My brother sends me a text at 3 AM that he is driving himself to the hospital and that he was having a heart attack. They restarted his heart 3 times. He survived and was now scheduled for surgery to repair his defective ticker.
Republicans don't seem to understand why we liberals abhor them. The reasons are countless and increasing every day in this very Un-Civil war being waged in this country. Their party has maligned us, spread lie after lie about who we are or how we love, compared us to rapists and child molesters, labeled us more dangerous that the global warming they deny exists. They have electroshocked our bodies and forced hormone therapies to try to cure us of our gayness, they have spent millions of dollars nationwide obstructing our quest for full and equal rights and the right to marry. They have fought to keep laws as draconian as sodomy laws on the books just to prove a point that our sex displeases them. They avoid discussing rampant gay suicides of youths in states that they control policy in and do nothing to enforce anti-bullying behavior. And last but not least, they divide our families and our government, stalling every one's progress by obstructing job bills or even offering up any real solutions to help the struggling middle class or our stalled economy. All this just so they can cause their arch-nemesis, Obama to fail and them to regain totalitarian control of this country. The Republican party has not only become an enemy of the LGBT community, they have become an enemy to America.
While this laundry list is in it's rinse cycle in my mind, I come back to listen to my mother's pleadings to fly to Atlanta and be there for my Republican brother and his Republican wife in bible-thumping Atlanta. Her final plea of "What if he dies in surgery?", was the lynchpin to winning this argument. She is right, what if he dies? Republican or not, he is still my brother. I am forced to take the high road and be the supportive, loving brother a family member is expected to be to his sibling. It isn't easy, for my brother is a character to say the least. The list of his offensive behavior is quite long. At the top of the list is he is an extreme Republican. This is not only offensive because of the bigotry he espouses such as telling me, his gay brother that gay marriage is equivalent to pedophilia or bestiality. I let that one slide, knowing full well he is just regurgitating rubbish he hears among his peers in the good ol' ATL. Secondly, he treats his wife as a house maid, expecting love to be given upon his demand just because he brings home the bacon. He is a conversation hog and can never admit he's wrong in life or in any intelligent debate you engage with him. His voice is so loud when speaking that it feels like a pot banging, drum session and is a constant embarrassment to be in public with. He is a habitual liar and after googling Histrionic personality disorder, I can now add that to the list as well. He is in essence, the epitome of everything I dread becoming.
Upon arrival to the backwards, hillbilly underworld, I hear an obnoxious, booming noise of an engine revving for no apparent reason. I turn to realize it's my brother picking me up in an fixed-up 1968 Camaro. Basically a loud, gas guzzling, shiny piece of shit on wheels. I visualize the boatman of Hades and check my pockets for gold coins for safe passage. I guess he thought that buying a car that adds exponentially to global warming and annoys everyone as he drives by, is impressive and cool in his book. As I get in, he asks me if they make the sweater I'm wearing for men and laughs, amusing himself and forcing me to give him a caddy retort, "You're an idiot and why did you spend money on this shitty car, when your broke?". He guffaws replying, "You don't know anything, It's for my son, when he grows up." I counter again, "When your kid grows up, gas is going to be about $20.00 a gallon and why the hell would he want to drive a car that doesn't even have air conditioning?" He replies with a grumble. The banter ends and the awkward silence reigns. I quietly empathize for my doomed nephew and how horrible it must be to be my brother's son.
The gloom of the day is brightened by finally getting to see my two beautiful nephews. I have hope that they will grow up and not repeat the mistakes of their parents. I have faith that these two bright lights will follow Darwin's path and improve on the design. After reading to them, laughing and joking until they fell asleep, I went to my room, trying my hardest not to concoct paranoic visions of lynch mobs with torches pounding at my brother's door to hang my gay ass on the nearest peach tree. I remind myself why I am here and rest easy knowing that someway, somehow this labor of love will be appreciated.
The following day in the waiting room, I get to bond with my brother's wife while surgeons try to fix my brother's faulty heart. She confesses the problems with their marriage and then goes on to admit that she has softened her staunch Republican stance imbued upon her by her father for years. She admits that she doesn't agree with a lot of things the Republican party stands for and that when it comes to social issues, she is more of a Democrat. No surprise there, the Republican party doesn't fight for any social issues, all they focus on is greed and power, for themselves and corporations, "for the good of the people" is dead last on their bucket list. She finally, tells me that after years of being afraid of the gay agenda and opposed to gay marriage, she now believes that we should have the right to marry. Her sentiment, is now being echoed by a majority of Americans as recent polls support. After hours of waiting and meeting at the middle with my brother's wife, the nurse comes to take us to see my brother. The doctor proudly advises us that his congenital heart defect has been cured, well at least he claims he was 95% sure it was cured for liability reasons. We leave the room so he can rest and his wife breaks down in my arms, hugging me and confessing that she still loves him but can't stand to live with him anymore and that their marriage is dead. I was completely moved and felt an overwhelming sense of sadness for her. How do you live for years with someone that never apologizes, doesn't listen to you or even allow you to have a different opinion? I reaffirm to her that no matter what happens she is family and we will never turn our back to her.
