The Two-Headed Right

I was going to say "extreme" right but that would have implied nazi salutes and torch marches. This is the mainstream right, which isn't that far from extreme any more. It was interesting to read about Marilyn Davin's visit to Jerry Philbrick, and to note that politics were not really discussed. Philbrick came off as a nice guy, a "regular Joe," even pleasant.

It reminded me of a recent visit we made to Colorado Springs, according to Yahoo the 4th most conservative city in the U.S. Previously, the only thing I knew about "The Springs" was that the great guitarist Johnny Smith had a music store there, sometime back when. Musicians are not generally thought of as political, but run the gamut from Joan Baez on the reasonable left to Ted Nugent on the extreme right, so much so that Trump had him over to the White House for a visit.

Colorado Springs has a huge evangelical population and a military base. It is 78 per cent white. True to form, it was, in the Jimmy Swaggart mode, the place where a preacher named Ted Haggard was caught with a male prostitute and a stash of methamphetamine. This reminded me - again - of the billboards on Interstate 30 in Arkansas, every other one for Jesus or a porn shop. The Springs is home to "Focus on the Family," whatever that may mean - but it looks like an overgrown business complex, and Haggard operated from there. One can often assume a layer of filth not far beneath the surface of out-front religious enterprises. "Do as I say, not as I do."

Interstate 25 runs north/south and basically divides Colorado in two. To the west, the mountains. To the east it's basically Kansas, geographically and culturally. Back to Philbrick, the article suggested a man with two heads. Not a split personality but two separate heads, one for day-to-day living and another to express political thoughts. The nice guy and the killer of liberals. Do the heads talk to each other?

The invitation to Colorado Springs came from a woman I had known in Hawaii, in the early 80's. She was having a housewarming party and wanted to temporarily revive the musical relationship we'd had back then. We would entertain the guests, most of whom they knew from the nearby country club where she and her second husband play golf. Golf and country club - it was a long way from life in the Big Island rural subdivision where growing marijuana was the major source of income. She and her first husband sold off the Big Island property and moved to Honolulu where he would be a computer professor.

Between that and the Colorado Springs location, with a second (ex-military) husband and a country club, where they play golf and from which their new friendships as newcomers to town were based, it was no surprise that the guests were all white and winging on the right. Comments overheard included something about "liberals who drink the Kool-aid." The only political thing heard all night. Which kool-aid was that, I wondered. Of course I knew politics would not be discussed. We slept in one of the three extra bedrooms, and in the morning, I went downstairs and hubby number two was glued to the TV watching Fox News.

My old friend had crossed over into another world, into which I would never fit. Lucky, I would not have to deal with the God Bless Trump head on these people. Just the Nice Person head. We had a nice breakfast and hit the road.

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