Wednesday, November 03, 2004
No good comes of talking politics
I haven't talked much about the election in this blog. It's not that I'm interested - I haven't been as involved as Kate, but I have been paying fairly close attention. I just feel relatively ill-equipped to comment meaningfully. It's not a subject I've historically had much interest in - I did one of those "four quadrants" things in a former life, discovered I was a libertarian, and sort of liked that. I could vote for a third-party candidate nobody else had heard of and stay above the fray, or choose whichever guy most suited my beliefs at the time.
This year, though, it's been an ugly campaign and one of my best friends was on the Kerry staff, and she's taking it hard. Doug and I were having dinner with Kate and Dennis tonight, and she was, well, being Kate. She doesn't exactly hold back, and spent much of dinner listing the ways another four years of this administration would be a Bad Thing. And I'm thinking, you don't know the half of it. I think I finally said it out loud after she made some "tax cuts for the rich" complaint because her family is sort of among the rich.
I pointed out that she didn't really have much to fear from the Bushies. But the Fundamentalist types, they scare me. They're not going to decide that Kate's some sort of soulless abomination, and who knows how some of the more extreme types will react when word of my existence gets out. I mean, sure, the process that made me who and what I am is something to be legitimately afraid of, and should be outlawed or at the very least strictly controlled, but what about those of us left behind? Maureen, after all, struggles to comprehend how a person whose mind and body were sort of thrown together fits into her view of the world. And though I believe that her open-mindedness is more typical of how religious people think than the stereotype, I can't deny that there are believers out there who are not inclined to struggle, and may feel the need to eliminate this troublesome thing from the earth.
My saying this made Kate uncomfortable. It's one thing to say that a certain group of people are pure evil, it's quite another to say that group might contain loonies who might want to kill your friend. Sure, it's a paranoid and self-centered thing for me to say, but it only takes one outlier nut. That's why I don't like having pictures taken of me, just in case they wind up somewhere where some nut can have an image put into his head.
And, I said, that's just talking about the really radical nutjobs. The folks pulling Bush's strings probably won't have the FBI round me and Carter and anyone else in our position up, but they're not exactly the most open-minded when it comes to sexuality that may be considered unusual. As Dennis pointed out, he was stopped outside his polling place both by folks looking to protect and fight gay marriage, which arguably could apply to me.
That's when Doug snorted, saying it wouldn't be a problem, and it got a little personal from there on out. I said I wasn't ready, he said I could have taken the ring anyway, and, well, no-one convinced anyone of anything else. Kate jumped in, as is her wont, mostly taking my side, while Dennis just looked like he wanted to be elsewhere. Finally, it broke up, but it left dinner with a lousy aftertaste.
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