Monday, August 02, 2004

Things that make me go Hmmm

My lovely daughter and I went to Golden Corral yesterday for some daughter/dad bonding. As usual, things are going along famously. She's still determined to vote Democrat and gave her old dad another serious try at conversion.

I took the opportunity to try to figure out why she is so willing to hang with the Donks. When I asked, she said that she was "for the people" and that Republicans are "just in it for the money." I guess that that's what you'd call a trained response. What it made me think of was what Mike Broussard (another life long Dem) hit me with a week or so ago. He said that people always vote like their folks.

If that is true, that people always vote like their parents voted, then I suppose that it makes sense for my kid to be a Democrat. Both of her parents were Democrats, and her grandparents were sort of Democrats. I switched to R because I couldn't stand Bill Clinton. Before then I basically didn't give a flying crap. What he was... and still is... he was an embarrassment. But truthfully, most of the folks in my family tree were non-voting redneck crackers. Mostly my grandfather was closer to Lester Maddox than to Bill Clinton. Closer to Lawton Chiles than anything else. He didn't care for Franklin Rosevelt and he didn't care for the Great Society. What he was was a "He Coon". I recall that Chiles was once characterized the same way. An agrarian conservative with no interest in the sort of socialist agendas offered by both parties these days. A guy who wanted mostly to be left alone so that he could work for himelf and his family. A guy who would not approve of regressive taxation or paying for "the greater good". A Dixiecrat.

And when I think about it, I'm actually closer to Walkin Lawton than to any other policitian's imago these days. What is missing for me is a Democrat that actually is a conservative in the old "Cracker Dixiecrat" tradition. What I want is an old time Lawton Chiles brand of Southern Democrat without all of the negative "commie" leanings of the modern Donks. They no longer exist, I'm afraid. So I've settled for a close substitute with the Bush family. Actually, it was President Reagan who seemed like a close substitute for Lawton Chiles... a Chiles with a big dose of John Wayne... Reagan with True Grit... or Reagan as the Shootist... Chiles/Wayne/Reagan. Anyhow, I switched away from Clinton. Anything but him. I would have voted for George Grosz before I'd have voted for Hillary's evil twin. Anything but that wicked witch of the west. May a house fall on them both. Right, Pilgrim?

I do know that when I try to pin my daughter down on specifics we still seem to be talking the same language... we both seem to sound like libertarians and Randian elitists that don't approve of any elitist agendas. We don't like governmental interference, we don't want to have to eat any crap from outsiders like France or Germany, we expect the government to stay away from us and ours... sound familiar?

Yet... she has a vision of the future that seems to exclude Bush. Too pro business, too prone to trusting the system, too willing to allow Ashcroft to run out of control.

What we finally agreed on (as usual) is that none of them are good enough for much more than a luke warm "hoo-rah". I just seem to be more comfortable with the fabrications offered by the modern Republicans and she seems to want the other guys, with the same kind of luke warm indifference.

What occurs to me is that in spite of the fact that this year the separation of the parties is such that we actually seem to have recognizable differences between the oppposing groups we have been worn down by the process until everything seems to be blunted into opposite ends of the same bad bullshit. In other words, the politics seem to be shaped into another one of the endless examples of culture war that has turned nearly every other societial artifact into something phony and tiresome.

And that's a damned shame. My kid represents the future, and she seems to despair of ever finding anyone that she can vote FOR. Instead she seems to be voting AGAINST things and eventually that attitude will generalize itself into voting against everything. And ultimately opting out of the system completely. You can only shovel manure for so long before you get the idea that the only thing available for shoveling is manure.

And that is the quiet sound that represents the death of our hopeful experiment in Democracy. But then, the surrogate mom has accused me more than once of being, at heart, a gloomy guy. I like to deny it but sometimes I know that she's right. I just hope that my kid doesn't lose hope too.

At least she's still looking for something to believe in.

As for me....