Saturday, June 24, 2017

Politics: A Family Affair

What's in your DNA?
It's all in the blood. Or maybe the DNA. All I know for sure is that families share diseases like kindergartners share colds. While my family certainly had its ailments, they were all different: A variety of cancers, a couple of strokes, and early-onset Alzheimer's keep me guessing about the eventual cause of my inevitable demise. But one friend of mine has been having an annual colonoscopy for years after colon cancer struck her mother, two aunts and several cousins, while another friend is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer, following in her sister's footsteps.

Sadly, every one of my husband's blood relatives suffers from the same severely debilitating disease. By sheer luck, Mitch is the only one who did not get this gene, which even his own identical twin brother inherited. It's called by many names, but for our purposes here I will use the lay term: Rampant Liberalism (RL). It robs people of their senses, making them incapable of discerning truth from falsehood or understanding their own blindness to reality. They are resistant to any other way of thinking, approaching each political situation only after arming themselves with the nightly script from MSNBC's Rachel Maddow or the morning's instructions from the editors of the New York Times. They absorb misinformation from all the late-night comics who, lacking talent and imagination, simply distort all things Republican and mock President Trump for laughs.

My husband's nephew, a family member with an extreme case of RL who still possesses a keen intellect, was our only hope for stopping the disease. Could weekly applications of fair and balanced reporting one day save him, and his descendants, from an increasingly narrow-minded dotage? But then last week it became clear that his RL has worsened and he is now in the later stages of disease. He recently wrote on Facebook: "Every time Greta Van Susteren's ad comes on MSNBC I turn my tv off for a bit. JUST IN CASE my smart tv reports back, I want someone to know that even her ads lower ratings."

Besides his disturbingly incorrect usage of capital letters, his blatant unwillingness to entertain another point of view is the clearest indication his disease has metastasized. Another post stated, "If it takes updated guillotines to do it, the next Democratic president needs to crush the aristocracy and return the power and wealth it has stolen to the people." Obviously his irrational fear of capitalism has radicalized him, and he is now calling for chopping off the heads of the wealthy. Clearly, following his brother, several aunts and cousins, and even his own father, he is spiraling downward into a serious decline.

Our son shows all the signs of the disease but may in fact have a milder case, possibly tempered by my contribution to his genetic makeup. He is at least open-minded enough to acknowledge there might be another side to things. I hope for his sake that eventually a cure will be found, freeing him from the horror of RL's locked-in thinking that closes off fully half of life's possibilities.




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