The Ignorant and the Hateful

                A good friend from Pennsylvania told me about a question a mutual friend asked, “What is the symbol of the Democratic Party, the elephant or the donkey?”

              He told me he said, “Well, naturally, it’s the jackass.”

                Then, our ignorant friend further asked, “Is George Stephanopolous a Republican or a Democrat?”

                When told he was advisor to the Clintons and, therefore, a Democrat, the bonehead (I’m sorry.  He’s a friend, but he’s a boneheaded friend) huffed that that was a lie.

                Another friend from high school told me that her son completely blocked her after finding out she voted for Donald Trump.

                Ignorance and hatred.

                Ignorance I can deal with him.   Ignorance can be helped through education, although since my friend from the Keystone State is in his 60s, that kind of willful refusal to look at all sides is impervious to logic and common sense.

                There are those among us who will vote Democrat no matter who is running.  If Attila the Hun had a “D” after his name, then it doesn’t matter.  If he (or she) was raised in a Democrat household, then he (or she) will vote Democrat.

                This has been going on for quite some time.  There were people who idolized FDR, for example.  I guess I can see the logic in this.  After all, it was a Republican president, Hoover, who cocked things up, setting the wheels in motion for the Great Depression.

                We can argue about whether Roosevelt made things worse.  Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t.  I personally think he did and that it was the Second World War that actually ended the Depression, but that is my opinion.

                However, when things looked grim as the world went to shit starting in the late 30s, it was to Roosevelt a great many turned.  I can understand that, too.  I don’t think I would have, but I understand.

                That said, few people doubted that the president was rooting for the team from the United States.  Whether you supported him or not, he put America first.

                So it was with Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, the incompetent Carter, and even the Boner-in-Chief, Clinton.  However, with the accession of Obama and now Biden, I’m not so sure.  My point is, they’re Democrats and, if they’re Democrats, and you’re a committed Democrat, you’re going to support the Democrats at all times.   My father voted Democrat and his father voted Democrat, yadda, yadda, you get it. 

                The racist Republicans are the enemy and must be defeated.

                “I may not know anything about the issues, but don’t confuse me with logic and common sense.  I don’t need to research thefacts or make up my own mind.  That’s what I have CNN, MSNBC, my wife, and the New York Times for.”

                Incredibly, this friend once asked-with a straight face-whether Hitler would have been a Republican.  No shit.

                This makes me sad, but some people may be persuaded to use their own minds.  Some folks will do their research (for instance, even though I’m a Conservative, I haven’t always voted Republican).  Not this person, but some.  I’m convinced that reasonable people exist.  Don’t get me wrong.  He is a good man.  Naive, perhaps, but a good man.  However, his psychological cement has been set.

                Also don’t get me wrong, there are more than a few “My father voted Republican and his father voted Republican, so I’ll always vote Republican” stubborn guys out there. too.  Ignorance isn’t exclusive to one party.

                That all said, I was most distressed by the tale of my high school friend.  That you would cut anyone, especially your own mother, from your life because of differing political views is beyond belief.  What kind of hatred must you harbor in your heart that you would do that?

                As much as we enjoy sometimes teasing our ignorant friend, he is still our friend.  He’s entitled to be wrong, but there is no way on this planet that I would cut him from my life.  Likewise, a man whom I’ve known for 56 years would make Alan Alda look like George Patton (we even debated the relative merits of George McGovern against Richard Nixon!) has been and always shall be my friend (please excuse the shameless quote from The Wrath of Khan).

                I would never cut him from my life.  Also, there are those in my family who “swing Liberal.”  Their politics do not define our relationship and will never cause a forever rift.

                It is impossible that this is the only familial relationship thus destroyed.  The news is full of similar anecdotal information.  While I also have no doubt that a Conservative has severed connections with his Liberal family or friends, I also believe that relatively speaking, those instances are in the minority.

                What I’m trying to say is, I believe we can co-exist with the ignorant among us.  I don’t believe that we can co-exist with those who think obliterating a bond with family and friends or deprogramming those with whom they disagree are appropriate responses.

                Despite Joe Biden’s soaring rhetoric in his inauguration speech (personally, I thought it insincere), as long as there exist among us people who see nothing wrong with excising half the nation-including your mother-from your life, we will never achieve “unity.”

                Put that in your pipe and sniff it, Joe.

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