First off, I’m not a fan of that sorry excuse for a human being. Didn’t think much of him when I lived in New Jersey, even less when I lived in Maine and Saturday Night Live spoofed wife no. 2 (excellent skit though, always did love the Church Lady), and still less when I read that his eldest daughter stated they were raised to be competitive with each other. But my mission in life, and especially in this blog, is to try and understand where racism comes from. Instead of just writing off someone as a stupid bigot, I want to get into their mind, try and understand where they’re coming from. I will never condone their behavior, but at least I can try and understand it. It doesn’t make me a saint, but mindlessly writing the opposition off as stupid is really not the way to go.
The Occupant, like many men convinced of their white male superiority, has a foreign wife. Not just any foreign wife, but one from a lesser country. Anything not white male and Anglo-Saxon is less than in their minds. Never mind that looking at pictures of Slovenia you’d be forgiven for immediately thinking of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. To these men it is and will always remain a second world country, one that – much like women from similar places – must be dominated. Yes, it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. White Man’s Burden, you understand.
Non-Republicans are quick to accuse their enemy of blindly following their exalted leader. And while it’s common knowledge that enemies trash talk each other (viewing the process almost as a moral responsibility), there is actually truth in that statement. To sum up an article by George Lakoff very briefly, conservative-minded people are more apt to follow a leader without questioning his authority than their more progressive counterparts. The government is an extension of the family, which in itself is an extension of God guiding His people, much the same way that Father navigates the family through everyday perils. Father knows best, and we are to follow. Family is the foundation from which the conservative-minded build their world view, factually, intellectually, and emotionally.
The progressive-minded individual has slightly more faith in humanity. With some guidance the kid will be ok, I reckon, is the perceived wisdom there. Exploration will get you everywhere, and basic human decency – acquired via nurture – will see to the rest. Hence why I identify more with progressive thought. Conservatism seems to imply a lack of trust in the other, younger, person who must be led. Whereas I prefer a learning-by-doing approach.
Even so, I don’t agree with a lot of over the top liberal thought. The tendency to immediately side with the perceived underdog without looking at both angles is problematic. First, you’re getting a very biased view. Second, you’re relegating the person to permanent underdog status, as though you needed for them to be in that position so you can feel morally superior, but “look, mommy! I did something! I helped.” Keeping the other person down so you can feel morally superior by boycotting products of a nation, or extending a helping hand by giving charity rather than providing skills, makes you as much of an oppressor as the ones you purport to hate.
Elevating oneself to a higher moral standard for living right is something both sides do, just from different angles. But no one wants to accept this fact. Because it would mean admitting that in lots of ways we’re more alike than we’d care to admit. One takes the father’s approach to life, the other admits we can learn from kids. A fresh, unbiased viewpoint might bring more than something tried and tested (which didn’t fare too well).
Which may or may not bring us to the Immigrant Occupant. I don’t hold a high opinion of her either. In lots of ways she reminds me of the girls I’d encounter in Budapest in the ’90s. Eager to get out of poverty, wanting to get a taste of the glorified West, they’d take any means to get there. Which basically translated into porn acting, go-go dancing, prostitution, and / or becoming the side chick of a very rich man (or rich enough to keep you in an apartment, basic amenities (manicurist, peducurist, beautician, hairdresser, masseur, gym, not necessarily in that order) and pretty clothes.
I make it sound glib, which it’s not. No decent person would fault someone trying to avoid poverty, quite the opposite. When your body is the only capital you have, it’s easy to see how you’d use it to make money. Where some are forced into it, others copy what was modeled. Their mothers did it for them to assure them a better life, so why not do the same for the next generation, is the reasoning.
I’m not saying the Immigrant went through that, if she had the looks and the opportunity to get out, more power to her. But she grew up in a world where this was common. And it happens everywhere, even in the country that hosted her and is now feteing her (in part) as a feminine ideal. Kentucky still has child brides, Michigan boasts living conditions that would make some Third World Countries shudder, there are parents all over the nation who cannot afford to buy their children lunch, never mind food when they come home from school, and so on and so forth.
Not to mention the fact that communism necessitated such a police state, most people would grab any and every chance to get out. No freedom of movement, no freedom of expression, just tow the line. And no religion either, to give you hope that perhaps in the afterlife things might get better. Sure, churches were not torn down, not were they closed. But try getting a job when the government knows how involved in your church you are.
The Immigrant knows all that. Even if she had the IQ of her shoe size in Europe. And here’s where a huge opportunity was missed, and also the reason I refer to her as The Immigrant. America prides itself on being a country of immigrants. Never mind how that all came about (White Man arrived, saw something he couldn’t comprehend, labeled it savagery, decided – not unlike a little child – “mine”, and brought out the infested blankets along with the guns). The strongest, the brightest, the greatest. If you’ve got it, we definitely want it used to be the marketing ploy to get talent and genius to America. But also the persecuted, the ones with curtailed freedoms. If they were willing to roll up their sleeves, muck in, and would not be a burden on the state or the nation they were more than welcome. From rags to riches stories abounded, serving as both example and inspiration.
And here’s where the Occupant and the Immigrant messed up. Sure, the Occupant pandered that rags to riches story of his and his ancestors’ wealth to the masses, but only in a nose-thumping “I’m so much better than you” kind of way. I honestly couldn’t care less if my First Lady was a madam, a prostitute, or a porn star. But why not own it? Why not say, “look guys, I know what it was and still is like. While you’re there it sucks. But look at me, I got out. I had to marry a rich guy” (or hook up with one if you’re of the school that she’s the Russian Dwarf’s sleeper agent). “But here’s what I’m doing for my kid so he can get out.”
Though admittedly it is easier for a boy than a girl.