What Corky Would Be Saying Now

(August, 2016) My dad, Corky, was opinionated. Outspoken. I always knew where he stood on any issue. Lately, I’ve been wondering what Corky’s take would be on the current presidential election. I’m not going to use the old cliché (rolling over in his grave) but I do sense some ominous rumbling coming from off in the distance.

Corky died in 2008, right before the presidential election and voted absentee. My sister told me how conflicted he was with the McCain/Palin ticket which was surprising coming from my hard-core republican Dad. She also told me he’d toyed with a vote for Obama but in the end stayed loyal and true.

I recall, when in college, how he and I had stimulating conversations about books I’d brought home from my classes. That was, until our beliefs differed. Still, I will always treasure our spirited talks of long ago which is probably why my most vivid recollections of my dad revolve around politics.

Politics is a classic example of how you can love someone and yet not like or agree with their attitudes or behavior. I couldn’t figure out how this working class man could become so conservative. Especially, when he’d benefited greatly from the social amenities of a democratic society. Dad was a policeman and I guess that’s the key. Coming home from a work day filled with unsavory people and events, I’m sure this led him down the path of right-wing thought.

Then talk radio further solidified his views. Each visit home was punctuated by his current adoration of one celebrity after another. This went from Rush Limbaugh to Don Imus and beyond. I vividly remember Dad’s detailed description of how G. Gordon Liddy, Watergate conspirator turned talk show host, burned his hand, holding it over a candle. Just to make a point. I never got the point but Dad sure seemed to.

Family gatherings grew more tense when Dad became unhinged by Bill Clinton. My siblings and I became desperate, we made a pact to take turns changing the subject whenever politics came up. Which it always did. It went something like this:

Corky: “Can you believe what that horse’s ass Slick Willy said to Congress about that trade agreement?”
My brother: “So, what do you hear from Clarence? Is he still working at Oshkosh Truck or has he retired?”  A few minutes of regular conversation would ensue. Then the next round began.

Corky: “Did you hear how Rush let those liberals have it about that affirmative action baloney they want to ram down our throats?”
Me: “I noticed how great the garden is. How many tomato plants did you put in this year, Dad?” These times resembled a ping pong game. Ping, ping, ping as we’d do our best to stay focused on the routine issues of daily life.

Dad spent hours each day reading several newspapers and cutting out articles and cartoons about Clinton politics. He was so proud of himself when he acquired old wallpaper sample books from a local home decorating store to store all of these super valuable materials.

Finally, a place to preserve every cartoon and editorial printed about Slick Willy.  Particularly silly or damming material was taped to the covers. I think he filled up six or seven of those books and proudly displayed them every chance he got.

Corky: “He has plans, diabolical plans. You wait, these things will be important. I’ve got to keep a record.”
Me: So, I see you have new neighbors next door. Have you met them yet?”
Corky: “No. The guy is a professor over at the University. Probably another one of those pinko liberals.” Poor Dad, living in pinko, liberal Madison with all the blue political lawn signs planted in yards up and down the block.

Which brings me to today. Both Mom and Dad are gone and their house has been completely rehabbed by one of those professors from the University. And I’ll bet there’s a blue lawn sign out front. Dad’s having conniptions about that, I’m sure. And about the current election.

My trumpian father would be right at home with the verbose behavior and coarse language. He’d revel in the caustic trumping of each candidate’s outrageous allegations about the other. He’d be right in there arguing over the trumped up accusations and insinuations.  He’d be in his glory.

But there’s something that would be really worrying him.  Something that could mean the end of life as we know it. That’s the possibility that Slick Willy would find his way back into the White House even through a side door. Or a back door. Where are those wall paper books when you need them!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kathy Wicht
    Aug 14, 2016 @ 20:22:22

    Wonderful. How many hours did it take you to compose this one ?

    Sent from my iPhone




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