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Conservatives: The Appalling Relatives Nobody Likes


Here are some Happy Holiday Thoughts — just some stuff that is to do with the Reason for the Season and the True Meaning of Christmas, which is that it’s an annual reminder of exactly why you can’t stand your relatives.

Wingnuts are not the True America, though they posture as such. No; "conservatives" are America’s Truly Annoying Relatives, the ones we don’t like, the ones who always seem to be invited to the party even though everyone hates them. They’re not the black sheep of our national family, really. Rather, they are the embarrassing sheep of our national family, the ones who keep inventing excuses to "accidentally" brush up against your fiance’s breasts while drunkenly lecturing her about the evils of Vatican II. Just to, uh, pick a wacky, totally made-up example not at all from my personal life. Ahem..

There is, for instance, Limbaugh, Everyone’s Skeevy Uncle, who yells a lot and won’t just shut the fuck up about the moral failings of others despite the fact that everyone knows he’s an absolute pig in his personal life. He’s the drunk with the racist "jokes" that make you wonder how well tinsel would function as a garrote.

Then we have Kathryn Jean Lopez, America’s Maiden Aunt, who sits in the corner primly pretending, unconvincingly, not to be methodically swilling down gallons of sherry. Her Holiday Party strategy is spider-like. She lurks alone, waiting for someone to be momentarily swayed by Christmas Charity and think, "Oh, Aunt Katie Jean is all by herself, I’ll just go over and wish her a Merry Christmas…" DON’T DO IT! For she will POUNCE! And you’ll be sitting there for the next three hours with an empty glass she won’t gracefully allow you into the kitchen to refill, trapped in the horrible swampland of ancient and completely incomprehensible spiteful grievances that appear to have their origins in a nursery-room spat she had with Cousin Methuselah back in the Bronze Age. Your options are fairly limited: Rudeness. Suicide. Murder. That’s about it.

Or maybe you’ll be accosted by Ann the Mystery In-Law — you’re pretty sure that decades ago she got divorced from somebody you’re actually related to, but for unfathomable reasons she’s still around at family events, spilling cheap merlot on the carpet and not noticing, scaring the children with allegedly cute but in fact alarmingly insane stories about things like talking cockroaches, insisting on goodbye kisses with lipstick that looks like melted cherry Starbursts applied with a putty knife.

I’ll leave it to you to contemplate Smug Uncle Insty and his wife with the appalling mandibles, or batty Cousin Pam and her plasticene nipples that would shoot your eye out if she squeezed her bra, but at least that would be preferable to hearing her talk. Me, I’m just going to observe that while Christmas comes but once a year, wingnuts we have with us all year ’round. Excuse me while I hide under the bed and softly whimper myself to sleep…

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A community college professor from upstate NY. My wife & I have 347 children, all of them rotten.