My Dad, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh

Over the past few years I have grown distant from my father over his increasingly racist, paranoid politics. We only speak a few times a year, usually on holidays or birthdays. I miss my Dad, the man who taught me so many practical skills and gave me so many fond memories. He is a good man, my father. He legally adopted my sister, who was the child of my mother and her first husband. He bought cars for people in our family and a friend or two who needed transportation. I am proud to call him Dad.

Today I read Edwin Lyngar’s piece at and it really struck a chord. I am saddened that every conversation with my Dad will ALWAYS include him bringing up truther/ birther/ chemtrails/ Bengazi conspiracy theory bullshit. I usually tell him ‘oh, I haven’t been following the news lately’ just to let him air out his latest “well, Rush said…” story. The occasional emails from him are forwarded conspiracy theories and anything anti-Obama. Maybe I should feel relieved that Lyngar’s father is much like my own or, maybe this should remind me that my father’s rage and paranoia are not an isolated case of bitterwhitemanitis. But I don’t. I want my moderate, reasonable, practical father back. Dad, I miss you.

Any chance you can get him back? Maybe he’ll listen to you? Come to think of it you’ve probably tried already to no avail. Sad. Same thing happened to an old lady I know, she fell for GWB. Jeezuz :frowning:

Sadly, no, and he is getting worse as the years go by. Like the author of the salon piece, I have said to my father, “Dad, you really should stop getting all of your news from just Fox.” His answer? “I don’t just watch Fox, I listen to Rush!”

Maybe you need to be more forceful about banning politics from your conversations. That’s what I had to do with my father-in-law. Basically I said, “Look, I love you and respect you, but we are NEVER going to agree on race/politics/religion and it’s useless for you to try and convince me otherwise.” He’s done a pretty good job respecting those parameters, and on those occasions when he can’t control his mouth, I just walk out of the room or change the subject.

My condolences, toofs. My family is the same way–mother, father, and sister. I love the idea of banning political discussions at family gatherings, but then they’d have nothing to talk about at all. It’s not like they read books.

I’m sorta in the same boat as you. My dad is anti-Obama with a vengence, anti-Democrat with a zeal, and pro-Conservative with a…a…a conservative flamboyance.

He used to be a liberal. He would goad my then-conservative uncle into political arguments. Now the two of them have switched ends of the political spectrum.

He voted for Clinton twice. I think he even voted for Gore. His father was a die-hard FDR Democrat til the day he died. He didn’t like Nixon, Reagan or the first Bush. (although I believe he may have held his nose and voted for Reagan in '80 just cuz Carter hadn’t done much).

Even now when I can get him into a rational conversation, he supports liberal ideas (universal healthcare, extending unemployment, spending less on military and more on solving domestic problems, raising the payroll tax cap for SS, taxing corporations more, the decline in union density has lead to a reduction of the middle class, etc), he just thinks Democrats and Obama are beyond evil and so he won’t even entertain the notion that he actually supports liberal ideas. He also has made gays and abortion the ultimate boogeymen, and Republicans are the only ones fighting back those nasty, nasty devils.

It breaks my heart. It all started when he left Michigan for South Carolina. He’s fallen into the echo chamber of ignorant right-wing talking points.

toofs, your post would make the core of a really good letter.

Or even left as is.

My mother has gone off the other end of the spectrum. She seemed to believe that Rachel Maddow and MSNBC were every bit as unquestionable as other posters have said their loved ones were when referring to Fox and Rush.

Mom cut her satellite tv and now seems to be willing to at least look at other news sources online. She has even given begrudging looks at the BBC. One of these days I hope she will see that she can look at the various nuances of major issues with input from several sources and make up her own mind.

Maybe there is hope.

Toofs - I feel your pain. I have almost the same experience with my dad. We can’t talk about politics or religion - sports is the only safe topic of conversation. It’s kinda sad, he sits at home watching Fox News and stewing about the latest talking point. He doesn’t email me anymore b/c I got mad at him for forwarding some nonsense…I can’t even remember what it was.

I am so lucky. My immediate family has been, and remains, moderate to liberal Democrats. Even my 82 year old father.

