Saturday, August 29

Lockdown Conversations

At the Heart of  Common Sense

Walking Meditation
“If any man despises me, that is his problem. My only concern is not doing or saying anything deserving of contempt.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“Mom. Are we going to have a civil war soon? Yesterday, I watched the republican convention with uncle Travis at my cousins and everyone was talking about the demon democrats taking over. That’s what Travis calls them. Aren’t you and Dad democrats? Doesn’t Travis know that and why does he think we’re demons. Mom. This is scary.”

Teddy’s young, teenage face with its wisps of man hair sprouting above his lip wore alarm and hints of determination within his clear, grey eyes. He liked to ask a lot of questions which drove his mother crazy because they always seemed to come when she was cooking or paying bills or trying to relax.

“Ted. All I can say is that people who like Trump, often say stupid things that they see on Facebook or Twitter. I can’t believe Travis said that when you were listening. What did your cousins think?” She hoped he’d get bored with this topic, but if he stayed fearful and nervous about the “civil war” and “demon democrats” she’d call Travis and rip him a new one. What an insufferable jerk her nice and loving cousin had become over Trump. More than once he’d talked trash about her husband,  an Iraq War vet, who loathed everything to do with Trump, and more than once she’d reminded her cousin that no one in her house talked trash about them and their political views.

“Well, Jean doesn’t care or pay any attention to politics. She hates when anyone starts talking about elections, voting, taxes and as far as she’s concerned the only party she supports is a birthday party – her words, Mom. Lisa does listen to her parents and their friends talk about how fake news on tv lies about corona virus, the police, baby killers, guns, monuments and she’s scared a lot. That whole family and a lot of people in our town are scared of democrats and they blame the virus, the protests and riots on the democrats.

But, Mom, aren’t the republicans in charge now? The convention makes it seem like the virus, lock down, masks, black lives protests, riots are because of democrats, but Dad complains that they keep getting shut down because of the republican majority. He says that republicans own the senate and the president. So, the democrats keep trying to get laws passed to do something about corona virus, health care, climate change, minimum wages, alternative energy, and the president just wants to destroy Obama care. He won’t listen to the democrats who bring bills to the senate because he hates democrats, so nothing gets done.

Mom. Does the president only work for republicans? What happens to what everyone else wants? Are there more republicans than anyone else, maybe?”

“Ted. You are driving me crazy, okay? Google this stuff and ask your Dad when he calls tonight.”

“Mom. I just looked it up. Wikipedia says that ‘As of May 2020, Gallup polling found that 31% of Americans identified as Democrats, 25% identified as Republican, and 40% as Independent. Additionally, polling showed that 50% (of independents) are either Democrats or Democratic leaners and 38% are either Republicans or Republican leaners.. In 2018, the Democratic party was the largest in the United States with roughly 60 million registered members.’ So, how can the republicans just rule the country for themselves and not for everyone. It’s not fair that the smallest group has the most power over us.”

“Talk to your Dad, Ted. Please, and when your uncle and cousins talk about Trump, ask to come home. You can tell them it’s not fair that the republicans do not care about the majority of Americans who are democrats and independent democrats, but they will continue to dredge up the latest facebook conspiracy lie that makes them the victims and the rest of us villains in some far fetched delusion.

Even though they are the ruling party, they want us to think that they are victims of anyone not like them and that it is their missionary duty to convert or dominate non-believers. They can’t accept the idea of ‘live and let live.’ So, just say you’d rather not talk politics, religion, or money. You’re fine with whatever they decide because you’re not some missionary converting the pagans. Okay? Maybe your Dad will have more helpful ideas.”

“What’s a delusion, Mom?”

“Look it up, Ted.”