By Jeneiene Schaffer
It’s funny how you come to see the similarities between the dysfunctions of your family and the dysfunctionings of the family politic.
Yes, the media talked a lot about hate back in 2004. They discussed and evaluated surveys showing how incredible it was that people not only disliked a president and his policies, but now there was outright hatred. Despising and loathing even. I would sometimes cry after my sister, who I love dearly, and I would fight about
Then the blog movement began and we stopped spewing at each other. Instead, we left searing comments on each other’s blogsite. Sometimes I think the blogoshere movement began with so many pissed off people and nowhere to go.
And, now we: the dems, the independents, the repentant Republicans have been delivered our comeuppance. If this were a schoolyard playground we would be shouting in the bullies’ faces and demanding that now you play what WE want to play. From the time it became apparent that the dems would take not only the house but the senate as well, how I fought the urge to email the now silent part of my family and rub, rub, rub away in all their faces. Ah, that would have felt good.
But, only temporarily. You see, we of the ‘liberal’ persuasion now have the awesome and very awkward responsibility to carry on and display what the conservative right have championed for so long and failed miserably at: the traditional Christian legacy of turning the other cheek. To live and let live. We must be compassionate, caring, and begin to gather in the whole flock—black sheep and all.
When I think about how that’s no fun at all, I remind myself how angry it made me to be the so-called black sheep both in my own family and in society at large. When Nancy Pelosi talked on the News Hour the night after the election and said that now is not the time to fight back but work together, I considered. Maybe we can seize this opportunity to show ‘em how it’s really done. Dems are the true uniters, y’all so listen up and take notes.
Maybe it’s the cynical New Yorker in me. Maybe it’s because human nature changes at such a tortoise-like slow pace that I doubt the dems will really be that much better. But most of all, maybe it’s because I see my own dysfunctional family when I watch Nancy and George Junior dance around how much they can’t stand each other.
At the Double Tree Hotel victory party for the dems in
My sister and I are looking forward to a great visit this Christmas. I just got off the phone with her and because I’m flying out with my family to see her, she’s kicking down for the rental car. I’d bet the farm that neither of us will mention the election. If keeping our mouth shut sometimes is what keeps the peace, let it be so.
Jeneiene is a registered Independent. A frequent contributor to publications such as the Tucson Weekly, she has submitted this piece for consideration.