I am a … Republican?
I can barely look at myself in the mirror. Hand-washing will not be enough. I must hang my head in shame, for I have done the unforgivable, the unthinkable. My brother will never speak to me again. My parents will be so proud.
You see, I have changed my political party affiliation.
If, as I am told, nausea is part of the political process, I am going to have to take a long leave of absence.
It’s not that I don’t like politics. I am intrigued by the process by which laws are enacted, lobbyists persuade legislators and money is hidden in offshore bank accounts.
But there’s an even sleazier side: the Gary Harts of the political world, monkeying around on yachts with women to whom they are not married. There are the James Watts of the world, who say the unbelievable – plants are sources of pollution because they spew gases into the environment. And the merely incomprehendables: George Jr. and Dan Quayle.
But recently, I was weak with nausea, disbelief and incredulity when I was told if I wanted to vote for a particular candidate in the Aug. 13 primary, I would have to change my political affiliation.
I can’t believe I’m confessing this; I changed my party affiliation from Independent to – dare I say? Republican.
“Ewwww,” a friend said, taking a step away from me.
“How can you sleep at night?” another asked.
“I thought I could call you a friend.”
“You … you! Traitor!”
I have never been a Republican. I have never wanted to be a Republican. Sure, I have voted for many Republicans, but I didn’t want to … affiliate with them. It just sounds like so much … finagling. Shenanigans. Capers.
“What does this mean?” I asked my nominee friend as she fanned my pale face.
“It means you can vote for me,” she said. “And you can always change your status back to Independent the day after the election. Now, get off the floor.”
“But … but I’m a bleeding-heart liberal, tree-hugging, granola-munching, tax-and-spend-for-social-parity sort of voter,” I said, gasping for air.
She rolled her eyes. My eyes began hallucinating.
Me. A Republican. Oh, what does it mean?!
As a Republican, I see myself on the golf course, participating in a sport I’ve only ever enjoyed for the beer they sell along the way. Now I’ll have to actually care about things like handicaps, slices, divots and irons. Dahlin.’
To comprehend this new world of mine, I’ll have to subscribe to Golf. And the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal and the Economist.
Charleton Heston will be my new favorite actor. I will attend church.
I’ll have to get a cell phone and program my broker’s phone number in it so I can call several times a day to see how my stock is performing.
As a Republican, I’ll have to start taking pride in my lawn, comparing it to our neighbors’ and calling the homeowners association if theirs is so much as a quarter-inch taller than it should be. I will get a special storage shed, not to sublet to snowboarders, but in which to store my garbage cans. And – gulp – my riding lawn mower, the one our landscaper will use.
I might have to get in shape – not at the rec center, but at a health spa. With a personal trainer.
I’ll have to take our trolling boat off the deck and put it on a trailer – or better yet, trade it in for a yacht. We will no longer be able to load up the Subaru and drive to, say, Paradise, Kan. on vacation; we will take planes – preferably private jets – and fly to places like Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard or Kennebunkport.
I might have to take up smoking cigars and drinking – ugh – brandy in a snifter.
I don’t think I can handle this lifestyle change, even if it’s only for 13 days, 21 hours and 4.82 minutes.
But I’ll do it for my Republican nominee friend, who I believe will do a good job in office. And come Aug. 14, I’m marching back to the county office to redeem myself, to change my affiliation back to Independent and see if I can clear my sullied reputation. Then I’m going home to wash my hands of this whole sordid deal.
See you on the links. Dahlin.’
Jane Stebbins can be reached at 668-3998 ext. 228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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