Sometimes, I wish I were more political. I love the passion of some of my readers like JJ and Tatyana, who if they met in real life, might have a fist-fight over George Bush — is he good or evil?
I was brought up in a liberal, union-oriented family. My grandparents had a photo of Eleanor Roosevelt on the wall with the rest of the family photos. During the summer, I went to Camp Kinder-Ring, a liberal Jewish summer camp in the Catskills. It was not a religious place. In fact, it was an anti-religious Jewish-Yiddish socialist-oriented camp. On Shabbat, we gathered around the flagpole wearing all white and singing Yiddish socialist songs. Of course the meaning was totally lost on most of the campers, who were mostly from Long Island and cared more about sex and soccer than socialism. On the other side of the lake was a rival camp that broke away from this camp sixty years ago because while we were “socialist,” they were “communist.”
I went to Columbia College in New York. There was one Republican in our freshman dorm. All he ever did was complain that he didn’t get into Yale like his father. We used to make fun of him relentlessly.
I didn’t really associate with many Republicans in Los Angeles when I first moved here. Then I met Sophia.
We may have fought over many things, but I don’t think we ever fought over politics.
Actually, that’s not true. There was once. One election day a few years back, we promised not to vote at all, since we were going to cancel each other out anyway. Later, we bumped into each other at the polling station.
Of course, I never considered Sophia a “real” Republican. No real Republicans go skinny-dipping in Spain. And I’m sure she never thought of me as a “real” Democrat. Although I voted for Kerry, I wasn’t upset that Bush actually won.
Here’s something we always talk about — which party is nastier, Democrats or Republicans? Both of them create outlandish political ads – from Willie Horton to that recent ad accusing John Roberts of strangling women who wanted to have abortions.
Sophia frequently gets phone calls from the Republican Party, trying to scare her into thinking that “liberals” are taking over the country. Excuse me, Karl Rove, but where exactly is this happening? Do Jesse Jackson and Michael Moore really control everything from their “love-pad” on the Upper West Side?
I also get calls from the Democrats. They always are trying to scare me into thinking my “civil liberties” are disappearing. Recently, some woman called about some teacher initiative that Schwarzenegger is trying to get passed:
“If this passes, God help us all! California will become like Mussolini’s Italy.”
These scare tactics drive me crazy. We Democrats are supposed to be the "smart ones." So why am I always spoken to like I’m an idiot? I’m sure there are many valid reasons for this intiative to be rejected, but I certainly didn’t hear any from this caller. How about teachers will lose jobs? It will hurt the economy? But I really doubt the governer is about to bring over some of his goose-stepping family from Austria. When I was on the phone with this woman, all I could think was that she should get a job writing movie ads for the studios:
“This is the one film you MUST see this year or you will DIE!”
Charlie once linked to a Slate article where writer Richard Rushfield did a little social experiment during the 2004 campaign.
He visited Republican strongholds such as Bakersfield and Newport Beach sporting a Kerry-Edwards ’04 t-shirt and button, as well as Democrat bastions such as Silverlake and Brentwood in Los Angeles.
The result: The Republicans were much more tolerant of the Democrats than the other way around.
Of course, it was a heated time during that election, but it got ugly at times. Remember the whole red state/blue state thing? Or that website that suggested that half the country break away from the ugly Bush states? Whatever happened to rational dialogue? I find conservative talk show hosts like Sean Hannity to be pretty depressing and unpleasant, but I expect more from liberals.
I’d like to think that liberals haven’t become as nasty as some have said, but recently, one of my friends asked me:
“Did you know that you have a lot of conservatives on your blogroll?” (saying it in a tone usually reserved for child molesters).
I said that I didn’t really notice. My only real criteria for putting someone on the blogroll is either the person:
- Has a sense of humor.
- Is a woman.
So far, no one has made any comments about all the “liberals” on my blogroll. Is it because we expect liberals to be smart, sexy, and fun blogging pals? Why can’t a Republican be smart and sexy? After all, I did marry one.
Republicans are not so bad when you get to know them (except the crazy anti-abortion ones). Through Sophia, I learned to better understand and appreciate “Republican” culture. They have some valid ideas on economics and international affairs.
Now, excuse me… I want to go and replay this Pat Boone album I have playing on my iTunes —