After all, one doesn't ask if a choking victim is Republican or not before giving him the heimlich maneuver to save his or her life. You just do what you have to do to help a family member. She may be a little bigoted but everyone has limitations and her views have progressed and she is alas, family. Whether your family is repub or dem, it's the relationships within that realm that matter and how one family gets along with another family. The family unit is the primary circle that later converges with all other circles on this planet. if we don't get the first circle right and find a harmonious balance, all our other circles will be off-kilter and out of balance. Our country is so polarized and out of balance that we seem to be on the brink of new Civil War or at the very least, the start of a revolution.
This blog was written not to bash my brother whom although clearly has his faults, I still love very much and want nothing but the best for. It was written to serve as a metaphor for a larger issue of broken politics in America and how it is dividing our country and our families. I have my faults as do Democrats but at least I am open to change, I push myself to be better every day and always leave room for doubt that maybe I can do better with this or that. The day I think that my ideas are perfect and the only way, is the day I stop evolving. Republicans have not only stopped evolving they are riding full throttle in their gas guzzling hummers, in reverse.
Tom C. :
"I am sick and tired of those supporting the right-wing including friends and family!!! People say play nice, I say FU! I sacrificed 30 years of my life for this country yet I've been told by members of family that my way of thinking is a cancer to America because I support the left. Right-wing zombies whose whole life has been about themselves. They have based their life on self serving agendas and what they have. No education, no technical skills, protected by those who serve. What they have they have gained by others sacrifice and freedom they never defended. Republicans cant face the fact their no longer the Grand old Party and the free ride most have had is over. It's sickening to see these people defending the right-wing and take lightly the candidates of their choice for President of the United States, while showing nothing but contempt for President Obama who exemplifies all the values once respected in America. So if you lean right and don't like being told where to go, Stand Down!"
Now that the wizard has gifted my Republican brother with a new heart, I can only hope he will take a moment to pause and analyze what he is doing wrong and maybe change course and find a better path. Just like our economy stalled, a heart stalling or any other "health" issue should be a time of self-reflection and modifying the factors that caused the breakdown in the first place. Hopefully, both of them can soften their stance and realize we are all in this together. One big, modern, dysfunctionally functional family that must love each other, bigotry and all.
Fast forward to Mount Sinai hospital, Miami Beach. As one family falls apart for one brother, a new family is born for another sibling. My sister's baby is born, two days before Christmas.
It's these times when your standing at a delivery window looking at your new niece for the first time that all these quarrels melt into oblivion. You're reminded what matters most is human life and the protection of it. Now if we can only agree on how to manage that "protection" of life for all and not just a few, chosen ones and to find a sustainable balance for life without straining our earth's resources...that's the gazillion dollar challenge that would win us a ranking as a higher civilization of this galaxy and we would walk forward on the road towards how "man-kind" should be....kind to each other. For if governments would do their job right, there would be no need for charitable organizations or charity.
Whether you believe in the apocalypse, rapture or our world getting kentucky fried in 2012, it's gonna be a bumpy ride this coming election year. One of the most volatile and stressful years of our lifetimes. A flood of energy with two worlds are colliding; one of compassion, sustainability and inclusiveness and the other of greed, self preservation and manipulation of the masses, no matter the cost to our collective world. Use your inner bullshit filter, occupy your heart and decide which path is the correct road to Nirvana on this earth.
The masses are a-awakenin'- and a'realizing we've been getting the short end of the stick for far too long. We are finally becoming conscious that we have been coralled into pens of ideological, political, religious control. The one percent controlling everything is nothing new, it's sadly as old as history. America was the game-changing country that made it seem like more than one percent had a chance at reaching a dream of success. That dream has been broken and shattered all over the kitchen floor and the puppeteers in the shadows don't want us to notice. They want to keep us blind to the injustices we have allowed, that we have given permission to. All the moneys spent for wars we didn’t agree on, military expenses we didn’t feel were necessary, corporate tax breaks we never wanted to give, most offensive of all, tax breaks to the very ones controlling our puppet strings and having us bear the majority of the burden while they sit atop Mt. Olympus as demigods that never were gods at all.
After all, if they did not have OUR taxes, they would have nothing. WE are the ones with the power. WE are the ones that can take it back. WE must remain awake and vigilant. The masses one by one, are unplugging themselves from the Matrix.
We are starting to occupy our own minds, occupy our consciousness, occupy this world we live in instead of floating through it like zombies chained to a maniacal ever turning wheel doing what is expected of us, never questioning authority.
Psychological article on why people defend unjust and corrupt systems that enslave them?
Time magazine named "The Protester" as Person of the Year- 2011.