Wednesday, June 10, 2009

a recovering liberal

It's worth the read, just for this one line: "when I feel upset, my husband goes and fixes something"

This article shows very much how I feel much of the time, with all the Sheeple around me, I don't dare say any 'truths' about Obama.

My Imaginary Friend
By Robin of Berkeley

When I was a child I had a pretend best friend just like me. She looked like me, talked like me, and had the exact same interests. I named her Robin 2. (I also named my stuffed animals by their colors, i.e. Whitey, Greyey, Pinky; what can I say? I wasn't the most creative of tots.) I must have been influenced by my favorite TV show, the Patty Duke Show. (For you young'uns, it was a wholesome show (they all were back then) about identical twin cousins, both played by the adorable Ms. Duke.) When my mom took me to the store, my friend came too. She'd sleep with me, eat with me, and keep me company when I was sad.

As I got older, I had live best friends, but none fulfilled the promise of Robin 2. My real friends and I would get into nasty fights and not talk for days. Girls can be so cruel; I remember a group ganging up on me and starting an "I Hate Robin Club" replete with posters and banners. Luckily it didn't last (though, given that I still remember it, clearly the trauma did). Even as I got older, I still maintained the fantasy of having a sister type of best friend who, unlike my real older brother, wasn't making ruining my life her raison d'etre.

Last week, on a grey day when I was home nursing a cold, I thought about old Robin, about how nice it would be to have a best friend I could really talk to. I'd been feeling a bit sorry for myself lately being a conservative in Berkeley. My friends adore Obama; my clients talk excitedly about him all the time; even the random stranger in front of me at the supermarket is talking up Obama. So it's all Obama, all the time, and I feel like crawling under a rock. I don't dare reveal my true feelings since I don't want my clients to run screaming from my office or to have another friend throw me under the bus.

My husband is a type of best friend in a way that a guy can be (when I'm upset or sad he goes and fixes something). But he has no idea what planet I've just returned from, politically speaking. For example, he recently told me he heard Obama speak and that, " Obama has a great sense of humor."I repeat: the man said, Obama, o-b-a-m-a, the man with the thinnest skin on the planet, has a great sense of humor. Stunned into silence, I finally sputtered, "I guess we have different presidents," and he agreed, looking at me perturbed, as though I had just said, "An alien kidnapped me last night and impregnated me with his love child." So let's just say my man and I are still close but we avoid politics and both think the other is delusional.

A little loopy from the Nyquil, I wondered what would be the harm of a middle aged, newby conservative resurrecting her childhood pretend friend. (Yes I know it's weird, but people in downtown Berkeley chat with their invisible buds all the time.) Bored with Oprah and Ellen, I decided to envision a reunion with Robin 2.

me: It's so great to see you!

robin 2: Right back at you! Girl, you look fantastic.

me: You too. You haven't changed one bit since I saw you.

robin 2: And I have never seen anyone, anywhere age as seamlessly as you.

It was great having Robin 2 back! She was fun, lively, supportive. She was, in fact, me!

me: I have missed you so much. There's no one like you.

robin 2: So what's been up with you all these years?

me: Oh, sis, it's been a wild ride. I live in this insane area and I'm a psychotherapist, and I was politically Left all my life but recently turned Right. It's a bit dizzying to talk about.

2: Wow, you really changed. What happened?

me: It's a long story but basically this really angry scary dude Obama ran for president and he and his cronies destroyed the competition and they continue to mow down anyone who gets in their way. I couldn't go with the program so I read about conservatism, and it was totally different than I thought. It's about values, and morality, and love of country.

2: Sounds a little old fashioned and stodgy.

me: Not at all! Actually, liberals with their insistence on being politically correct at all costs are the uptight ones. Conservatives value individual freedom.

2: I don't know. It just doesn't sound young and cool and with it.

me: (with annoyance) Robin 2, we are not young and cool. We are no spring chickens, and it is time to grow up and take our place as society's elders.

2: (sarcastically) I don't think so.

me: It's natural to become more pragmatic and logical as we get older, and less driven by emotions.

2: I think we can change the world.

me: I used to believe this, but then, I finally got it. Only God can do the changing. When humans try, it turns into arrogance, social control, even fascism.

2: But we have to hope! We have to believe!

me: Robin 2, what in the world has happened to you? I invented you. You are my twin. But you are not like me at all. You are (I gasped) Obatomized!

Then I noticed it. The girl had snuck in a gallon of Kool Aid, and was drinking wildly, madly. Just like we used to sneak in weed and boys when we were teens, the rascal had brought in some Obama love potion #9.

And when she uttered these words, I knew the gig was up, "And anyway I think Obama is hecka cool. I just love the brother. He's all about love and hope and joy. And, the cat has a great sense of humor."

In an instant, I knew what what I had to do. I had to say goodbye to my old friend. The image of unconditional love was fading as fast as the effects of the Nyquil. But just then, I had an epiphany. Why do I need people to mirror me anyway? Why this relentless focus on what others think of me? Could it be just some throwback from decades of liberalism, the Kumbaya image of eternal love?

I say I'm a conservative who believes in individual freedom. But being a conservative isn't just spouting words. It means being a free individual, getting off of my high horse and standing on my own two feet.

Just then, I thought of a Far Side comic I kept in my drawer for years. A black lamb is beckoning to other, white, lambs to go in another direction. He cries out, "We don't have to be just sheep." And I got it: when you have the truth of your convictions, you must sometimes stand alone. Perhaps this is one of the definitions of maturity: to stand upright and separate from the herd, even if you end up being the black sheep.

"We don't have to be just sheep." Perhaps that's my cry, the battle cry of all of us conservatives who do not want to become sheep, who refuse to take the Obama pledge and do the Obama salute and worship at the altar of Obama.

So given the choice between pleasing everyone and freedom, I choose the latter. I may not win any popularity contests anytime soon. But maybe that's not the point of this one short, precious life.

A frequent contributor to American Thinker, Robin is a recovering liberal and a psychotherapist marooned in Berkeley.
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