Years ago I hated having any sort of political discussion with my grandmother.
I won’t say that I was then the raving progressive that I am today; over the past decade my politics have moved steadily — and progressively — to the left. It’s not a reaction to the Bush Crime Syndicate, per se, but a recognition that there are profound problems with the social fabric in this country, where the chasm between the haves and the have-nots is widening to dangerous proportions and threatens the American dream.
My grandmother comes from a different time and a different generation.
She was about as rabid a right-wing Republican as one could get.
She hated the Clintons a decade ago. She knew, just knew, that Hillary Clinton had had Vince Foster murdered. She railed against President Bill Clinton; he was a terrible president and brought shame upon the country.
I discovered a little more than five years ago that her political views were shaped entirely by what she listened to. The radio in her kitchen was on constantly, and it was tuned to the right-wing talk radio station.
The radio died. Her political stridency for the right-wing talking points parroted by Sean Hannity and his ilk faded.
I’ve tried exposing her to a heavy dose of NPR. The thinking being that if right-wing radio makes her talk like a Rush Limbaugh dittohead, then NPR will make her talk like Scott Simon. It hasn’t worked.
My grandmother doesn’t hate Hillary Clinton these days.
At least… not all of the time.
She had no idea who’s running for President, except for Senator Clinton.
She gets upset when the news attacks Clinton. “They’re being unfair and mean to her!” she’ll say.
Then thirty seconds later, she’ll say, “I wish Hillary would get out of politics altogether.”
It’s a strange, weird, whiplash-inducing ride she’ll take people on.
She’s excited that there is a campaign going on, even if she’s not exactly sure how it works.
Unfortunately, she still likes Bush. I don’t think I’ll ever break her of that.
Even if I do sometimes sneak through calling him “Petulant Bush,” saying it very quickly so she doesn’t pick up on the slam.
That’s me — tricksey and false.