Birthers, Deathers, and the Sparkly-Starred Flip-Flop Wearing Plastic Pink Flamingo

flamingo3I would really like to be a Zen master. To receive nonsense with love and compassion and let it pass by with an Akido-like attitude.
I usually succeed at this – after my first reaction, which is like a Celtic Warrior who rides into battle with blue war paint smeared across my face, the head of the enemy dangling from my horse, and a blood-curdling warrior’s death-defying cry of ruthless pursuit for the righteous cause springing from deep within my throat chakra.
It is not easy holding both approaches in one human body. But there you are.
I had an encounter with a deather/birther on Thursday. He is running for Congress – as a Republican – in a special election for my district.
The Zen part of me decided to give him a chance.
“I’m not really fond of Republicans these days,” I said to him as he offered his card. “Tell me why I should vote for you?”
“I understand why you don’t trust Republicans,” he said, which I thought was a good sign. “You can trust me because even if I disagree with you, I’ll vote as you want me to.”
Why did I not believe him?
flamingo2His views on health care are that private sector is more efficient. At denying health care claims, I thought. I pointed out that I pay $750 a month for insurance and if I can no longer pay it, I lose all benefits. Nothing carries over.
I could go on Medicare, he assured me.
Not too bright this one. Or, he thought I was older than I am, which might also not be too bright in terms of wooing a constituent.
Still, I thought, I should be reasonable.
He was pro life. Which of course in my mind means he thinks women are incubators, but I didn’t get into that.
But, before I left his booth, I exercised the nuclear option. “Do you think Obama is a legitimate president. Is he a citizen of the United States?”
“Well, he hasn’t produced a birth certificate.”
And, thus was my Celtic Warrior awakened.
“You’re a racist,” I said to him,
And moved to the next booth. Then thought to ask, “And are there death panels?”
“Yes,” he replied.
I spat something else at him (I’m sure I did it with love in my heart and peace in my soul).
“I don’t want your vote,” he said. And the cool, I’m-just-a-nice-guy-with-an-opinion gave way to his lizard-brained true self.
He didn’t want to represent me. Had no intention of representing me. He just wanted to make the world safe for his the-earth-is-flat-and-the-sun-revolves-around-it point of view.
I’ve been angry with him ever since. And I’ve finally figured out why.
We need bright people with a vision of the world that are not threatened by life experiences that are different than their own.
What we do not need is more fear mongering. Fear is perhaps the basest of human emotions. Particularly when it is used to organize. Fear does not empower people. It empowers mob behavior.
I did not expect Obama’s election to unleash such an ugly side of this country.
I’m hoping that Obama finds a way through. I’m hoping that he isn’t just a slave to interests that are short-sighted and self absorbed.
But mostly, I’m hoping that as a nation we can rise above this ugliness. I have never voted for a Republican, but I usually at least respected them. But I don’t respect bullies and that’s what they have become, with a few exceptions.
flamingo1You’re probably wondering what a plastic pink flamingo, wearing pink sparkly starred flip flops and adorned with glittery blossoms has to do with all of this.
Well, I came across it on my recent walk downtown. It is in the yard of an Irish couple with whom I exchange greetings when either is in the yard.
I don’t know why, but the plastic pink flamingo gives me hope. Especially after it started wearing the pink sparkly-starred flip flops.
It somehow soothes the Celtic Warrior in me, and raises the question for the Zen wanna-be master in me: “If a plastic pink flamingo wears sparkly-starred flip flops in the garden and no one but you notices . . .?”

One thought on “Birthers, Deathers, and the Sparkly-Starred Flip-Flop Wearing Plastic Pink Flamingo

  1. “And I think to myself, what a wonderful world” — especially when it has pink plastic flamingos wearing sparkly-starred flip flops!

    Getting the Celtic warrior together with the Zen master does sound quite challenging, yet a beautiful melding it could make. . .


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