Friday, May 27, 2005

COMING TO GRIPS

This week I drove my dad to Boise, ID (about 2.5 hours drive from here) for heart tests. He has congestive heart failure and wears a pacemaker. We nearly lost him in February. This time the doctors said that while he has not made any improvement, his condition hasn't gotten worse.

Dad is definitely conservative, although he is an intelligent conservative (they do exist). We got talking about politics, like we usually do (and we usually disagree...) He was describing how happy he was that Dan Rather had to retire. I told him I thought that Bush did the same thing, that is, Bush either knowingly or unknowingly portrayed false information as truth, and therefore... should Bush lose his job like Rather did?

I asked my Dad "Should Bush be impeached?" We talked about it, and we both agreed that Bush isn't a particulary great president, and that it is Cheney that needs impeachment first. We both believe The Dickster is the one who really runs things, and that we would both love to know who was on his energy policy committee.

To hear Dad say "I liked the Bush's first four years o.k., but this last year hasn't been good at all, and I see nothing good happening during the next three years" got my attention. And to hear him say "I think Dick Cheney is evil!" absolutely made my entire week.

BushCo. has taken someone (my dad) who is normally fairly far to the right and turned him into a genuinely moderate Republican. Dad has looked at the way religion is taking over his party, and he has looked at all the breaks given to business at the expense of the rest of us. He doesn't like it. He doesn't like the way Bush is saying there is a Social Security crisis at the same time Social Security continues to get pilfered, to pay for other things.

Dad said that if the Democrats would nominate a candidate who can do a good job communicating with the people on matters that affect us every day, he would consider voting for a Democrat in the 2008 presidential election... but he's a Hillary-hater, so that probably shoots that idea. Besides I have doubts he will still be living by that time, and I think he has similar doubts as he comes to grips with his health problems.

What I have seen in Dad is a softening of various hard-right stances as he becomes more painfully aware of life (and of human existence) as experiences shared by all people. He has become less of a cynic about people, and more of a humanitarian in his outlook. I know he has always had a heart of gold and a love for the human race. He is always for what is fair, and although he tends not to like "liberals", he is genuinely saddened by the unfair GOP-generated things happening in our country.

Of course life isn't always fair, and there are always things with which we must come to grips in our lives. Our family has come to grips with the idea that Dad may not be around much longer. And I am coming to grips with the fact that I have underestimated him for most of the past 25 to 30 years when it comes to his political beliefs.

2 Comments:

Blogger J. Marquis said...

Middle age is kind of an amazing time of life, eh? One minute you're sending your daughter out into the world and the next you're driving your dad to the doctor and thinking about how much he means to you.

I had a similiar experience with my dad. He was alwas very politically conservative but it seemed like toward the end of his life his political stance softened a bit. Maybe having to depend on other people had to something to do with it.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Damien said...

I still can't understand why Dems (both Sen and Congress) aren't taking George to peices on a daily basis. Surely if you knock away at him, it will detract from anyone he decides to back during the next election run. Many, many Golden opportunities missed.

3:46 PM  

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