Mr. Winters Becomes a Republican

Mr. Winters Becomes a Republican

A Story by Miss Fedelm

An old story of mine about right wing propaganda.


Mr. Winters Becomes a Republican

Tom and Janice Winters were young, still in their early thirties and still in Tom Winters first professional job. A systems engineer for an aerospace firm in San Bernardino. Both were University of Kansas graduates and both had dreamed of a California lifestyle by the ocean. They lived in Rancho Cocamonga, and although they had a decent life there, they were a bit disappointed with it. They were hardly near the ocean. Mile wise it wasn't too bad, but with the traffic it was a long, hot , frustrating Saturday morning trip. And once there, parking was a problem and the beaches were horribly crowded. The whole thing was hardly worth the trouble.

Plus, there was Tom's commute. Janice worked at a school a short distance away, but Tom traveled the 10 freeway to San Bernardino to get to his facility. And it was this commute that brought on the problems.

Tom listened to the radio on the way to work. But he wasn't really a music person, but like most people, he soon got bored listening to NPR. One morning, while an overturned semi kept him stuck in traffic, he listened to NPR drone on for over an hour about an immigrant Iranian, who had written unpublished poetry while in high school, and who had also once been in a school play, but who now worked as a dishwasher in Cleaveland Ohio. He could take it no more and scanned the dial.

After bumping past several music stations blasting boring, scripted pop music, he finally landed on a station with an excited talker passionately going on about something that was difficult to ascertain.

Tom stopped the scan to see what all the excitement was about.

The guy proved to be a total nut. Ranting on about how it was the Democrats who were actually in league with the Russians and how Hillary Clinton had hypnotized Donald Trump during the debates and forced Trump to do things that made both him and the Republicans look bad. For the first time that morning, Tom was amused. He sat in traffic and chuckled as the guys story became more fantastic and desperate by the minute. He pictured the guy's eyes bugging out.

From that morning on, Tom listened to the nuts on the right wing radio during both the morning and evening portions of his commute. He chuckled at Hannity's trick of picking one educated, reasonable person and tearing them apart, without ever allowing them a chance to speak. Or O'Reilly's over the top bloviating with the assumption that everyone agreed with him, or it they didn't, they were stupid. Or Rush Limbaugh trying to be a lower class white guy by pretending to smoke and worry about his septic tank.

He would often mention what he had heard to Janice when he arrived home.

“I can't see how you can listen to that garbage”, she once replied.

“At least it's not dull”, said Tom. “I'd rather listen to a pack of nuts ranting than just sit there watching the tail lights of the car in front of me.”

Janice wasn't really that worried, but she began to notice subtle changes in Tom. He had always been a dedicated runner and ate an almost purely vegetarian diet. Taking fish or chicken only when his body felt the need for the protein. But instead of his usual salad, he would now sometimes eat a couple of cans of Chef Boyardee Mini O's, or a Spam sandwich with mustard. He usually had a big pile of potato chips with these meals.

Tom had always been a Thanksgiving and Christmas only drinker. Taking a couple of glasses of wine on these holidays. But he otherwise seldom drank, feeling it interfered with his running development and cut his mental acuity on the job.

But now Tom would often flop down on the coach after work and drink several Pabst Blue Ribbon beers. The tall cans. Janice would bring him a glass and he would refuse, preferring to suck the warm beer out of the can.

After a few weeks, Janice noticed that Tom had abandoned his nightly runs.

“Tom, you're not running anymore?” She asked one evening.

“Nah, running is for f*****s”, Tom replied.

“For what?” Janice was startled by the answer.

“It's for Nancy boys who are afraid to be real guys”, Tom answered.

This disturbed Janice and she began to watch Tom more carefully. She noticed her woman's magazine in the wicker basket beside the couch was missing. The magazine with the picture of Hillary Clinton on the cover. The magazine mysteriously came back the next day.

Tom was gaining weight. Formerly trim, he now had a pot belly. His neatly cut hair was growing out and he was growing a beard. He took to wearing a baseball cap where ever he went.

Janice became very concerned when she discovered $1200 missing from the account where their house down payment was being saved up.

“Tom, did you take $1200 from the savings account”, she asked that evening.

“I had to”, replied Tom.

