Tom was tall and dark haired. He navigated planes and was deeply in love with me. Although, I was seven months pregnant with Jesse’s child. It was a tender love, but very strange and new to me. Having just been freed from an abusive relationship when Jesse left Okinawa two weeks before I met Tom. I literally was bearing my “lost love’s LOVE child” alone which struck me as reasonable after being hit with a video cord. Despite having Tom ask to be there at the birth I was still not inclined to leap to sweet love.
Yes, he was THE loving guy I let go of after I laughed and told him, “I don’t want to be rescued.” I wounded him deeply, and tears came. I leaned in and kissed him and said that since he was Republican and believed in Newt that it wasn’t unreasonable to doubt his sincerity.
I was Democrat and I hated all that Republicans were doing. Tom was a die hard Republican and despised Democratic leadership and polices. We'd spend hours fact checking each others views to discount them! I loved every minute with Tom and I so wanted to change and marry him. I did try, but I could not abandon reason and marry just to have a loving father for my unborn child. I just couldn't. I dreaded the day I'd resent him recuing me and I was still madly in love with Jesse who at the moment I wildly hated. But, I did learn you could love two men at once. However, divided love is unreasonable and exhasting.
That happened 18 years ago. Tom’s long gone, but Newt’s not. It seems to me the Republican party of today looks back to 1993 Newt and now at 2011 Newt and nothing has changed for the party- not foundational. I found Newt light and ponderous and odious in 1993 with his Contract with America. I found it terrible to have to paint America as lost and torn after Democratic rule. He made no sense to me. And, the contract was signed. It was proud bearer of Republican signatures and did unify the party. But, it was without REASON to hold it straight.
Jessica-Laura was in her “growing years” as this contract dissolved and I marveled at the absolute inability for grown men and women to talk about issues of America without jeering and condemning social policies, progressive measures as UN-American. There were in her early childhood years, fortunately, breaks in the news cycles and I could actually read the two English newspapers and two news magazines monthly to keep UP with politics while I lived in Sasebo, Japan (I moved from Okinawa to Sasebo when JL was 18 months old after living in Oki for five years. It is a tiny island and I had joined DoDEA to see the world, but I wanted MORE of Japan. I adored my host nation.) But, being a single parent I found I had little time, and the UN-reasonable methods of Republican name calling and distortion seemed less important. I entered the Silent Majority, who because life is difficult and tiring do not vote or talk in depth about issues. Politics and their mouth-pieces mattered less. I had a job and a home to care for and I stopped reading updates in Newsweek and International Times. I just lived.
Fast forward. 2008. This time I’m in a deep and protracted functional depression. I find Obama inspiring and I try to read the news, but its difficult because he is bombarded with veiled hackney racisms, misinformation about Obama leaps from the internet at dazzling speed, and I once again find myself listening and reading mis-representations, snippets about socialism because Obama is pushing through UNIVERSAL healthcare.
Today I chose to live without a TV cable or dish so that I can read more and write more and attend to my growing interests in topics I used to avoid- Christianity’s history, Presidential biographies, Martin Luther, travel books, poetry and lately mysteries. I cannot keep up with the news cycle and to stay informed about what Republicans believe.
I watched Fox News until I September and now I’ve been on a web based news diet. However, when I used to watch Fox News I almost screamed at or laughed aloud at their obvious misrepresentation of facts. Sometimes I could only watch for three or less minutes before I quickly turn the channel and as I do my body shakes with repulsion. I tell myself there is no way anyone believes what comes out of Fox, but I find that is not true.
In 2008, I signed up for Facebook, and for a year I read, and made no posts while I accepted friendships from my hometown high school cohorts. What astounded me is that the level of preparedness my cohorts, mostly from North Georgia, believed two fundemental "truths":
Obama was tearing down the country.
Obamacare was destroying our economy.
These were two main themes in the streams of posts I read daily because after 21 years away from North Georgia I want to re-connect with my past, and it sounded a lot like Fox. Sometimes there were quotes from Fox special reporters like Palin.
To bluntly put it, the current 24/7 news cycle has increased the warring party, Republicans’turf for Unreasonableness.
I list no specifics because what I’m writing about is reason. Reason defined as a verb: to think or argue in a logical manner.
Where has reason gone in public life as a legislator? Is the bereavement of election and re-election funds from deep pockets tearing logic apart? Or, did America schools educate some so well that they leap to unreasonable platforms because of market research that shows trends in the voting populous that is not as well educated? I ask myself does Newt really believe his rants, or is he just warmed to his shoe’s soles because he tells a good lie wrapped in distortion- a trickster?
Why do I read college educated men and women worrying about Shira Law as one result of Obama’s policies? Are they taken in by the exotic name and do not realize the bizarre circumstances that would take the US to such extremes? Is it that MOST do not read across the news cycles and outlets, but rely on just Republican funded and supported news barriers? Do they understand magnitudes and that polls are geared to generate nothing, but opinions from a fraction of certain groups polled? Do they not question Wikipedia sourcing as incomplete because it lacks known editors and fact checkers? Are my Facebook friends just enjoying their voice and they say whatever they heard verses what they have studied and thought about?
Reason is unabashed. It does not shave the truth or truths of whatever matter is before one. It is not interested in one’s level of comfort with the truth. It sources and has copy editors and thinkers who distill wide swaths of knowledge. It has literature for itself and it has no one to please. It requires no payment to render lies. It does not delight in the lies it parces and decapitates. There is no home for reason. It is a wander and accompanies the thinker(s) on their wide reading and discussions. It replaces conjecture with fact and organizes facts into data threads. There is no party to celebrate reason and often reason disappoints one.
But, reason is ready. It is powerful and the work is ever going and ever-growing.
But, one MUST crave. One must yearn for reason. And, I think America is populated with careless thinkers whose dendrites misfire due to lack of civil education and adequate maths education to realize the difference between substantiated, research based facts and wild opinions that are tossed about to shape demographic opinions.
One must also abide the times when their thinking was clouded or confused and conjectures were ruinous to their opinions. Reason is evolutionary and caustic. No measure is given to a thinker for “almost”. Instead, new facts emerge and the thinker must discard and assimilate the new data.
But, reason is well and good in many lives. Jessica-Laura was 15 years old when Obama got elected. And, one day she sat with me as I watched Glenn Beck - exquisite torture for me. He had spoken for less than two minutes and my non-political daughter turned to me and said, “This is a joke?”