Gary U.S. Republican.
When I was a kid, someone asked me what religion I was. I replied, “public.” In the good old days growing up in that horrible armpit called Philadelphia, I thought there were two religions – Catholic, and public. Since I went to public school, I assumed I was public. My parents never mentioned religion. I didn’t know who Jesus was until my first girlfriend asked me why I put the communion wafer in my shirt pocket. What the hell kind of parents don’t at least mention religion?
My genius parents were registered Republicans. I’m not sure why. I bet they didn’t know why either. They probably went to a social event with their uppity suburban pals, and were convinced Republicanism was the cool thing to do at the time. When it came time for me to register to vote, I ignored it. Partially out of ignorance, more out of curiosity. I figured I’d better do some homework first. A few decades later, I’m still trying to decide. Eventually, I registered as an independent because, to this day, all political parties seemed FUBAR. Still, I needed to know more. So I hung out with a Republican named Gary for a day.
Gary is a rotund sixty-something year-old white guy with a particularly sloppy southern drawl, a sixth generation American citizen. His parents hailed from Georgia, and once owned a couple of businesses that got bought or sold, or something. I wasn’t sure where his story was going, and he seemed annoyed when I attempted to clarify it. He was much more interested in talking about his investments, and his Harley. Gary bragged that he was an “investment king,” with well over a million dollars in wealth on paper, and a couple hundred grand in the bank. He’s not doing too bad. We talked about how this country has been squashing small businesses, and how they should decrease taxes to give everyone some breathing room.
Upon our conversational segue into politics, things got fugly. Gary could not find one nice thing to say about President Obama. I’ll spare the details. His diatribe on Hillary Clinton was even worse. Gary thinks the Democratic party is killing America, and they are “giving away all [his] money to black people looking for a fucking handout.” When pressed to explain exactly what the Democrats were doing to kill America, Gary had a difficult time explaining. He slurred something about destroying hospitals and health care, letting too many people go on welfare, food stamp families driving Lexuses, and letting those “damned towelheads” in the country. Gary sounded as if he was poorly reading a Donald Trump teleprompter.
A week or so later, Gary called my business. He needed some work done, so I came up with a competitive estimate. Gary called me back and asked for a substantial discount, you know, since we were apparently now friends. That’s right, the millionaire investment king was looking for a fucking handout. I told Gary I couldn’t afford to give him a discount because I had to pay for my own health insurance, and with Obama and all, my premiums had just gone up. Terrified that I’d have to see that miserable wretch again, I added a few additional must-have options I supposedly forgot initially, which safely priced me out of the running.
That’s when it all clicked. Ironically, every Gary I ever knew reminded me of this douche. Republican Garys are mean, selfish, greedy and filled with hatred towards anyone who isn’t like them. Republicans in general tend to be people who are lucky enough to have a little wealth, usually kickstarted by an inheritance or life insurance, or otherwise being hired to a cushy overpaid job because of the color of their skin (black, white, or yellow – this works throughout the rainbow). They don’t want to give it away. Republicans are scared to death of losing their wealth, and taxes are how they believe Democrats are trying to level the field. The worst thing you could do to a Republican would be to make him live like a Democrat.
Not only did my parents fail me in religion, they failed me in Gary too. Tomorrow, I’m having lunch with a Democrat named Joe. I’ll let y’all know how that goes.