“Why did you have to?” Janice didn't want to let this go.

“I needed stuff, OK? That's all you need to know.”

“All I need to know?” Janice was getting angry.

“Yeah, the man runs the finances, that's just the way it is.” With that, Tom popped another Pabst and walked out into the yard.

That Saturday, Tom was gone for the morning and didn't return until 2:00 PM. He was non-committal about where he had been. That evening, Janice happened to look in the garbage can and saw a xerox of her magazine cover. The one with Hillary Clinton on it. Pulling it from the trash, she saw that there were several copies stacked together. All had holes in them.

“Bullet holes?” Janice asked herself. They looked that way, like these had been used as targets. Tom was passed out on the couch with a large number of Pabst cans in front of him on the coffee table. Also, an astray overflowing with of Marlborough butts. Tom had started smoking a couple of weeks ago.

Janice searched the house but found nothing. She took the spare set of keys and searched Tom's Ford Fiesta. In the trunk she found an AR-15 and five hundred rounds of ammo. Also a stack of unused Hillary Clinton targets.

“So, this is where $1200 went”, she said to herself. But the next day, before she could confront Tom, he left early on the morning and returned with a huge pickup truck. There was a picture of a screaming American eagle covering the back window and a pair of plastic testicles hanging from the trailer hitch. The sticker on the window said it cost $65,000.

“What are you doing with that?” She cried.

“Ah needs a truck for my work”, Tome responded. He said “Ah” instead of “I”,

“We can't afford that”, she protested.

“We'll get by. Ah'll do some side jobs and get some extra money.”

Tom left and Janice called the dealer to find the truck payment. After some arguing she established she was Tom's wife and got the information. The truck payment was more than their rent! There was no way the could afford it and they would have to move.

That evening Tom was eating a dinner of McDonald's cheese burgers, a large fry and several moon pies for desert. He had become somewhat obese and he was washing the meal down with cheap vodka. He was smoking a Marlborough while he ate.

“We're going to have to move with that truck payment”, Janice began.

“Ah know that”, Tom replied. “Ah already gots us a trailer lined up in Berdoo. Gonna need some work, but ah got the truck so that shouldn't be any problem.”

“But I don't want to live in a sleazy trailer”, said Janice.

“What's wrong with a trailer?” Asked Tom. “You a commie or something?”

Janice was overcome with frustration. She threw down her napkin and went to the bedroom. She locked the door. She could hear Fox News turned up loud in the living room and Tom screaming at the TV about commies and f*****s.

The next day Tom didn't go to work, and he left to shoot at pictures of Hillary Clinton at about 9:00 that morning. Janice got a call from Tom's boss shortly thereafter.

“Is Tom there?”, asked Tom's supervisor.

“No, he went out”, Janice replied.

“Well, can you relay a message? It's bad news and good news.”

Janice was immediately nervous, the past month has just been too much. “What?” She asked, trying to keep her voice level.

“Well, the bad new is that we did lose the contract and Tom's not going to be able to stay with us. Don't know if he's told you that yet or not. But the good news is we got him a similar job down in San Diego. Downtown. You guys always wanted to live by the ocean and now you can live in Pacific Beach. Job comes with a raise too.”

“Oh my God. It's too much for one bite. No. It sounds really good. But, but I just have to get used to it. This is really sudden for me. You understand?”

“I do. But tell Tom. You two could be down there next month.”

Later that afternoon she told Tom what she had heard and was surprised at the response.

“So ah'm unemployed now. Guess there's unemployment for now an' maybe ah can get on disability when that runs out.”

“But they offered you a new job. A better one.” Objected Janice.

“Only snowflakes move to go to work”, Tom replied. “It's the gub'ment's job to bring the jobs to me. Ah don't travel off this here homestead.”

“We're going to get evicted off this here homestead in two more months”, Janice replied. “We can't pay the rent and the truck payment both.”

“Woman, you just don't understand the world of finance. Leave it to me. Now ah gotta go. I got an appointment at the tattoo parlor.”

“Tattoo parlor!” Janice Cried. “What kind of tattoo?”

“A Confederate Flag tattoo right here on my arm”, said Tom, indicating a spot on the inside of his right forearm. He walked out.

This was the last straw. After Tom left, Janice met with a counselor at the Woman's Center.

