proudly wearing blue.

Then again, I’m a die-hard Cubs fan.  Wait’ll they find THAT out.  That’s when I’m really screwed.


What the…?!?!

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So I get one of those e-mails sent to me by a very conservative relative, someone I really love and respect.  But you know the e-mail I’m talking about…”I Vote Democrat Because”…and then an onslaught of ridiculously implausible and stereotypical declarations follow, all designed to really get-my-goat.  Goat gotten.  Feta being churned as we speak.

Yeah, one of those.  I’ve blown those damn things off so many times that I’ve created my own weather pattern.  Not today.  Not the day after the revelation of  THE LONG FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE.  No.  Couldn’t blow.  I’m a proud Lib. I retorted with my own not-so-implausible-not-so-stereotypical declarations of my own.  See us Libs, well, I tend to think our beliefs – flawed as they may be – come from a little bit of a “better place”.  Possibly from that place of “moral superiority” that our detractors are always talking about.  My point is, I’m not above taking it as long as I can dish it out.

I wrote this on the fly today and e-mailed it out.  I can’t account for 100% accuracy in my assertions.  Again, you know us Libs…we’re so, so…emotional.


1. I voted Republican because I drink the kool-aid and believe that the oil companies raking in billions in profits in the worst economy since the Great Depression is a coincidence and has nothing to do with my party’s allegiance to big oil’s lobby.

2. I voted Republican because I believe that in an enlightened democracy, the greatest the Earth has ever known, I shouldn’t have to give one red-cent to my government to help those in need or in desperate situations (job loss, too old to work and garner insurance through an employer that won’t hire them, etc) – just so long as “I’ve got mine”, and because I’m too smart and invincible to think I’ll every need the help of that government. But if I do need that help or safety net, it better f*&%ing-a well be there.

3. I voted Republican because Freedom of Speech is fine, as long as I can shout “Socialist/Marxist/Communist” and “You’re not an American!” at the top of my lungs toward anyone who doesn’t believe what I believe, without a shred of evidence to support those claims other than they don’t wear a flag pin or want ALL Americans to have a shot at basic healthcare and not have to rely on a private company hiring them in order for them to afford it…you know, stuff like that.

4. I voted Republican because semi-automatic and automatic weapons with the capacity to hold 20, 30+ round clips was EXACTLY what the Framers of the Constitution meant when they spoke of the right to bear arms, and any person who attempts to restrict my right to go anywhere I damn well please with a portable arsenal, is not only Anti-American, he’s an “appeaser”, a “coward” or a “hippie Liberal”. As a Republican, I have a divine knowledge of what the Founders meant by everything they wrote.

5. I voted Republican because I have a unique ability to deny what I can see before my eyes – that glaciers and polar icecaps melting couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the toxic spew we’ve been throwing into our air, Earth and water for generations. And as a Republican I have a unique ability to not-care about any visible evidence that our planet just might be in trouble from what humans are doing to it. AND, as a Republican, because the polar ice-caps melting doesn’t affect me directly, any even microscopic attempt to regulate pollution will only be seen by me as an attempt to harm the corporations who produce the waste – and that means that you are at the very least anti-Capatalist, and definitely a Socialist.

6. I voted Republican because I have the unique ability to refuse to accept or understand that a human embryo/fetus is encapsulated inside of a… woman… who by law has a CHOICE, not a mandate, to decide what is best for her own physicality or that of her embryo/fetus. Because I am a Republican and do not believe in “big government”…I know that what is RIGHT (and naturally “small government”) is to pass a law forcing my own religious and social beliefs on that woman and to FORCE her to give birth to a child against her will – regardless of how she became pregnant, whether or not she can care for a child, regardless of the health of her or that child in the womb or once it will be born…AND…once it’s born I know, as a Republican, that it’s not even a blip of a thought in my head as to the kind of life that child/mother will live. And I don’t care, because in this world you just pull up your bootstraps, never get sick because you can’t afford to, get a great college education and get a high-paying job. Remember, I’m a Republican….I don’t believe in “big government”.

7. I voted Republican because I think anyone who is foreign is scary and I know that they are after what is “mine”. I only see things as black & white, and forget that by undeniable, stupid luck I was born on American soil and am therefore inherently just kind of, better, than people who weren’t. I have no real capacity to see illegal immigration, or even legal immigration, on a multitude of levels aside from just the “icky foreigner” one. I don’t have the capacity to see the human side of it. Well, that’s not true, I like Carlos a lot. He’s the illegal immigrant who cuts my lawn and who I pay in cash under the table, and Thank God, because well, that job is really beneath an American anyway.

8. I voted Republican because I believe the dogma that my party spews at me in that businesses should be treated as “people”… only really, really “special people”. So special, in fact, that they shouldn’t have to adhere to any sort of guidelines or restrictions or taxes of any kind that are in proportion to the profits they make. As a Republican I believe that every very wealthy business or person inherently pays their fair-share for the upkeep of our Republic and it’s populace simply by hiring people or pumping money into the economy…and so be it if the people they hire or the money they make and then pump out is into a foreign country. As a Republican I believe that the tax loopholes our lobbyists have created for the wealthy are uniquely American, and so is our right to make sure that we pay as little as possible to non-Americans for the work they hire them to do. I like “trickle-down economics” because trickle sounds like “tickle”, and who doesn’t like a good laugh?

9. I voted Republican because I believe that Conservative “activist” judges are perfectly within their rights to decide American Presidential elections, declare that corporations have the same rights as individual people, and hopefully overturn a law that currently guarantees choice for a pregnant woman and votes to make that same pregnant woman a criminal if she doesn’t forcibly give birth. Remember….small, non-intrusive government.

10. I voted Republican because I absolutely refuse to accept that oil is a finite, destructive resource and think that it’s better to drill, baby, drill as opposed to sinking that money into reliable, clean renewable energy. Because I’m Republican I look the other way when our party’s leaders “go to bed” with the “people who hate us” when it comes to oil. And I look the other way and scoff, naturally, when the hippie Democrats complain that drilling will completely wipe out entire species of living, breathing things on this planet, and ruin what little pristine land remains in our world…forever. Why drive a Prius when you can drive a Hummer? I’m sure that’s what the Founders would say.

11. I voted Republican because the words “hope and change” upset me a great deal. Living in America, what could we possibly hope for, or change, that would be any better than what we’ve already got? Why strive for anything better when right now, I’ve got what “I” need? It’s not about the Democrats’ moral-imperative to help others who have a very difficult time helping themselves, it’s about “hoping” those sorry people will just go away and “changing” nothing so long as I’m ok.

12. I voted Republican because I really actually LIKE my head up my ass. The view from in here really stinks, but it’s my stink…MINE….so I don’t mind it so much.  And there’s a flag-pin in here, which is nice.

Test. This is only a Test.

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I don’t know. I’m a little bit of a liar. Just a little. I’m not really a hippie even though 98% of my family thinks I am.  Although my hair is fairly long. I do not use patchouli oil in case you were wondering.

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