Last weekend, I saw my dad. He was his normal conservative, narcissistic self. Then, he started defending the Japanese interment camps during WW II. OMG. I can’t wrap my head around that. We did not inter Americans of Italian or German descent. At one point, German was actually the state language of Wisconsin. Are you going to arrest Wisconsin? Or all the Italians in New York? Bottom line: Italians and Germans are both white and Christian. This was pure racism. Period. Japanese are neither white nor Christian as a whole. Some are Shinto and others are Buddhist.
Back to current reality. I realized that my parents love me because I am theirs. I belong in their microscopic circle of concern. Everyone outside that circle is not their concern. At all.
It gave me the serious creeps. This feeling has been creeping up on me for a while, but it is nauseatingly in-my-face now. I feel like a Jew in Nazi Germany in 1933 or 1934. The winds of change are blowing and I feel something isn’t right.
I found the poem that came to mind: “First they came for the Jews” by Martin Niemoller.
“First they came for the Jews/and I did not speak out/because I was not a Jew
Then they came for the Communists/and I did not speak out/because i was not a Communist
Then they came for the trade unionists/and I did not speak out/because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for me/and there was no one left/to speak out for me”
Conservatives are not bad people. I happen to love a few of them. But lacking basic human empathy and compassion is a problem. I don’t have to be supportive of the politics of people lacking basic humanity. The challenge is to not lower myself to their level. I still love them. I just don’t admire them. Or wish to be like them on any level.
My gut-level reaction is “eeeeeuuuwwwww.” It is well-founded. May I never lose compassion for my fellow humans and become like my parents. Ever.