She explained the situation and after a few moments of reflection, the counselor began, “My first impression is that your Tom has become a Republican. Has he been exposed to any ranting right wing nut jobs that you know of?”

“Well yes, he listens to the right wing radio on his way to and from work. He has for several months.”

“Ah, that's it”, replied the counselor. “My guess is that it started out in fun, but after a few weeks he began to change.”

“That's it”, replied Janice.

“Yes, the hick hustling radio is very dangerous”, the counselor continued. “It contains subliminal messages that begin shutting down portions of the listener's brain. Reducing his IQ until the raving nuts the radio programs feature actually start making sense.”

“Oh my God”, said Janice. “He did get stupid on me.”

“Yes, that is to be expected.”

“But is there any treatment”, Janice asked. She was frightened now.

“Unfortunately, these are very difficult cases”, the counselor replied. “Republicans cannot be reached with facts and logic. They are beyond that. In addition, they are taught that anyone who makes sense is an enemy who wants to take their guns away and let transgender people watch them pee. So you cannot simply reason with them and bring them back to reality.”

“Is there anything we can do?” Janice heard the desperation in her own voice.

“There is one hope”, the counselor replied. “A Dumbfuck Whisperer. A good Dumbfuck Whisperer might still be able to reach him.”

“Where can I find one?” Asked Janice.

“Let me check my Rolodex”, the counselor replied. He turned the big wheel on his desk and copied down several numbers. “I would recommend Steven Johnson he deals exclusively with Republicans.”

Steven Johnson arrived at the house early the next day, before Tom could go out to shoot at pictures of Hillary Clinton at the rifle range. But this morning Tom was passed out on the couch, a bottle of white pills on the coffee table.

Mr. Miller picked up the bottle and sniffed it. “Oxycontin”, he said with a worried look. “It appears that Tom is in the final stages of the syndrome. If this isn't stopped, he'll soon start wearing a red MAGA hat and insisting Trump won in 2020. This is going to be a difficult case.”

They had coffee in the kitchen while they waited for Tom to come around. About noon Tom began to moan and twitch. Mr. Johnson, the Dumbfuck Whisperer, withdrew two tinfoil hats from his briefcase. He kneeled next to the couch and shook Tom awake.

“Hey big boy, put this on”, Mr. Johnson said. “We gots talk an' ah don't want no commies picking up on our brainwaves.”

“Commies? Here?” Tom asked. Distress is his voice.

“Maybe”, said Mr. Miller, as Tom quickly pulled on the foil hat. “Now Tom, let's go into the other room. We have some talking to do. You wanna talk about guns?”

“Yeah”, Tom said.

Janice saw the two in the bedroom sitting on the bed. Mr. Johnson whispering in Tom's ear while Tom intently watched a pocket watch on a chain swinging before his face. Tom would not occasionally nod at something Mr. Miller said.

After several hours, Tom emerged from the bedroom. He seemed very disoriented.

“Are you alright?” Asked Janice.

“I … I think so”, said Tom uncertainly. He seemed to be unsteady on his feet. Looking down at his forearm he exclaimed, “What's that stupid tattoo doing there?”.

“You went out and got it the other day”, Janice replied.

“I did?” Tom seemed even more confused.

Mr. Johnson stepped from the bedroom and said, “He'll be confused for a few days, but, on the whole, I think the session was a success. Tom should return to normal over the next few weeks. But keep him away from the hick hustling radio. That could cause him to relapse.”

Tom didn't really remember the time he spent as a Republican and Janice didn't fill him in. She told him that he had come down with a case of Meningitis and spent several weeks on the coach in a coma. She called his office and explained the situation and noted that Tom needed some time off. They were quite understanding. This had happened to other employees in the past. Mostly they were glad that Tom had recovered.

Tom recovered over the next few weeks and Janice felt very lucky. She knew there were many other cases without such a clean recovery.

© 2021 Miss Fedelm

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Added on January 18, 2021
Last Updated on January 18, 2021


Miss Fedelm
Miss Fedelm

Aspen, CO

I'm a lawyer by education, but mostly I've worked in ski towns and hung out there. Sometimes doing some pretty menial jobs. I was on a ski team for a while, and I got to show my stuff in competition, .. more..