Stories For My Grandchildren. When I Became a Domestic Terrorist.
When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” ― C.S. Lewis
I do profess to own a gun. It’s a pellet gun. I am a responsible owner in that it is very, very well hidden. In fact, I don’t think I could find it today. I’m much like an old dog with decaying olfactory senses unable to sniff out what is long buried. That, perhaps, is a benefit of growing older. It becomes easier to hide things from yourself making the neighborhood safer. Passwords are the worse which is why I no longer hide them. They get sticky-noted to my screen.
I have fired guns. They are loud and some kick pretty hard. Those comfortable with firearms would likely describe me as an awkward unsure gun handler. The ‘safety,’ the little button that ostensibly makes the gun inert, always confuses me. Is the button in the safe mode when up or down? Does the red paint on the little button mean it’s locked? Everyone takes cover when I suggest I find out by pulling the trigger. How else does one find out? “Relax everyone! I don’t think it’s loaded. Sheesh!”
Because I own a gun and once or twice clung to it, I included myself in the bucket of fly-over people a presidential candidate once characterized as “… bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
As a religious person, the imagery of ‘clinging’ to religion had never entered my imagination. If the author used the term ‘cling’ as a child might cling to a blanket as a source of security, I then agree. Religion, my belief, my faith in a power greater than I provide for a great sense of peace and security.
I did scratch my head some over being told I’m ‘anti-immigrant.’ I rummaged through most of my relationships and concluded that nearly all have some root planted in some other country. Many have told me stories of a father or mother, or grand or great grand or great-great grand something, coming to America. To immigrate to this country, or any other country for that matter, pages of documents are required, then you wait patiently for authorization, sometimes a year or more, and then you travel to where a ‘sponsor’ is waiting to assist in assimilation. That is called legal immigration of which I am a benefactor and a big advocate. That’s the way it is still done, right? To assert that I am anti-immigration would require me to consider my own grandparents as trespassers.
Just this morning, I backed my Japanese car out of the garage and admired my American flag proudly fluttering. The car was made in America and the flag came from China. I’m like most others from coast to coast and in between addicted to cheap stuff. I fly on airliners made in Europe. I also feel for the poor folks in Ohio who drew a living wage working at the screw factory. It closed its doors not able to compete with cheap screws from China. If empathizing with the losers of our economic adjustments or being concerned with the rampant theft of our technology makes me ‘anti-trade, then stick a chopstick in me.
Another candidate used the pulpit to nickname his political opponents. It all struck me as childish schoolyard behavior similar to when we called the small kids ‘puny’ and big kids ‘fatso.’ My schoolyard nickname was ‘barebutt.’ Yet, it was a bit unsettling seeing a grown, sophisticated man call another ‘lyin Ted’ or ‘sleepy Joe’ or ‘little Marco.’ But a brief forway into Twitter and you’ll be appalled what the bullies were calling him. The hate was so thick that including an ‘F—- Trump in a headline on Medium would result in ‘reads’ and ‘likes’ by the septic tank full. Today, the other pack occupies the drain field and chants ‘Let’s go Brandon.’ Tit for tat.
Perhaps wanting to truncate simplistic stereotypes while adding a few more to the dung pile, another candidate perceived all my bitterness and frustration and called me ‘deplorable.’ She had learned well from leftist philosopher and political strategist, Saul Alinsky, who grew famous by writing, "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." The word ‘polarize’ is interchangeable with ‘demonize.’ Despite her Methodist upbringing, Mrs. Clinton was so taken by Mr. Alinsky's political instincts, she explored his wisdom in her college thesis. “Can anything be more disgusting than to hear people called 'educated' making small jokes about eating ham, and showing themselves empty of any real knowledge as to the relation of their own social and religious life to the history of the people they think themselves witty in insulting?” George Eliot, novelist. She died in 1880. Recently, there was a bit of controversy about whether parents or teachers dictate what is taught to little Johnny and Suzie. Woke school boards and teachers became incensed when parents had the audacity to question critical race theory courseware. Some even, God forbid, had the courage to demand that it be changed. Microphones were turned off and police called in to remove parents who had not yet finished their prepared remarks. Several ended up in jail unlike those who burned and looted dozens of cities last summer because they, I assume, had something to say as well.
The passion expressed by some parents must have rattled the school board regimes as they implored the Department of Justice to label these ‘extremist’ parents as ‘domestic terrorists.’ They even invoked ‘racism’ as a mitigating cause. Soon, the president’s men and women went to crafting a bill that would deal harshly with fire-brand parents to make sure they were properly punished if they dare stand up for their little tykes.
As someone who sympathizes with parents who take the education of their children seriously, I’ve voluntarily include myself in the bucket of ‘domestic terrorist.’ Of course, I jest. But what is truly disturbing is what Rasmussen Reports found when asking our fellow Americans, perhaps our neighbors, if they would support forcing folks who have chosen not to take the COVID vaccine into camps, fining them, and in some cases, jailing them. Claiming to be motivated by ‘the greater good,’ this impulse towards tyrannical coercion comes eerily close to other events in the not-to-distant history. Can I trust my neighbor with knowing my vaccination status? If so, will they bust my door down after midnight and put me on a northbound train? Makes me wonder who is bitterly clinging to their fear?
And what about those who dare criticize the vaccine program including the inventor of mRNA drug technology? Dr. Malone strongly suggests against young people being vaccinated. Here is the inventor of the technology and youTube, run by hyper-partisan non-scientist types indoctrinated to a narrow government-approved narrative, shut him off. So did Twitter.
Three grandchildren are over and I promised them a story. Oddly, they like scary stories but not too scary. Even odder, being labeled a ‘domestic terrorist’ has given me some ‘cache.’ I think I got a title for my story… “Barebutt, the Domestic Terrorist.” Ya. And I’m going to start with a quote from Shakespeare’s, Macbeth. “Sometimes when we are labeled, when we are branded, our brand becomes our calling.”
Wish me luck! Have a great weekend!
Story Telling by Edgar Guest Most every night when they're in bed, And both their little prayers have said, They shout for me to come upstairs And tell them tales of gypsies bold, And eagles with the claws that hold A baby's weight, and fairy sprites That roam the woods on starry nights. And I must illustrate these tales, Must imitate the northern gales That toss the native man's canoe, And show the way he paddles, too. If in the story comes a bear, I have to pause and sniff the air And show the way he climbs the trees To steal the honey from the bees. And then I buzz like angry bees And sting him on his nose and knees And howl in pain, till mother cries: "That pair will never shut their eyes, While all that noise up there you make; You're simply keeping them awake." And then they whisper: "Just one more," And once again I'm forced to roar. New stories every night they ask. And that is not an easy task; I have to be so many things, The frog that croaks, the lark that sings, The cunning fox, the frightened hen; But just last night they stumped me, when They wanted me to twist and squirm And imitate an angle worm. At last they tumble off to sleep, And softly from their room I creep And brush and comb the shock of hair I tossed about to be a bear. Then mother says: "Well, I should say You're just as much a child as they." But you can bet I'll not resign That story telling job of mine.