My Dad just turned 70 and is a hateful, bigoted, Fox News viewer. My Mom is too to some extent though she’s salvageable. My Dad is lost. He is filled with utter hatred of everything this country has become. It’s very sad. I’ve asked him to stop watching Fox News but he refuses (and isn’t nice about it). That channel hones right in on the older generations fears and just magnifies them. It’s utterly disgusting. Fuckers.

if he is willing to discuss: compare the number of stories and importance covered by Fox or Rush and middle of the road news. it will be one or two compared to a number of stories and a often minor point made into a molehill that sticks for months and years.

My brother and sister in law are full on Fox spewing bigots, it is painful to be around them. When my democrat mom was in the ER a month ago having suffered a small stroke, she was asked by the doctor what the date was, where she was, and who was the president, when she couldn’t remember the presidents name my sister in law told her “that’s okay, he’d a piece of shit anyway”.

They both sicken me.

That is awful, DeepLiquid. Even in the darkest depths of my Dubya hatred, I would never have said such a thing at such an inopportune time.

The audacity of those idiot relatives; how dare they disagree with your politics; you have every right to feel smugly superior to them.

gms453; Some of us are honestly aghast at how angry people on the right are at every moment of the day about things that are a> inconsequential, b> misinformation, c> flat out lies, and worse, d> they actually support, but are being told they don’t - and they’re buying it!

Back in 2001 I was an angry, bitter man who hated himself, hated his job, hated the world and everything in it. It was terrifying, lonely and painful. I worked hard not to be that person anymore, and it pains me to see a significant portion of this country willingly turning themselves into what I was.

It isn’t about the disagreement. It is about…

Well, speaking only for myself: I don’t engage in political talk with my Fox-watching, Democrat-hating, Obama-despising father; he, on the other hand, is always bringing up some extreme right-wing talking points.

Seems this thread is more than just anger against people who disagree with us politically, it’s annoyance toward loved ones who hold extreme right-wing beliefs (often based upon fear-mongering and lies) and look for every opportunity to bring them up.

My theory: That artery-bursting bile-spewing outrage generates a whole lot of adrenaline, which is a dependency-causing addictive upper of a drug. Fox, Rush, et al., are vile and despicable drug dealers, selling the people their own adrenalin, getting them hopelessly hooked on ever higher and higher doses of their daily fix. This is the War on Drugs we need to have.

Or, what Chimera said (bolding added):

I feel for ya, OP, I almost could have written that myself.

My dad used to be the nicest, most decent person I knew, and many times the only reason I could live with my mom – who was always a hateful, supercilious bitch and still is. She naturally gravitated towards religion because she loved the idea of being able to freely hate under God’s imprimatur, but I always thought my dad was only going through the motions of going to church. Unfortunately, slowly but surely, they got to him, and now he fucking hates everyone. Gays, Democrats, atheists, Muslims, the works. He’s now Robert Jeffress’ most dedicated listener and constantly forwards me podcasts by that piece of shit dumpster fire of a human being.

My dad is much smarter than this. I don’t know what happened, and it saddens me, because the man I respected more than anyone else in the world is probably gone forever.

Gms453, you probably have not looked at my posting history. I am probably best described as fiscally conservative and very socially liberal. In other words, pro gun rights, pro abortion rights, pro gay marriage, pro marijuana legalization, and I expect people to be responsible or held accountable when they are not. So, many things I agree with my Dad, many I don’t. What saddens me is his bigotry that wasn’t there twenty years ago, his bitterness, and his more recent extremely harsh black and white views of the world. He used to understand we live in shades of gray, and would be open to other ideas. No longer.

It is not about disagreeing with his politics. I am deeply saddened by his angry intolerance to our changing world. As I stated in the op, he will ALWAYS bring up the latest conspiracy or anti-Obama (frequently racist rather than an attack on the administration’s policies) during EVERY phone conversation. During a Thanksgiving phone call I get “Obama is coming for your guns, son. Are you prepared?” What the fuck? This is a holiday phone conversation. He never talked like this twenty years ago.

He is radicalized and now a predictable sound bite parrot. He has lost friendships as a result of his venomous political viewpoints. These viewpoint are shared with everyone he meets regardless of social setting. He has alienated himself from all of us. I am genuinely sad.