Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A Christmas Story--Republican Style

A Christmas Story--Republican Style
(with many apologies to Jean Shepard)
by Cindy A. Matthews 

Ralphie knew what he wanted for Christmas. More than anything in the world Ralphie wanted a  Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. But his mother (being a lowly woman without the same mental or moral capacity as a man according to their preacher) had been heavily influenced by the left wing media conspiracy full of "libtards" who smugly declared that a nine year old boy can't safely run around with a loaded weapon without hurting himself anymore than he can run around with pointed scissors and long shoelaces without tripping.

"You'll shoot your eye out," Ralphie's mom told him in no uncertain terms.
Ralphie, being an all-American, red-blood boy who knew who really was in charge, was disappointed in his mother's response, but he wasn't about to give up. 

Ralphie decided he'd get his teacher on his side in this debate. He would turn in the best essay that a boy could buy from an online essay-writing service out of India, which only charges pennies on the dollar compared to American-based ghostwriters who whined all the time about being paid a living wage.

In his well-chosen essay, Ralphie insisted that it was his God-given right to own a BB rifle and shoot the hell out of anything that crossed his path. He demanded protection for his Second Amendment rights to own a firearm--or several hundred firearms, if he so choose. 

But Ralphie's teacher recently had lost a good friend in a mass shooting at an elementary school. A middle-aged white male (who'd been having a rough time of it since he'd been downsized and lost his health care and could no longer deal with his opioid addiction) shot a whole classroom of first-graders and their teachers.

Ralphie's teacher didn't agree with Ralphie that it was okay to sell weapons to a man who wasn't in his right mind since he wasn't a Muslim terrorist. She said she didn't understand why innocent six-year-olds and their teachers had to die in order to make America great by keeping the weapons-manufacturing industry churning out products and selling them cheaply to the paranoid masses. She added that she couldn't see why voting for a adult white male who stalked and picked up teenage girls in malls was preferable to voting for a progressive, too.

Ralphie received a failing grade on his essay. When he asked why, his teacher explained, "Ralph, do your own homework next time. Besides, you'll shoot your eye out."
Disgusted, but not surprised by his teacher's callous disregard for his Second Amendment rights to bear arms, Ralphie decided to ask his Old Man directly for his ideal Christmas gift.

Ralphie had been avoiding his Old Man lately since his father had been spending a lot of time down in the cellar cursing and drinking while trying to Band-Aid their rickety oil furnace together by fencing chop-shop auto parts to scrimp up enough dough to keep it fueled so they didn't freeze. 

The Old Man blamed those liberal goody-two-shoes who wanted to build wind turbines and erect ugly solar panels everywhere for his manufacturing job being offshored to China after NAFTA became the law of the land. Who cared if their air in the crumbling inner city was growing opaque with diesel fumes and the algae-bloomed water in the lake was the color and consistency of green slime? Who cared about lead pipes? Fossil fuels were still cheap, and fracking makes perfect sense because... who'd want to drink well water anyway?
Ralphie realized that since the union folded a few years ago the Old Man hadn't been able to find a decent job. None of the part-time jobs his father toiled in made anywhere near that fabled $15 an hour the lazy McDonald's workers were always protesting about. The Old Man was in a chronically bad mood nowadays, but Ralphie was pleasantly surprised how his father's eyes lit up when he mentioned how much he wanted to purchase and own a weapon.

"Just the BB gun, son?" the Old Man asked, his words slightly slurred, his eyes blazing with undisguised loathing. "How about an Uzi or an AK-47? We could do some serious deer hunting with one of those. We could even take out some of those illegal Mexicans and the Muslim terrorists who've destroyed our neighborhood by moving next door. We could splatter their brains about the sidewalks and teach'em all a lesson that this country was discovered by white men and immigrants aren't wanted or necessary. What do you say, Ralph?"

Ralphie was more than a little frightened by the Old Man's enthusiastic response. He smiled, turned around slowly and fled the cellar.

Christmas morning, Ralphie was happily surprised to spy a tall, narrow package standing beside the tree. Joy, oh joy! It was the Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle he'd asked for all along.

"Now, be careful with that thing," his mother warned him. "We no longer have any health insurance through the CHIP program for you or your brother."

Who needs health care? Ralphie thought. New and Improved Medicare for All was for libtards and girls according to the Old Man. Ralphie couldn't wait to dress and run out into the snow to practice his shooting.

Ralphie fired his new gun first at the Bumpuses' dogs because the malnourished beasts had ran through their backdoor earlier that day and devoured their holiday turkey. Then Ralphie shot at Old Man Bumpus when he came over to complain about his bleeding pets.

A ricocheted shot hit Ralphie in the glasses and shattered a lens, but he didn't mind. Somehow his parents would figure out a way to get him a new pair. Some charity would pay for them because he'd earned it as a white male. It wasn't like he was some lazy welfare queen who didn't deserve to have her eyes taken care of that the Old Man blamed all their economic troubles on, right?

