John Rich Endears Himself to Me, Slightly.

Scroll ahead to the 1:40 mark and just watch John Rich’s face as Meatloaf begins to get going. The uncomfortable smile, the way his eyes get so big. For a brief moment, I felt a kinship with John Rich, since it was obvious we were both thinking “Oh my god, what the fuck is going on?!”

(In other news, how the hell did Big Kenny get roped into that?)

And then today…?

The dog did our whole walk fine, like it never troubles her. I was struggling to keep up, because it’s been a while since my knee has let me do our whole walk, but she was just walking along like life was good.

So, who the fuck knows? Not me.

I’m ready for this election to be over. I know it’s important to pay attention and I hector people about voting as much as the next person. But this season has just been unrelentingly unbearable. I’m really ready for Republicans not motivated by the desire to use their religion to dictate my life to come back into popularity in the Republican party.

I wonder what happened to that strain, honestly. I guess some of them became libertarians and some of them may have become conservative Democrats, I suppose. It’s just weird, though.

I’m tempted to say we’ve become more polarized as a nation, but what I suspect–though it’s hard to see from this seat–is that white people have become more polarized. When everyone else was in their place, white people could be generous with each other politically. The common ground was well-defined. “We” were all Christian, straight, and, of course, white.

As a lot of us–across the political spectrum–became less concerned about using those identifiers as a way to define an “us” (I mean, think about this. Not only do most 20 year olds–again, across the political spectrum–not care about opposing gay rights, how many of them can you imagine saying “I have a black friend.”? Doesn’t it go without saying? White kids know black kids. This wasn’t something that was, at all, true when I was growing up. I didn’t know a single black person my own age who wasn’t the child of a friend of my dad’s until I went to college. But the idea that there will be crowds of people who need a “cool” white person to tell them what black or Hispanic or other people of color think? That dynamic–even though it’s still somewhat present even in my generation–seems hilariously antiquated to young people.) and I think that’s disconcerting to other white people who liked us and enjoyed sharing common ground with us.

I think they feel rejected and, as such, really hostile.

But it’s a non-partisan issue that’s right now mapping onto political parties. Right now, the party of people who are like “fuck you for leaving us for those others” are mostly Republicans. But, if Republicans want to win in places where they can’t mobilize racial, religious, and “values” orientations, they’re going to have to learn how to appeal to people they think of as “different” than them.

And that includes, oddly enough, their conservative children. My uncle’s Republican party, for instance, didn’t have to have room in it for Chinese women. If my cousin’s daughter grows up sharing her father’s and grandfather’s political values, then it will, indeed, have to have room for her. Or it won’t exist, because she and the people who care about her will refuse to participate in it.

I guess what I’m saying is that I feel like the Republican party will eventually come to its senses, because there are a lot of people in this country who are fiscally conservative and who don’t like giant bureaucracies and who don’t want the government paying for everything. And those folks cut across all demographics. So, either the Republicans will figure out how to open their arms to those folks, or the Republicans will become regional theocracists and some other party will rise up to be the more conservative national party.

I’m ready for that.

Wow, well, this got off track from the dog. Not that she’d ever vote Republican. I mean, she runs around naked all the time and she’s taken steps to ensure she can never have children.