Natalie and Me
Had a most lively debate last night with a friend of mine, Natalie. I met Natalie some years ago and we have maintained contact even while I was in California. Natalie is a dyed-in-wool liberal Texas democrat! And I’m not kidding, folks. If she could, she would get in a time machine so she could go back just to vote for LBJ! She is also a vet with not one but two tours of Iraq under her pretty little belt, a degree and fills in as a substitute teacher. She has two wonderful children, her eldest, who is going to be a lawyer, I’m sure, and the baby, who crawls around the floor and runs the house. Her husband, Stan is a gun enthusiast who will buy you all the beer you can hold just to visit and talk with you.
Natalie and I don’t agree on anything! If Obama announced tomorrow that we all should eat crap for breakfast she would fire up the stove and break out the corn meal! Oh, I forgot to tell you that she is an excellent cook, and if she fried that crap I’d probably eat it. I, on the other hand, wouldn’t believe Obama if he told me he was black. She is pro-choice, pro-welfare, and anything else on the democratic agenda. She is very passionate about what she believes in and if, like I do, you know how to push her buttons, you can elicit a very spicy discussion out of her at any given moment.
Back when I was in high school, just after the civil war, the term “liberal” had a completely different connotation than it does today. Simply put, as my civics teacher, Mr. Cole told us, a liberal is simply a person who is willing to try new things. Back then I don’t know why we even HAD a republican party in Texas, save that I suppose SOMEONE had to appear on the other side of the ballot so as to make it all look fair. Mr. Cole said that the republicans represented big business and it was the job of democrats to keep them in check. And, besides that, republicans were all Yankees, and we knew what kind of people THEY were! We came out of Mr. Cole’s class wearing our liberal democrat cowboy hats with pride. When I eventually voted I just stepped behind the curtain and voted a straight democratic ticket, and I didn’t care WHO was on that ballot, I would have voted for Hitler if he’d have run for Land Commissioner!
And that system remained in place until Bill Clements became governor. After that it teeter-tottered between parties with short democratic rallies under Mark White and Ann Richards until Jr. Bush took office waiting for pop to vacate the White House, and the Republican party has pretty much held firm ever since. We currently have Rick Perry in there, but he’s a RINO (republican in name only) so I don’t know if he counts or not. He is an elephant that eats republican grass and craps donkey stools. But I digress.
Even though I was appalled at our first republican governor, when the state didn’t fold the first year I relaxed some. I actually began to READ the ballot, and it took me more than thirty seconds to vote after that. As I ventured into business I began to listen to what the candidates said, and slowly but surely I began to swing over to the red side of the booth more and more until I was a one hundred percent republican. I received training under my son, Master Chief Wilbur William Witt III, USN who fine tuned me on the political ideals of the party, but long before that, Natalie was growing up in southeast Texas becoming a chrome plated liberal democrat exactly as I once was. Nat and I crossed paths in 2010 and a fiery relationship was born.
The way America is supposed to work is simple. You have two opposing factions sitting on each side of the isle. They don’t totally agree on anything. The democrats want to give freebies away to their huge voting block and the republicans see themselves as the old guard protecting the conservative interests of what they perceive as the foundation of capitalism. To the democrats republicans look like old grandfathers with huge handlebar mustaches and to the republicans the democrats look like a bunch of pot smoking hippies. And you have to get these guys and gals under one roof and at least TRY to run the country. Nothing ever comes out perfect, case in point the recent budget deal. The democrats would have Obamacare permanently funded until Christ comes back and the republicans would opt to shut down the entire country until we were all selling apples on some street corner. Somehow, they met in the middle and got a deal. This is called “compromise.” The democrats were fairly pleased as were most republicans, save a few folks like Ted Cruz, who slipped off in a corner licking their respective wounds vowing to fight another day.
But, this is what makes it work, folks. And we all have to put up with the spin coming out of both factions, but use a little common sense. Here’s where Natalie and I disagree. She would have free abortions for every single woman who partied too much last night and woke up wearing someone else’s shirt. I would prefer life in prison for anyone who even THOUGHT about doing such a thing and the middle of the road is not easy to find. But we must find it. Throw in the fact that I am a Texas Nationalist because while not having given up on the idea of America I firmly believe that idea has been transplanted to Austin. Natalie went to Iraq and fought for my right to think that way and she is a flag waving federalist. I’m always aware of that when I debate her, and I’m always aware of perceptions. Do you realize that in 1776 the liberals all rallied under George Washington and the conservatives rushed to the crown wondering what was in their three cornered minds? Perceptions!
Natalie and I will find common ground. And what will come out of our debates will be well worth reading. There’s still a little Texan in this girl. I took a swipe at her last night that no one watching picked up on. I told her she should stop acting like a “Yankee” and I’m glad it was an online debate and she was not in the room with me. Talk about the “N” word, use the “Y” word on a Texas girl and see where that gets you! If you’ve ever read any of my books you know I’m infatuated with intelligent, strong women. I’m very infatuated with Natalie. The ghost of Daniel Webster is said to make its appearance now and again and asks, “How stands the country?” Natalie stands with her gay, lesbian, straight, black, white, drunk or sober friends, waves the flag that SHE paid for and replies, “Strong, sir! The nation is strong!” Did I forget to tell you she’s a good shot too?