I recently received a comment from my only sibling, to a FB post I had made. It was a repost of a graphic my daughter had posted, and I added the comment that it should be simple enough for even a Republican to understand...
So my brother responds and asks why I keep slamming him, and I replied that I was not targeting him in particular, and he replied that it sounded like a slam and since he's a Republican I must have been slamming him, and I said that given the facts, and 30-odd years of evidence of the utter failure of Republican policies, I thought they deserved to get slammed, and that I was NOT targeting him, since I had no idea he could see my posts.
My brother won't "friend" me on FB because of our, or should I say, MY, politics.
Please follow me below the curry-colored curly-kos if you'd like to read on.
My brother is 10 years older than I. He was my hero growing up, and through the early years of my adulthood, we were very close. He had married the proverbial girl next door, whom I had known all my life and who was now the big sister I never had. Loved him, loved her, her family, all was good. We lived close to each other for a few years, babysat each others' kids, and missed each other when that was no longer the case. We had our political differences, but they didn't become a problem until about 1980, and the annointment of St. Ronnie of Ray-Gun.
I was horrified at the rise of the "Moral Majority" and the insidiously successful Republican plan of taking over politics from the local level on up, and at the rank hypocrisy we started to see from the right, which seems to have increased exponentially since then, and I would hardly have thought that to be within the realm of possibility. I thought we had hit rock bottom THEN, with the election of the divorced non-churchgoing former union president from HollywoodLiberalLand (how the Christian "right" managed to swallow that one still...OH yeah. He flip-flopped on abortion.)
At about that time, my brother was graduating from college, which he had started after his 8 years in the military. Also graduating was my SIL, who had not completed her degree earlier, having left college after her freshman year to become a military wife, and later, mom.
She has a degree in elementary ed; my brother, of course: business.
Time to make the money.
Next few years for him were an endless quest for money money money money. Airmen fresh out of basic training didn't (and probably still don't) make a lot of money. He stressed about providing for his wife, and later, the kids. As a kid/teen, he had always been envious of those who "lived better" than our family, even though we were very comfortable, with everything we needed and much of what we wanted. He always wanted MORE. Now that he was out of school, degree and 8 years of good, successful military experience behind him, he was ready to seek financial security, and he sought it with a vengeance. Got a good job. Worked hard. Got an MBA and got a better job, and then the one he stayed at until he retired recently. Mega money.
It's not enough. He's on anti-anxiety meds, as is his second wife (his former secretary, natch, many years his junior). The condo at the beach, the McMansion on the lakefront property, the pool, the 14 cars, the cruises and the Hawaiian vacations and the jewelry and the toys...not nearly enough, apparently, to be at PEACE...( and please don't misunderstand, I know there are so many who suffer from depression, anxiety, panic attacks, etc., and for whom medication and other treatment are essential...I am not in any way trying to minimize their struggles, nor to say that those medications are bad or crutches or anything of the kind, OK?) It just seems odd to me that neither of them seemed to need anything like that until they were pretty solidly successful, and at about the same time, and that it's almost like their stress is related to the success/money: fear of losing it? lust for more? not sure.
Corporate welfare? Good. Health care? Creates a dependant society. Military spending? Good. Social Security? Entitlement mentality. Obscene C-suite pay? Really good thing, and they're worth that much because someone is willing to pay them that much.
And so, since the 80s, at which time I thought we had hit the bottom, we've suffered through GWBush, and Chimpy the Unelected Imbecile twice, and the Republicans have gotten more and more extreme and radical and insane and hateful and deceitful and evil, and he's supported the rightwingnuts through it all.
And through all that, he's seen me get laid off twice; my husband once. He's watched us come close to losing everything, when my husband got hit with a near-fatal illness and we were a week away from being eligible for insurance coverage (I had finally found a job, paid a whole $9/hour, which was only $9/hour less than I HAD been making before my job had been outsourced to cheap foreign labor! Yay! [Cheap foreign labor? Good.]) $130,000 of medical bills. (National Health Care? Bad.) Husband was unable to work for a year and nine days. His job was seasonal temp: no bennies, no unemployment, no STD, no LTD...nothing. No income for a year and nine days. I counted every fucking hour, and ground my teeth to near nothing in that year and nine days. Blood pressure through the roof.
He's seen the struggle to maintain the vehicles so we can keep our jobs. He's seen us go without heat so we could pay to have a new pump put in the well (couldn't afford both...) He's seen us go without heat when the furnace died in the middle of the coldest January on record, and we couldn't get financing for a new one, and had to go without prescriptions and cancel planned dental work and borrow money here and there from kind friends to get a damn furnace. He's seen me suffer with migraines because my insurance wants me to pay the difference between the generic and the name brand, and the generic doesn't work for me, and that difference in cost is half the amount of my mortgage every month (on a home that is worth less now than it was when we bought it).
Naturally, he fully embraces the Republican, "pro business" economic policies that brought our economy crashing down. He whines constantly about his taxes, and doesn't seem to have any real appreciation for what he has LEFT: it is not enough.
He acknowledges no connection between the policies he supports and the resultant suffering of so many in this country, including me and my family.
He HAS acknowledged that tax breaks for the wealthy do not create jobs; he's not stupid and he does understand supply and demand and all that... which makes me ask the same old, same old question: if he's smart enough to know the facts, and still supports the liars anyway because he benefits, does that make him evil, or insane? Or brainwashed? What other options are there??
All I know is that he's my big brother, and I love him, and I miss the close relationship we once had. But I despise everything he stands for and supports and believes in, and he will NOT have a conversation without bringing up HIS politics, and denigrating mine.
Thanks for sticking with me through this long ramble...