Last, but not least, Ralphie took aim at the police officers who drove past their house in response to the neighbors' calls about a "crazy kid running around with a rifle shooting at anything that moved." Thirteen seconds after the cops exited their patrol vehicle they raised their weapons and took aim.

Ralphie was pronounced dead at the scene. He was one of only a handful of white children shot by the police in their city that year--the vast majority of those killed being either African-American or Latino. Ralphie's family filed bankruptcy after they paid his funeral expenses and settled the civil suit filed against them by the Bumpuses.

It was a quiet holiday season after that. Ralphie's mother joined a self-help group for grieving mothers and even got to know their neighbors better. The Old Man bought more weapons and stashed them in the cellar. Somehow, he believed, owning all that firepower could make America great again.

BIO: Cindy A. Matthews has been the editor (and chief writer) of The Revolution Continues blog since its inception as The Bernie Blog in June 2015. For all her fighting for progressive causes, she's never received a dime (or a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle such as Ralphie wanted). If you appreciate her work, please consider buying one of her fiction titles or giving a Paypal (cynthianna@hotmail.com) donation to help  keep this web site up and running in the coming year. Thank you, and may you and yours experience a truly peaceful holiday season.
 A Holiday Meditation
 by C.A. Matthews

It's a very different holiday season than last year, isn't it?

Last December, we were anxious to see how Trump and company would act upon taking their new offices, and this December we know for sure how they'll act. The following meme sums up their callous disregard for ordinary Americans:
The 1% get richer and the rest of us... Well, we're the 99%. It's not like we  matter to the super-wealthy, is it? They can dress up their "tax reform" all they like, but in the end, their hypocrisy shows through in the provisions that make life harder for the poor and middle classes.

Can any politician who claims to be a Christian honestly defend the current administration's positions when asked, "What would Jesus do in regards to providing health care for all Americans, especially children, veterans, the elderly and disabled? What would Jesus do when faced with refugees and others seeking a new life in a safe place?" (Whatever happened to "Love thy neighbor," Republicans? I guess the parable of Good Samaritan isn't in your Bible.)
If there's one good thing to come out of the Trump administration, it's now we know for sure what we're up against. We know fascists exist in this country in the year 2017, and they are considered "nice people" by our president. Compassion and empathy are character traits to be laughed at by those in power. For-profit health care and for-profit prisons are what it's all about, since you can always bilk the poor for what little pocket change they have until they drop over dead in their tracks.

Maybe there is no Santa Claus, but there's still We the People. Together we will fight these injustices, change our society for the better, and build a future to believe in. 

Have faith, progressives. Dr. Martin Luther King said he might not get to the mountain with us, but we're going to get there if we believe our cause is just. Keep believing. Keep fighting. 

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to you and yours. We're going to be busy in 2018, no doubt about it.

Here's a link to a great Facebook video by Upworthy about how facts don't always convince others to see your point of view. It has some tips to help others "see the light" this holiday season. 
Militarizing Our Police? No Thanks!
Jeff Sessions Protest in Toledo
photos by Adrian Matthews

Even the cold and damp couldn't dissuade protestors from gathering in front of 4 Seagate Center in downtown Toledo, Ohio on Monday afternoon. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in town for a brief meeting with the Toledo Police Department. It seems the Feds want to militarize our streets because having a city police force alone isn't seen as enough to keep order nowadays in dying Rust Belt cities. 

Perhaps they're worried once the remainder of our manufacturing jobs (that weren't lost to NAFTA previously) are offshored we'll be rioting and marching in the streets? Toledo cops will need some Humvees and tanks to keep the peace?

And, of course, we can't be a city offering sanctuary to immigrants of any kind--especially those of a darker skin color or different religious background than Mr. Sessions.  That would be just "wrong." Right, Jeff?
 Sessions' record against the LBGTQIA community and the Dreamers speaks for itself. Several protestors took to the bullhorn to tell why they opposed his visit and the tactics the current administration is using against people of color and the disadvantaged.
Ruth Leonard with the Community Solidarity Response Network rallied the crowd for a march about the Seagate building while the meeting with Sessions and the Toledo city police administration was taking place. Shouts of "Jeff Sessions, go home!"  and "This is what democracy looks like!" rang throughout the downtown.
 Remember--you're never alone when you have right on your side.  Others feel the same way. Others want to restore democracy to our land. We can do it if we stick together and raise our voices as one.
 Speak out. Silence isn't golden--except to the greedy billionaires who want to shut us up to maintain the status quo. Power to the people!


  1. If Trump is this century's equivalent of Hermann Goering, Sessions is Heinrich Himmler. His espoused policies are little different to those of Hitler's chief of the Gestapo.

    1. What a chilling thought. We have neo-Nazis in power who think the "little Ralphies" of America need weapons to shoot their eyes out (along with their neighbors' eyes). When will their sickness that esteems violence against the meek end?

      All I want for Christmas is an end to this nightmare--and a free and open internet to communicate with others who feel likewise. We've got to stick together and do all we can to keep the channels of communications open so we can bring about positive change.

  2. Replies
    1. Brava to you Cirze for your great blog, too! Happy Holidays to you and yours.


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