Language, Rhetoric, Semantics-It’s All Noise to Me in the Fight for the GOP
By Debra Cole
(Editor’s note: when I was a Kool-aid drinking Republican back in high school and college, I probably would have hated Debra Cole. Today, the rose colored glasses are off, and I think she is hysterical. I hope I.V. readers will enjoy her latest rant. It will make you think and laugh — and there is lots of truth to it — Chris Ingram)
Since becoming a mother, I’ve learned that making friends with cool parents can be a challenge. There are neurotic helicopter parents who will dial 911 if the kid gets a bruise. Bringing attention to the threat du jour is their sole purpose after reproduction. Top ten favorites include recalled cribs, food allergies, and which roller coaster could decapitate a child. They make you long for the days when parents casually dropped off kids at the county fair knowing full well that toothless alcoholic carnies operated the Ferris wheel.
Then there are the parents that can’t talk about anything but their kids. It’s basically infant identity theft because the adults no longer express a meaningful idea outside the parental picket fence. For me, when I have a chance to hang with childless friends, I can’t wait because I know where the conversation is not going. Of course the judgmental and controlling parents are the worst. These folks at the playground start conversations with, “Can you believe that mother does this or that?” In most cases it’s a woman criticizing another woman whose figure rebounded quite nicely after giving birth. Geez take a Demoral and get off the moral high horse. And I can’t leave out the braggers. You know the type. Greetings are, “Oh hi, and yes my child speaks Mandarin Chinese and learned chess at 8 months, and your girl is only crawling?”
I recently had a conversation with a bragger whose pretentiousness was grounded in showbiz. Oh yes, the stage mom. She regaled how her son was in plays and movies and how mature he was for 13. I looked up his IMDb bio that mom had carefully written. The list of hobbies was suspiciously long. But the real kicker was the line, “He’s a lifelong vegetarian.” It seems strange for people to use the word “lifelong” in a bio unless they are eligible for the AARP Newsletter? And he’s a vegetarian because that’s what she puts on his plate. Stage Mom also described her boy as a “political activist.” I’m thinking he put up a tent in the backyard. No lady that’s not “Occupy Atlanta,” that’s a birthday party where he and his friends got drunk on dad’s cheap beer. To top it off, stage mom concluded her email with a list of titles next to her name-actor, filmmaker, producer, writer, community activist, and mother. I can play that game too, Debra Cole-comedian, flutist, Mazda driver, and Kroger Plus Card user.
Afterwards, I thought about a bio for my two-year old daughter. She’s is an “organic gardener” because she throws real dirt on my patio. And she’s a “foodie.” She puts food everywhere, in her hair and on the wall. She’s also a “Champion for Troubled Girls.” I learned about this passion after an ttempt to feed pizza to her anorexic Barbie doll she named “Pretty.”
I get it. As parents, it’s our biological duty to “sell” our kids on others. That’s how we make sure the offspring succeed and carry the genes forward. But when it comes to adults, padding the resume and ridiculous up-selling can actually get you fired and cause celibacy. Of course we’re used to the exaggeration of accomplishments and minimizing mistakes in politics. We call it theatre. We should call it hogwash. And because the GOP is having such a serious identity crisis, their candidates will say anything. It’s pathetic. I’m surprised Newt Gingrich hasn’t argued that he’s not an adulterer. He’s just an early shopper. He likes to arrange the mate in waiting before filling out the divorce papers. However, we all know Newt Gingrich is a narcissist and his behavior is somewhat expected.
The candidate who will most likely get the nominee, Mitt Romney, has chosen to pander to the base. It’s not that he’s padding his resume. It’s as if he sent a college application with a completely different set of transcripts. Romney saying he’s conservative is like Richard Simons shouting, “No I’m not gay!” Mitt Romney was not just a moderate governor. He was born into a politically moderate family. George Romney advocated for civil rights. He also significantly increased the budget for education and supported working people. His father was proud to raise hell in the Republican Party because of his differing views. Mitt Romney has tried to run away from Romneycare, which ironically seems to actually work for Massachusetts. He’s also a rich guy who has shown that he cares about rich guys remaining rich.
I’m not completely satisfied with Obama, but I’m giving him the thumbs up again for 2012. However, if my politics were further on the right, Romney might be an attractive candidate. But the problem now is that I have no respect for him. I can overlook disagreeing on certain issues if there is a foundation of trust that a person wanting to be President is presenting his or her best self. Romney has basically shown a fake ID in every bar this entire race. However, the GOP will have to go with him. They can’t pick Rick Santorum, a man who’s got issues with higher education and birth control. Obama would sink him in the general election because voters are just not going to stand for crazy. But then again, I may have more faith in my fellow Americans than they deserve. Go to the playground and see for yourself.
Debra Cole is a self-professed ‘lefty’ who calls it like she sees it. She was a public school teacher in Georgia for 9 years. Currently, she performs regularly in Atlanta area comedy clubs. She’s known for her sophisticated and smart humor that’s delivered with a seemingly sweet and yet surprising sarcastic Southern Georgia twang. E-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website: www.southernliberalobserver.com
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