well, I haven't written a diary in a long time. Long time. Probably not a real good one since my "Coffee with Dad" series some years ago.
Dad's 81 now, still quite conservative, but man have things changed since the old days. (old days = 2003-2004) back then we were screaming at each other like hippie kids and winger parents around the dinner table haha.
He came over this morning and had coffee and we had a little chat, he can't stand the teapartiers, is happy that redistricting is going to throw Michelle Bachmann under the bus here, thinks the teapartiers are all nuts, and doesn't know who to vote for.
He voted for Obama in 2008, but his heart wasn't in it, he would like to vote for a Republican, but doesn't like any of them.
I told him I have really mixed feelings about manufacturing jobs coming back to this country - on the one hand, I'm glad they are back, somewhat. On the other hand, I'm not so glad they're back because we have reached parity in wages with third world countries lol. I have always thought that this was what globalization would come to, actually - wages would go down in this country (and possibly up in other countries as those citizens wised up, which seems to be happening, at least a little bit), until it all evens out. "Evens out" meaning that in this country we are going to take a wage and benefit hit. Sigh.
We discussed that, and he told me that he thinks unions have done a ton of good for workers. Of course, that doesn't mean he's in favor of unions haha. He thinks union workers have an unfair advantage over other workers. I still don't know how to argue about that. Well I do, but I don't think he would buy it that everybody should be making union wages. He still thinks union workers are greedy. Sigh.
We discussed Keith Ellison, the "Muslim" rep from North Minneapolis. He likes him, says he thinks the guy represents his constituency very well, and he's heard him on the radio, and thinks he's very smart and compassionate, and said "well your Uncle Andy always calls him a terrorist, according to those drunken friends of his, but hell, the guy is just trying to do right by his constituents which is what a Congressional rep is supposed to do." You could have actually floored me, I didn't even know Dad knew who Keith Ellison was, let alone anything about him.
We also discussed the fact that now the local Somalis can no longer send money home through the hawala system because they might be sending money to "terrorists" - bleah - he said "well, maybe some of that money ends up in terrorist hands but who cares? - we are going to cut all these people off from sending money to their familes who need it?" And then he scoffed "terrorists - ha - I don't think so"
Then, I told him about the bill that was pushed through MN legislature, signed into law by Governor Dayton (I know he regrets that he didn't catch this) about undocumented immigrants no longer being able to access Emergency Medical Services in Minnesota - it was diaried here on DailyKos, this search engine sucks, I'd love to provide a link but haven't been able to find one - Dad said, "that's just bad -it's one thing to not provide it in the first place - but if you do and people come to depend on it, and they might die it you cut them off, that's just criminal". Then he said "how come I haven't seen this on the news or in the paper?" I said, come on Dad, you know the answer to that, he said I guess I do. We both agree that cutting people off from their chemotherapy or dialysis for the sake of a political thing about illegal immigrants is cruel. Dad took it a step further and said that he thinks that anybody that has been here for years and is law-abiding and tax paying should have a chance to become a citizen, undocumented or not.
My Dad is the kind of person we want to reach out to. He's a Republican (sort of) but not a teapartier, not a low information clueless Fox News person, not a callous bastard. He's a (ack) moderate Republican. And he doesn't know who to vote for and would rather not vote.
One thing he and I agree on is that it's more important to get the teapartiers out of Congress than it is who becomes President in 2012. That said, I remain totally loyal to President Obama, I think he's done the best he can with a bad hand dealt to him, and I will support him in 2012. My dad will probably go along with me if I push it enough. Which I surely will. Politely of course, haha.
Thoughts. I'm happy my Dad and I can talk without screaming these days.