I don’t talk much about my personal politics here on That’s Church because as we’ve previously discussed, I might as well just fling myself into an active volcano because it’d be less painful than reading 500 comments that range from, “How does it feel to be so stupid?” to, “I’ll pray for you and your lost soul and the lost souls of your children and also, I hope you get run over by a bus and when you do, I’ll continue to pray that hell doesn’t burn your soul to Extra Crispy.”
But this Sunday while reading an article about the Port Authority service cuts that went into effect today, I was first shocked to see the 67J was cut, because I assumed that was a pretty profitable and popular route. But I was the most shocked that transit union president Patrick McMahon said this to the media:
“Dan Onorato — union buster,” Mr. McMahon said. “That’s the label you will have whatever else you do in your life. You stink. You’re a Republican.”
The very day I outed myself as Virginia Montanez instead of PittGirl, Chad Hermann at the Radical Middle latched on to this letter to the editor I wrote when George Bush was re-elected, wondering how my readers were going to like me knowing I was a Republican. This resulted in some uproar from readers who were shocked I ever voted for a “war criminal.” Yes. WAR CRIMINAL. I voted for him because as you already know ME LOVE KILLING! GRRRRR.
And for those times when I might be talking to a reader or new friend who is a Democrat, perhaps over a drink, and I utter the words, “I’m a conservative,” I can see something happen in their eyeballs. Like their brain seized and then slammed the door behind their eyes. A shutter. A flutter. I can practically hear their train of thought as it screams past the brain station. “OMG. She’s a Republican. She hates gay people. She loves Sarah Palin. She probably agrees with the Westboro nutjobs. She hates freedom. She loves the rich and hates the poor. She hates good. She hates the flag. She hates black people. She is what’s wrong with America. SHE PROBABLY KILLS BABY EAGLES FOR FUN AND THEN STUFFS THEM AND USES THEM TO SCOUR HER POTS AND PANS.”
Yeah. None of that is true. But please, those of you that think that, please continue to paint me Evil with your giant self-righteous paint brush of Truth.
I’m used to it.
I live in Pittsburgh, a Democratic stronghold. Almost every single one of my friends is a Democrat. I spent a decade working for two non-profits in which almost every employee was a staunch democrat. Each election I’m bombarded on twitter by tweet after tweet about how every Republican is evil and how every problem can be traced back to Republicans and about how Republicans are not worth the filth they must roll around in. (I’m sure there are Republicans on twitter who say the same things about Dems. I think I just follow mostly Dems or something.)
I have learned to ignore it. It doesn’t upset me. I still like those people. They’re still my friends. I hope my actions will eventually prove to them that not all Republicans are radical evil-doers.
Unlike Mr. McMahon, I don’t believe every Republican is a union-busting stinky poo-pants. I’m all for unions helping their members earn fair wages and benefits. I’m not all for unions being bullies that demand more than most of America’s workers are getting and who give unions a bad name by refusing to allow poor employees to be fired.
I don’t believe every Democrat stinks either. I know too many amazing Democrats.
My personal politics have me in the middle, really. There are certain issues I side with the Dems on and certain issues I side with Republicans on. But if you put me on the scale, I probably lean more to the right than the left. Somewhere, my father is congratulating himself for raising me right.
Until I start defending Obama to him, and then he thinks about all the ways he went wrong.
But yes. I’m a registered Republican. Or as Patrick McMahon might spell it, “FILTH-BATHING GAY-HATING UNION-BUSTING BABY EAGLE KILLER. WHO STINKS.”
Mr. McMahon has taken a dangerous road here. Not just labeling every Republican as a fool. A union-buster. A loser. But going all playground bully/Top Gun sniffing, “You stink,” on a whole lot of Republicans who are riding the buses, who don’t agree with the service cuts, who want nothing more than the Port Authority and the county to come to an agreement that is mutually beneficial to the employees of PAT and the people they’re driving around town.
Maybe you don’t know this, Mr. McMahon, but Republicans use public transportation too.
Enough with the name-calling. The painting with strokes so broad you can barely lift the giant brush.
Uncalled for. Unnecessary. Unproductive. Uncouth.
And as far as I’m concerned, you can stick it up your nose with a rubber hose.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, there are baby eagles that must needs die. I have dirty dishes.