While dining the other evening with a gaggle of photographers I was asked about my political affiliation. I answered that I was left of Che Gueverra ( I'm really not, but it sounded cute at the table). I was then asked how could I, a lefty, run for mayor in a small Texas town? I answered that all mayors are, in action, liberal to varying degree regardless of their political and ideological pronouncements -- as the saying goes: "The sh*t must flow."
I then went on to express my disgust with those cramming social issues down the throat of American politics. I, unfortunately, used the abortion issue as an example and noticed some of our guests shift in their chairs. I felt bad for making them uncomfortable (I'm not sure if they really were) and rapidly changed the subject. This incident has come to mind repeatedly over the last couple of days -- why can't I confidently and strongly express my feelings about this issue, why are the feelings of the anti-abortion crowd more important than mine?
This has caused me to remember an exchange with a right-to-life crusader years ago. He was berating me for not being "pro-life." I answered him that I was absolutely pro-life and that I had never personally met anyone that wasn't. He challenged me saying, "They are murderers, there are scores of people I've met out there that scorn life." Really... I then went on to comment that he must have met Jeffrey Daumer or Adolf Eichmann or Charles Manson.
This really pissed him off and he started attacking me personally, I don't remember exactly what he said, but it was in the vein of me being awful and possibly evil. Oh, I forgot to mention that I'm Catholic and this exchange was in a Catholic setting. And, I also witnessed this crazy freakin' dude regale a room full of homeschooled girls with a story about how he had watched a "chaste" women die and the holy spirit leave her mouth like a "beautiful purple cloud." This verbal terrorist was not really spiritual or devout, he was simply nuts. Nuts just like those crazy stinkin' idiots that are cutting off heads in Iraq. We act here like we are above all that nastiness over there -- the only difference is that we haven't had some charismatic idiot turn these folks loose to bend me over the bumper of a Volkswagon Jetta and hack my head off with a dull machete from Home Depot.
What got me to writing about all this was an incident here in Texas a couple of days ago. Larry McQuilliams
, a self-titled "High Priest" of the Phineas Priesthood
, an anti-Semitic, anti-multiculturalism and anti-abortion Christian group, fired over a hundred rounds in downtown Austin last Friday and tried to burn down the Mexican Consulate. He evidently was pissed that "Mexicans
" were getting benefits that he wasn't. Thankfully he didn't kill or injure anyone, but what if he had?
The news purveyors would have talked about him being "unstable" and "violent" but they would never paint him with the same brush that they paint the be-headers in Iraq. American idiots and nuts are never as "evil" as the idiots and nuts over in the desert. Why, because we as a society don't want to hold those that school these individuals and incite
this behavior responsible because they are mainstream. They are Senators and preachers and teachers and coaches and news organizations and talking heads -- they are "American." They aren't bearded guys in turbans, they are pleasant looking guys in sport shirts or "pious" dudes in three piece suits or benign, simple sisters in tasteful skirts.
Politically speaking, I understand that inciting folks is how you get them to vote. Individuals with churning brains are more motivated voters -- they are voting against something, not for something. However, individuals with churning brains also become terrorists and murderers. It is amazing to me that those that incite bad behavior don't recognize their kinship with Al Qaeda and ISIS. The solution to this problem is not elucidating our (American) "obvious" differences with terrorists, but recognizing our similarities -- we are deluded if we believe that be-headers don't live among us. Larry McQuilliams simply owned guns instead of a scimitar.
Kevin is (writing about yourself in the third person (illeism) is a trip) an artist/writer/carpenter and frustrated songwriter living in Johnson City, Texas. His latest frustrating songwriting attempt is titled, "I Touched the Hand That Touched (more...)
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