Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" If you don't think politics and religion should be discussed in polite company, then toddle on out of here and go to Starbucks. And as you sip that Mocha Chocolata Ya Ya with your pinky in the air, be advised that you're consuming the same number of calories in a Big Mac.
In 1979 my uncle (hereafter called Uncle X) lost his final job. He was 54 years old. For the next 8 years he lived off my grandparents, which was okay because he was there to help them out a lot of times when they were sick.
At 62 he got his Social Security, a couple hundred bucks a month. It wasn't enough to live on. So my dad and my other uncle let Uncle X live rent-free at the family farm. The free housing allowed Uncle X to live within his meager income. When something broke in the farmhouse, Uncle X's son fixed it. Uncle X kept the house looking spiffy, which to him meant ousting every last item that my grandmother had lovingly placed in it.
Uncle X's free housing has extended into the 21st century, as my generation decided we couldn't live with ourselves if we booted him.
I used to visit him frequently. (Hey, it's a 75 acre farm in Appalachia with fabulous views of two states.) Uncle X and I always got along swell.
And then came Rush.
Lonely and depressed, Uncle X turned to his radio for solace. The only channel he could pull in out in the mountains was a talk station liberally laced with Rush.
Uncle X spoke Rush's name like some people say "Jesus." Overnight my good ol' drinking companion became a rabid conservative. And all he would talk about was politics. You couldn't stop him.
And it was hard to stomach, reader. Here was a guy living solely on a government subsidy, saying that the rich got taxed too much. For the love of fruit flies. If it weren't for that free rent (and I forgot to add that he couldn't drive, so the far-flung neighbors drove him into town), he'd have needed SSI and Medicaid, just to live like a pauper.
It's been years now, years, since I started praying that liberals would find a dynamic, convincing, principled opponent to Rush Limbaugh. Ah, at last. Answered prayers. Too late for Uncle X, but just in time for me.
Go ahead. Call me a Keith Olbermann Dittohead. I'll admire that man even if it's revealed that he's addicted to opiates and spends his vacation time soliciting prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.
I don't visit Uncle X anymore. My fundie sister is going to see him next week. That should be a good fit.