It being Mother’s Day, as I was composing a comment earlier today and preparing myself to refer to SCROTUS as “the great orange shit stain on the conscience of American history” (which I thought was a pretty good turn of phrase), it occurred to me to wonder what my mother would think of such language, particularly directed as it was at the current office of the US Presidency.
I’m pretty sure that 2015 Nana (she passed away in late 2015) would be extremely upset with me and incredibly disappointed that I would use such language or have such an opinion of a US government official. Before she had a stroke and started going rapidly downhill, she was about as staunch and rabid a right-wing Tea Party member as there was. She loved Cruz and Huckabee and Ryan and McConnell and hated Obama with a passion.
I made no secret of my political views, so that was a topic that was off the table for years. I remember her trying to convert or proselytize on a handful of occasions when we would visit. I learned to smile, nod, and instantly change the subject (“How ’bout them Dodgers, eh?!”) because I didn’t want to end up not speaking to my mother over something like politics. Back in the day, it wasn’t like a political argument was literally going to potentially lead to the end of civilization.
(Ah, the good old days…)
Here’s the part that I never got, and I still don’t get when dealing with so many people just like my mother was. She was a devout Roman Catholic and as a result I ended up spending six years in Catholic school, years as an altar boy, and so on. But as a kid in the 1960’s and 1970’s in the midwest, that translated into a set of morals which were based on what I still see as the core values of the New Testament.
Take care of your fellow man. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Care for the poor and the sick and those less fortunate than you. Heal the sick. Be the Good Samaritan. Fight against injustice and racism. And so on.
I moved out of my parents’ house well over 40 years ago, and while I would visit them often and see them regularly, I can’t identify when those teachings of my childhood transmogrified into the hatred and bile being spewed out from Fox News and the fascist Republican Right. But for my mother, they did, at least in part.
Which was also a real disconnect for me. Up until her stroke she was still extremely active in her church and part of that dealt with tasks such as bringing aid and Communion to the shut-ins, elderly, and poor. I never heard her make an overtly racist comment. She was, right up until the end, a perfect example of what the Christian ideal should be in practice.
As long as you didn’t discuss politics. And then she would turn instantly into a Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich parrot. For the life of me, I was never able to get her to see how her daily actions were so diametrically opposed to the political bilge coming out of her mouth when she was triggered.
Mom passed away before the Trump bandwagon started rolling, so I’ll never know what she would have thought of his particular brand of circus bullshit. But I’m afraid that she would have gotten swept up into the cult following behind him, simply because Trump ran against Hillary and Hillary was one of the only people Mom hated more than Obama.
For the life of me, I can’t tell you why she felt that way. It sure didn’t match what she taught me when I was growing up.
So while Mom might well have been one of the Cult O’ Trump that would defend him under any and all circumstances, and she might hate even thinking about how I feel about SCROTUS and the language I use to express my hatred and revulsion toward the man and everything he does and stands for, I’m comfortable with doing what I have to do without any regard to how much she might have disagreed.
I remember one particular lesson from a strict nun teaching third or fourth grade. She was talking about martyrs and commitment and staying true to our beliefs. In her mind I’m sure she was preparing us to go marching into some Communist country armed with nothing more than a Bible and our unwavering beliefs, even if it mean a horrible, torturous, painful death. That death was worth it because we would be sacrificing our lives up to the greater glory of… You get the idea.
I’m not marching anywhere with a Bible to ram someone’s ridiculous theology down anyone’s throat, but there was a good lesson in there. If you’re right, you know you’re right, there’s no DOUBT that you might possibly be wrong, and it’s critically important, life and death, then you have to have the courage to recognize what is right and good and work toward those goals NO MATTER WHAT. Even if that means sacrifice, even if that means pain, even if that means losses and discomfort and problems and taking the hard road.
We might disagree on the details, but the concept was strong.
So despite what my mother would think and how horrified she might be, I’ll be staying the course. I won’t be happy until SCROTUS is in a jail cell someplace for high crimes and treason, and Ryan, McConnell, Pence, Bannon, Sessions, and a whole slew of others are in matching cells there. The things that I write here ever day might very well be the straw that would have broken my mother’s back and left us not speaking to one another.
So be it.
Now if only Ryan, McConnell, Pence, Bannon, Sessions, and all of them would have the same backbone and moral integrity. We might be able to actually get out of this alive.
Instead we have an outright actively evil bastard in the White House who is working daily to destroy our government and the checks and balances and institutions that have kept our country stable and great for well over 230 years. We have traitors among us. We have people who are working hard to destroy this country from within.
Fuck Trump. Fuck McConnell. Fuck Ryan. Fuck Pence. Fuck Sessions. Fuck Tillerson. Fuck Mnuchin. Fuck Zinke. Fuck Perdue. Fuck Ross. Fuck Acosta. Fuck Price. Fuck Carson. Fuck Chao. Fuck Perry. Fuck Perry again, and maybe a third time, just because he’s Perry. Fuck DeVos, also repeatedly. Fuck Shulkin. Fuck Kelly. Fuck Preibus. Fuck Pruitt and McMahon over and over and over and over and over.
For you, Mom, and happy Mother’s Day. You taught me well, even if you might have lost your own way later on.