Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Bumper stickers, family, and politics

My aunt's a charismatic Christian and a very, very conservative Republican. Lately I've been seeing bumper stickers around that make me think of her, but not 'cause she'd agree with the sentiments. The one that would really make her twitch?

"The Rapture is not an exit strategy!"

I try not to talk politics or religion with her. I don't know whether it occurs to her that I don't agree with her about much because I never argue. I just let her talk and talk, and keep my own counsel. The closest she's ever come to realizing I'm not on her team was a conversation we had almost sixteen years ago, right after Bill Clinton won his first term in office. The Virginia Contingent of the family came up for Thanksgiving vacation that year. We were seated at the supper table, and she was all doom and gloom about how horrible the next four years were going to be. Then she pounced on me with:

"Who did you vote for?"


"Vee!" Shocked, appalled. My cousin D actually made a move as if to smack me (he was ten, if that's any excuse) but stopped when he saw my "go on, try it" expression.

"And I'm going to do it again. Then I'm voting for Gore. Please pass the turnips."

I refused to be drawn into an argument with her, though she did try. I told her I was not interested in a political debate. My voting choices were none of her business ("secret ballot," and all that), my reasons were my own, and I didn't care whether she agreed with me or not.

Silence. And then my sister changed the subject to something less likely to cause a food fight.

We've never had a political discussion since. She has a son in the Air Force (Cousin D, as a matter of fact) who's about to be deployed to Iraq for the second time, and though she's frightened, worried, and generally upset she still stubbornly backs the Guy in Charge. Shrug. Oh well. I guess someone has to, though I just don't get it.

I don't know why I'm talking politics today. I never do. Maybe it's because Bill Clinton was here last Friday, Obama was here Sunday, Ann Coulter is in town this evening, and the primary elections are a little under three weeks away. I wish Edwards had stayed in the race. That's the one I really wanted to vote for.

1 comment:

Just Me said...

Oooooh, politics and religion are the two biggest "taboo" subjects in "polite" conversation. I am quite sure that either Ms. Clinton or Mr. Obama will be our next White House occupant. Too much has happened in the last eight years for any other outcome.

That being said, I feel like this time around my venture into the voting booth for this primary will merely perpetuate my self-righteous "I've never missed an election" claim. The candidate in my registered party is pretty much unopposed. I briefly considered switching my registration so I could claim some effect on the outcome, but I thought I heard my mother turning in her urn.

I didn't want to hear that D is headed for another tour in Iraq. I am in awe of and thankful for his courage and desire to serve.

I was on another blog (, and she had a link on her site to purchase commissary gift certificates for her son. Maybe you could do something similar to make D's life a little easier during his tour.