|Jack Dillon, far right.|
“We’re Poor Little Lambs Who …”
I truly believe that 30 years from now, I will be getting Republican National Committee mailers for my deceased father. That is, if they are still around. I know that I won’t be. I’ll be 100 or so. But the mail is for my dad, not me. And he’d be around 120. The RNC: We Don’t Give Up.
I miss my father. He passed away a few years ago, but he was increasingly absent for at least the prior decade as the insidiousness of dementia and Alzheimer’s, which robbed him of himself - and me of him – dimmed the light in his eyes.
My Dad had received at least three Gold Medals of Freedom from Ronald Reagan, the 40th President, for his support and unfailing monetary donations to the RNC. On the walls of his small office, where he patiently awaited the urgent call from his company to come back to work via a private plane to New York, flattering images of Reagan hung upon the walls with signatures and brief words of thanks – before the lights went out in Ronald’s eyes as well.
When Dad became clearly ill, I was forced to take over his life and care for him until his unfair end. His car, his accounts, his identity, and his phone number. This meant as well that I inherited the accumulation of his life’s later and embittered political confusions (he was by the way originally an FDR acolyte and school-age W.E.B. Du Bois supporter).
So they call me still: The RNC. The Tea Party. The Birther Movement. Speaker Paul Ryan. The Party of No.
At first, I was so haunted by my father’s passing; I’d ignore the calls. But they’d leave messages asking and sometimes almost demanding money for their fight to stop Obama, to prevent woman’s rights, to shut down this or that, to stop any attempts preventing my ownership of an assault weapon.
But they kept calling and wanting more from him. And I slowly began picking up the phone. And I’d say that “Yes” I was that same Medal guy. And I’d let them throw the pitch for money to get rid of Obama or illegal voters or abortion rights or the assault on gun ownership.
And then, I’d play along.
For the NRA/Tea Party groups that called, I’d concur with their rabid hatred of Obama and the assault on assault guns (sorry about that). And I’d make up stuff about all the armament I have around the house. My Glocks, my Bushmasters, my Sigs…then, I’d ask about access to better and bigger stuff. After all, the government is our enemy, isn't it? The voice on the other end would grow cautious but clearly supportive. “Yes, I know how you feel. I think we should have more military weaponry too. But we have to work to vote those people into our Congress that understand that. Would you be willing to provide us with a donation – as you have in the past - of…”
For the RNC, I’d play an older father who just found out his son was gay I would speak in a voice imperious with tears that my poor son was the result of what? I was no longer sure. Was it nature or nurture? I loved him but now he had become “one of them.” The voice on the other end would become understanding, but always suggested I find some way to get him into counseling to get him back to the path of normalcy. And then the measured “I am so sorry,” followed by the “Would you be willing to provide us with a donation – as you have in the past - of…”
I don’t respond anymore, but this election cycle has certainly re-energized all phone folderol. They’re calling now again and again and leaving messages or phone numbers to call. Tea Party has rung the house at least three times this week.
And today I received the MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN SURVEY from, well, you know. Clearly addressed to my Dad. I’m supposed to return my completed survey with a donation of $35 through $5000 by the 30th. There’s a space for more than $5000, and I am sadly happy Dad has left us.
Nine ridiculously slanted questions appear on the survey, with a picture of a 35 year-old Trump and an unusually peculiar image of Hillary Clinton, with her eyes in a worried arch to the side as if someone may have heard a sound like flatulence.
Question 1: “Hillary Clinton is working hard to win the White House so she can carry forward Barack Obama’s disastrous policies –including increased taxes – which have been so harmful to our nation’s economy. Donald Trump is dedicated to lowering taxes and institution responsible reforms that will create jobs, strengthen free enterprise and boost economic growth. Which candidate do you trust more to put America on a secure and prosperous economic path?”
Whoa…that’s a tough one.
Thank goodness, the others get easier.
Do you want more ISIS? Do you want the US Supreme Court filled with radicals? Do you want a possible Wall or the same infiltration by illegals for many more years? Do you want the EPA to continue destroying business models across America? Do you support Obamacare as it eviscerates our country?
Trump says you can find the entire survey here.
But you won’t. Instead, you’ll find a request for more money. You can call 888-496-6264 to see the survey, but I’m sure they’ll want money before you can.
Meanwhile, just yesterday, Republican nominee Trump warned that if Iranian boats were to drive by and make rude (profane) gestures at our navy vessels, he would order our boats to shoot them to pieces. By the way, this is his common refrain – “bomb the hell out of them, blow them up, destroy them, etc.”
In the last years of life, I tremble to believe that Dad would have said something like, “Hell, yes.” But he probably would have.
And I tremble to think of how many might say the same thing as we head inexorably toward November.