I'm really sad right now. It follows on the heels of disbelief and anger, so I guess I'm going through the stages of grief or something. It sure is a bitter pill to swallow, though, when someone you love and respect turns out to be not the person you thought they were.
I'm speaking of my brother.
I love my brother. He's younger than me by three years and we are as different as night and day. I'm short, he's tall; I went on to higher education and he cut his losses and went to auto diesel college; I had to move away from my mom and he built a house on her property. But he's a great guy who would do anything for you and works himself to death. We share a common sense of humor (thanks, Dad!). While we fought like cats and dogs as children, we are good friends now.
Except that this afternoon my mother very casually announced during our daily phone call that she thought my brother had gone to the same side politically as my uncle. Friends, this is NOT a good thing. She said my brother had told her he wasn't going to vote this year because he didn't like either candidate but he certainly couldn't vote for Obama because he's a Muslim.
Friends, he has heard out of my mouth the words "Obama is not a Muslim." And yet he's clinging to misinformation and ignorance.
I am so disappointed and I told my mom so. She said she just didn't say anything when he made the announcement, which honestly was probably the best response. I'm 95% sure Mom is an Obama supporter so I'm sure it was difficult for her to think her son is reacting this way.
If he had a true beef with Obama, that would be one thing. If he genuinely liked McCain and felt he'd be the better candidate, I could live with it. But if he's using an untruth as his basis for his opinion, and then throwing away his opportunity to vote because of it, then he's not the man I thought he was.
I'm an impulsive person so of course I wanted to immediately call and confront him but I restrained myself admirably and simply went on a rant to my husband. Jeff's the voice of reason and he told me he is sure my brother is getting his information from the uninformed. Of course he is. But how can he live like that? We weren't raised that way. My father in particular gave people a fair shake and gathered his own facts.
So now I'm just sad. There's a lump in my throat thinking that my brother has succumbed to "red-neckitis" and ignorance. He says he's a Christian and attends church every Sunday. If that's so, then how can he judge others so carelessly? I want better for him and I expect better of him. I still love him, but I'm sad for him.