I have to get something off my chest. This is my open confession to the world that for years, I was – and I am ashamed to admit it – a bleeding-heart liberal of the worst kind. And for this I want to publicly apologize. Oh, sure, my father was a staunch Richard Nixon Republican. But did I listen? Like any rebellious teen, I had to go “find my own path.” So I voted for Clinton, Gore, Kerry, and yes, even that charismatic young man who “claims” to have been born in Hawaii, Barack Obama. The closest thing I came to voting Republican was in 1980 when I voted for the Independent, John Anderson, for President.
I long believed Universal Healthcare should be a right of all Americans. And I even thought the Single Payer Plan was the only true solution. I thought Teddy Kennedy was a great American senator.
Heck, I even took a survey once in 2007 to see which of the candidates running for president most closely matched my views and the answer came back: Dennis Kucinich! And he is about as far left as you can get (but in all fairness, he did have the hottest looking spouse of all the candidates).
For the longest time I mistook Sarah Palin’s deer-in-the-headlights incoherent ramblings in interviews as a sign she was not remotely qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. I used to scratch my head wondering why we spent billions of dollars and thousands of American (and Iraqi) lives on a war that was not really about weapons of mass destruction or about Al Qaeda or 9/11. I used to watch Keith Olbermann’s Countdown show on MSNBC every night and even had a preset button on my car radio set to Air America Radio.
To show you how crazy my thinking was, I actually thought that in choosing our next president, intelligence might be a worthwhile qualification to keep in mind. I had the folly to think that someone who graduated at the top of his class at Harvard Law School and was Editor of the Harvard Law Review might actually be a tad bit more qualified in terms of intellectual discipline than someone who finished 894th out of 899 at the Naval Academy. I am now embarrassed to admit that I penned a letter on election night 2008 and sent it around to various newspapers about how I felt that day was the greatest day in our nation’s history over the past half century.
Insane as this might be, I honestly thought gays were just born that way and should have the exact same legal protections as every other citizen. I had no idea they really were just bad people who are likely to prey on my children and that we should pray to God to FIX them.
And for all of my misguided, naïve beliefs about things like Global Warming being real and made significantly worse by human activity, I want to publicly apologize. Clearly I was wrong all of these years. And I realized all of this, just this past week. When our president had the temerity to spout his communist-sympathizing propaganda to our impressionable young school children, well, that just galled me to no end. As Jim Greer, the Chairman of the Florida Republican Party so eloquently stated: “As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology. “
Amen, Jim. Hundreds of school systems throughout the country refused to air the President’s address to their schools on similar grounds. And I applaud them for their brave stance. How dare our President attempt to poison our young peoples’ fertile minds with sinister indoctrination about staying in school, studying hard, and taking responsibility for their futures. Where does he get off telling our young people what they should do! Who does he think he is – the President of the United States?
I can no longer trust a single thing that man says. I now believe his primary agenda in his health care plan is to kill my 88-year old mother by way of death panels. What has my mother ever done to him! I have done some research of my own and have concluded that there is reason to believe Obama was not born in Hawaii at all, but in France- FRANCE, I tell you, in August, 1987, so I doubt he’s even old enough to be president. And I don’t know how to tell you this, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Obama might be NOT WHITE! And don’t even get me started by asking me about his middle name. You don’t want to know. Trust me. What has our country become!
So to all my newfound rightwing conspiracy theory friends, I just want to say a big public apology for all my years of misguided notions about social justice, health care for all, and concerns about the environment and the elderly instead of the more sacred rights of gun owners, health insurance company shareholders, gas company profits and Glenn Beck. It was just a (40-year) phase I was going through. Can you ever forgive me?
And with any luck at all, if all the people on the right stand up in unison, strap their guns to their legs, march into the next town hall meeting, and scream “we’re not going to take it anymore”, just maybe, next time, they will get the president they truly deserve. Can you say “Palin in 2012”?
That’s the view from the bleachers. But perhaps I’m off base.
© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2010 – 2011