ALL ABOARD: Politics, parties, parents and pressure groups

  • Wed Sep 24th, 2008 7:29pm
  • Life

With all this election talk recently, have you noticed any difference in the behavior of your friends and family? Maybe it’s the eternal cross-section of characters that inhabit my address book, but I really feel like many of my friends are nuts right now.

A few of my lifelong Republican friends are talking mutiny on the McCain.

More of my lifelong Democratic pals are talking mutiny on the Obama.

Somebody hit the mutiny button.

My mother, who continues to be wiser the more I recall her caveats, once told me to never argue politics or religion with people.

That was tough to do as a political science major in college, but I really do know what she meant.

Mother, like most members of the electorate, made her mind up pretty early on, no matter who was running.

Eisenhower got the nod, not because of his political party preference, but because Ike’s wife Mamie’s mother lived in Denver when we lived there in the early ’50s.

I always thought that was strange, since Dad told us kids we were all distant cousins of Adlai Stevenson.

What are the odds of being related to a presidential candidate? I guess in our family, our blood was not as thick as Denver’s thin air.

Mom worked for Nixon, too, but not because of his political party.

Seems like Mom voted for Nixon because he was a Quaker.

Either she felt sorry for him or she honored Dad’s 35 years with Quaker State Oil.

Maybe it’s because we lived in Pennsylvania.

I know that religion thing got involved when my brother married a Catholic.

We had to keep it a secret from Grandpa because Grandpa was a southern Baptist minister.

I wonder if Grandpa would care that my brother divorced the Catholic and married a violin virtuoso from Minnesota.

Each presidential election year Mom would place a $2 bet with friend Tom Allnutt as to the outcome. The bets had little to do with political parties. No matter who Mom picked, Tom would pick the opponent.

Then they’d laugh and drink more bourbon.

Lately my friends all seem to be drinking too much political punch.

My e-mail inbox is flooded with YouTube links to video vignettes showcasing a blunder or a faux pas or a nasty remark made by some candidate.

Every morning, and throughout the day, I delete unsolicited e-mails delineating descriptions of political prejudices, questionable practices and patriotic pungencies.

It’s ridiculous.

By my daily e-mail deletions, I am creating an involuntary Internet landfill of ludicrous information.

How many more weeks do we have of this?

Is there not somewhere we can go and hide? A place free of cautious concern and political commentary?

I feel like a tennis ball in a match between a career military man and an agnostic.

No matter what side of the net I am on, I seldom hear anyone using the word “love.”

But, who’s keeping score anyway, right?