My wife loves me.
Despite the fact I’m an actor, she loves me. She thinks I’m the most talented guy on the planet, even as work continues to dry up. The eternal optimist to my ever lovin’ pessimist. I’m a Flintstone while she’s a beauty with a heart of gold. I make her laugh. She loves my bits. (A particular favorite is, my DeNiro, as Jake LaMotta, performing Kenny Loggins, “House at Pooh Corner”). FAHGETAHBOUT IT! My wife’s a peach.
Lately, however, there’ve been some clouds brewing on the horizon and it’s possible I may have had a slight hand in creating the situation. I’ve been listening to her as she’s watching the tube, talking about how Hannity is so cute. On other occasions, how the humble founder of Big Hollywood, Andrew Breitbart, has such a quick wit. I mean, I can handle her getting jazzed about Dennis Prager but this is new stuff for me. For the longest time, she was just so liberal. To this day, she’s a registered Democrat. I asked myself, how did this happen? How did she go from being a liberal woman from Buffalo to being charmed by the likes of O’Reilly? As I mentioned, I may be somewhat to blame because truth be told, at one time I was a liberal guy from Beantown. A man who voted for both Carter and Clinton. There, I said it.
Somewhere along the line, I began slowly waking up. I started to look at things a little differently. Events were happening in our country that began getting my attention, coincidentally right around the time my wife and I met in 1991. First up were the hearings for Clarence Thomas followed by The World Trade Center bombing in 1993. Needless to say, I didn’t vote for Clinton in ’96. I chose to sit it out. I was frustrated. In retrospect, I believe the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, in the summer of 2000, was the last straw. I was angry and didn’t like the way our country seemed to be blamed when we were the ones who were attacked. Our sailors were murdered yet we were at fault? No way.
9/11 happened and like millions of other Americans, I was never quite the same. I found myself asking questions, looking for answers. It was difficult. We were a country at war. A nation divided. I began to notice the way certain stories were reported in the MSM and would look for alternative sources to get information. The Internet was a good place to plug into. I discovered Oriana Fallaci, David Horowitz and Thomas Sowell. I would listen to talk radio, in particular, Dennis Prager, who seemed so clear. He made sense. The fact that he had been a Democrat for so many years and was now a Republican interested me.
Hearing Ron Silver speak at the RNC in 2004 was a big one. I remember thinking, wasn’t this actor a Democrat? A liberal? How could this be? Yet there he stood, speaking with such passion. Ron Silver made it cool for me to call myself conservative. As a result, I began looking once again at Charlton Heston and Ronald Reagan. These men were the real deal. Men of courage, conviction and I related to their values. I was ashamed of myself for having bad mouthed them years before. I began to ask, how could I have been so blind? The answer was easy. I was growing up.
One other small incident happened during the election of 2004. My wife and I were visiting with family (I’ll keep it loose as not to upset anyone). I remember watching a program on CNN with a relative. Something about President Bush and then I heard those words, “Republicans are evil.” It just hit me. I kept my mouth shut. For some reason, in that moment, all I thought of was my Republican brother-in-law, Johnny, one of the most decent men I know. A man of integrity and someone I respect. Yet, I was silent knowing full well, if I opened my mouth, there was a good chance all hell would break loose. I kept quiet and didn’t like the feeling. It was personal. From that moment on I was pretty much done with liberals. (I wish to add, not all liberals, just the ones who pretend to be liberals but in truth are leftists. I despise leftists).
As a result, I began finding myself being drawn more and more to conservatives. During the 2008 election, I literally was coming home. I tried to educate myself best as I could on the candidates and the issues. My wife and I talked a lot. We were united as a couple. What became clear was the fact that many of our family members and friends didn’t seem to quite share our points of view. On one occasion, I was actually accused, by a liberal friend, of brainwashing my wife. There was a great deal of tension in the air. People were angry, still raging about the “stolen” elections of 2000.
Our country was divided and the historic election seemed to bring out the best and worst in people. The stakes were high. When my wife and I let it be known we were supporting McCain/Palin, it wasn’t good. We were drinking the kool-aid (so we were told). A particular challenge for me, as an actor, was to stay on the high road whenever the subject of politics came up with liberal friends. Man, it was rough.
The attacks on Sarah Palin made it even more difficult for me as I resented the hypocrisy of so called progressives, feminists and other like minded souls, who stood by while many in the MSM viciously went after her. Screw politics, I thought, enough is enough. I wanted to fight back, tear the faces off these miserable mutts. My Italian Irish American blood was boiling. Through it all my wife was there to help me stay focused. Keep my cool. Although, I must say to this day, I still get a little pissed off when I hear someone go after Governor Palin. She’s a decent woman, who I believe will come back wiser and stronger to lead this country on another day.
Ultimately we got through the election. The waters calmed briefly and on January 20, 2009, Barack Obama was sworn in as our 44th President of the United States. History was made and a new day in America had begun.
What will happen now? God only knows. I believe, as Americans, we will persevere and find our way back home. Time will tell.
As for those clouds on the horizon, I’m really just fine with my wife. It’s cool. Hannity, Breitbart, Prager, O’Reilly and all the rest of those guys are good men. As I said, I’m somewhat (proudly) responsible for her taking a different look at how she views politics, although it was always her call. Alice to my Ralph Kramden. It’s been an interesting journey along the way and I look forward to better days.
My wife loves me.
Despite the fact I’m an actor and a conservative, she loves me.
Oh, and one more thing…Kath, I love you too.