In 2004, my brother and I were arguing about the presidential election. He was voting for W. on the basis of morality, and I argued with him mightily about W. being the more moral choice. My brother was speaking strictly in the Christian sense, by the way. I said that he led us into a fictious war, what was moral about that? My brother said that, yes, that was bad, but that wasn’t what he meant. He was speaking specifically about abortion, and I said that abortions went down when Democrats were in charge because there were more safety nets and support for prospective parents.
Then he said that W. was a Christian so–well, I’m sure John Kerry professed to be a Christian, too. I checked. Just as I thought, he’s Catholic. which some Christians don’t consider Christian. I pointed out that while W. professed to be a Christian, he certainly didn’t act like one.
My brother finally snapped that he had the right to his opinion. This was probably after a half hour to forty-five minutes of us arguing. I said he did. But he didn’t have the right to his ‘facts’. Which is a snitty thing to say, but it’s also true. And it’s more relevant now than it has ever been.
Oh, side note to that story. My brother did end up voting for W. and regretted it. I voted for Kerry, and while I did not regret it, I wasn’t enthusiastic about it, either. The Democrats tend to nominate the boring and safe candidate who does not excite anyone, Obama excepted. Kerry was a terrible speaker and did not excite anyone.
Side note II: My brother had already been wavering, even during that time. He had been a Republican for ‘moral’ reasons and was more lefty on some issues than I was. Not most because I’m so far left, but on a few like the enivronment. When 2008 rolled around ,he was thoroughly disillusioned with W. and the Republican Party. Let’s be real. W. phoned it in during his second term. Not that he had his foot on the gas during his first term, but he at least tried to govern that term.
My brother called me one day after his eyes opened to the perfidy of the Republican Party, but I had no idea why he was calling. He started out by saying, “Minna, I have something important to tell you.” He sounded agitated, and I asked him what was going on. He sputtered for a few minutes before saying that he had gone to the national Republicanm website. I was waiting to hear what he had to say because I had no idea where he was going with this. It took him several minutes to say what he actually called me to say: That the Repulbicans had actual lies on their website.
I will admit that my immediate thought (which I did not express) was, “Well, duh.” It was amusing to me that he was telling me this as if it were some revelatory thing because I have been a Democrat since I was eighteen. By the time my brohter and I were having this convo, I was 37 years old–so nearly twenty years of being a Democrat.