Monday, June 11, 2007

Forrest & Changing Winds

For a long time a person couldn't talk to Forrest about politics because his views were so different from anyone else's in the family and, before his surgery, if he got excited his blood pressure went out of sight, sometimes enough turn his face red, and no one wanted him to fall over dead. Well, at least not enough of us at one time wanted that. It was really an unfair advantage, because we would start to talk and it would devolve into an argument, and then he would turn red. You don't have to agree with me about politics, or anything for that matter, but at least allow me to say what I want to say, to feel like you understand me. That wasn't happening. If he wasn't turning red, which shut us all up pretty fast, or walking out, which also shuts a person up, he was pulling the argument from intimidation, which he had learned by watching O'Reilly. Ah, I well remember the day I started to explain to him about PNAC, and said "The neo-cons" and he immediately started saying, very loudly, "Neo-cons! Now you're making words up! Neo-cons!" And, of course he was turning red as he carried on and Mama was motioning for me not to kill him outright just to prove we were right and he was wrong.

So this visit I asked him, with trepidation that we might still have that problem but also with great curiosity because of the things that have been hitting the news recently, how he felt about current events. And, for the first time in a long time, we were able to talk about politics. With the things that have happened in the last two years, Forrest has come much closer to my side. He is, after all, my baby brother and therefore he couldn't be too stupid! He is very capable of weighing evidence and coming to intelligent conclusions. One of the things I realized again when talking to him about these things is what a handicap it is to have a serious reading disability. Forrest is really at a disadvantage at being able to get the information that isn't readily out there. He never developed the habit of independent research because of his reading; he depends on TV news to tell him things. Sadly, the TV news he watches is Bill O'Reilly. So, he had no idea what the fuss was about the DOJ firings. He didn't understand why this was different than Clinton replacing all the DOJ appointees when he took office. But, when I explained, he was incensed, at someone other than me! Now he can see why people are upset. And, just perhaps, now he may think about watching someone in addition to O'Reilly.


It is a relief to know that he can change his mind about these things. And besides, it is much more fun to be able to talk about anything and politics has always been a big part of our family's discourse.

And, in the future, I suspect that we will be able to have the fun political discussions that we used to have before 9/11. The ones where we get excited but listen to each other and don't avoid the topic.

5 comments:

Py Korry said...

Man, if Forrest's political views are changing, Republicans are in a world of trouble. He's a core voter in their coalition, so if he's falling out of love, then...

Maya's Granny said...

Yeah. I don't think he's hearing enough information to completely understand, but even watching O'Reilly, he is getting good and sick of it.

Chancy said...

Good news about Forrest's political views changing, even a wee bit. One voter at a time and perhaps by 2008 we may have an enlightened electorate after all.

Betty said...

Please tune him into CNN. He won't get toally unbiased news, but it's a lot better than FOX.

Ginnie said...

This reminds me of my visit to my older sister in California. I was there for 4 days and couldn't believe that the ONLY news that she listened to was FOX, with O'Reilly and all the rest of the right-wingers. It was impossible to carry on a rational discussion about the political situation and I found myself going to bed earlier and earlier while there. A good book was a much better companion...but it was sad, too.