Richard decides I’m no longer worth his time or respect–because of POLITICS–as he gets into the TEA Party

As for Richard treating me like crap–

Among other things, I got the impression that because I didn’t share his political fervor and views (which struck me as often wacky or heartless–especially for a Christian who wanted to be a priest), I was no longer worthy of his time or respect:

He stopped calling except when he wanted something, even though we still all got together for D&D, and even though he told me he kept wanting to come visit me after the kids went to bed.

This seemed to happen in late March or early April 2010, before the spring election.  He stopped over because I watched the kids while he did an interview for the position he ran for.

I told him that while I could understand theology fairly well, a wall of text on politics (usually by him, Todd or somebody else on the Forum) completely baffled me.  I couldn’t concentrate on it, couldn’t understand it, didn’t want to bother.

Writer Nalo Hopkinson on Learning ABILITY not DISability: “I literally cannot concentrate on things that don’t interest me.”  

This does seem to be true with me as well.  Also, NVLD makes reading comprehension and speed more difficult, which for me was confirmed in a college placement test in 1991. 

So these “walls of text” probably take me two to three times longer to read and comprehend, and I simply don’t have that much time to spend on these things. 

In 2012, I noted in my blog stat checkers, that it took me at least twice as long as Richard/Tracy to read my posts–and I wrote them!

I told him I didn’t have time to do more than read the daily paper most of the time, that I had a house and family to take care of, things that I found more interesting and important.

In late May or early June (while my account was inexplicably blocked from his and I had to use my husband’s), he posted on his Facebook page about a web radio program on politics, using the term “we.”

I wondered if he was somehow involved in this radio program, and how, especially since he hadn’t been telling me much of anything about his life lately.

So I posted, What’s this?  He simply wrote back, “It’s political.  You wouldn’t be interested.”

How insulting!  Especially since, as it turned out he was actually participating in these broadcasts, it would have interested me.

Also, even though I had no interest in reading walls of texts on politics in forums, when elections come around, I gather information and start studying to decide which candidate to vote for.

I’m not an idiot just because I don’t obsess over politics or spend my time reading walls of text.  And I do spend time reading about political issues.  But it’s not my driving force.

Back in August 2009, before wacky politics started filling Richard’s Facebook wall, the city convinced Mercury Marine to stay after a union vote drama.  The city council president posted about it on Facebook and I “liked” it.

Richard wrote to me, “You ‘liked’ that?  Seriously?”  And then proceeded to tell me why I shouldn’t like it.

He’d also been trying to tell me that Fond du Lac would survive without this company, even though it’s the biggest employer around, with connections to all sorts of other businesses which rely on it.

My husband lost his job in 2008 because Mercury Marine was in a slump and couldn’t order as many parts from my husband’s employer.

Other cities in the state had already lost their biggest employers, and gone to the dumps, with high unemployment and a dying city.

Did he want us to turn into Manitowoc or Janesville?  But somehow Richard thought we could avoid that if our own biggest employer left!

I had lived there for 14 years, not two like Richard.  We were in the middle of the Great Recession, and couldn’t afford to lose this company.  Yet I was “wrong” because I didn’t think unions were evil and was glad to see the city convince the company to stay.

Another time, my college friend Mike said on Facebook–in response to one of my posts or Jeff’s posts, I forget which–that Obama was doing the best he could with what he was dealt.  He said Bush left things a mess.

So Richard began arguing with him about it.  Then Richard messaged me one day in chat, saying that Mike “is an idiot.”

I was disgusted: Not only did Richard call one of my oldest and dearest friends an idiot, but I thought Mike’s words were true and sensible!  But no, don’t dare say that to Richard now, or he’ll call me an idiot, too, I bet!

Richard was a Libertarian/Anarchist Tea Partier who wanted all “entitlement programs”–such as food stamps and various social programs–to end, with the burden of helping the poor transferred to the churches.

This is ridiculous, because in today’s society, in which so many people choose something other than Christianity, churches are often so small that they struggle just to keep their lights on and pay the pastor a pittance.  They certainly can’t afford to take on all the burden of the poor!

About Richard’s plan to cut “entitlements,” and let churches/capitalism/whatever work together to cover the need, Jeff said, “You know, if this happens, there will be extreme suffering for many people for at least a decade before it all gets sorted out.”  

Richard’s response: “Oh, well, if that’s what it takes.”

Jeff found this response extremely disturbing, heartless and horrible, showing a lack of concern, a lack of human feeling, for the people who would suffer.

Richard and his family would themselves suffer, because they benefited from the social programs he wanted cut!  They struggled enough already as the recession made it hard for either of them to find and keep work; this would make it even worse!

In fact, watching him deal with poverty inspired me to finally make the leap to be a Democrat instead of Republican!

I don’t remember all the specifics, since I didn’t record the things Richard posted on Facebook.  But his politics got quite vitriolic around 2010, especially on Facebook.

My Facebook newsfeed filled with his biting comments against political opponents (even in his own party during nominations), wacky conspiracy theories, and him getting into the swirling rancor of that time against liberals and “socialists.”  (They obviously had no clue what socialism really means.)

The big problem for me was not so much that he was into wacky politics, but the way he treated even friends who disagreed with those wacky politics–even Jeff and me, who had done so much to help him and support him over the years.

During this time, and looking back on this time in 2010/2011, I got the distinct impression that I was getting shoved aside to make way for new friends.  And why?  Because I refused to fall for the bizarre crap coming out of the Tea Party. 

I noted that this seemed to begin around April 2009 or afterwards, when Richard first went to Tea Party rallies and I first heard of this lunatic fringe.

I didn’t come out and tell Richard or Chris what I really thought of Libertarians, Constitutionalists and the Tea Party, just tolerated that–as Jeff put it–“our friends are kooks.”  (He said that after I read in the newspaper about comments Chris made about fluoride at a city meeting.  Chris bought into the idea that fluoridated water is somehow harmful.)

But I started getting the distinct impression that what little I did say–

–I like Feingold, I think Christians can vote Democrat, I agree with what the city did to keep Mercury from moving out and turning us into a ghost town, I debunked that website Richard referenced in two minutes–

–was enough to turn him against me as one of his political “enemies.”

And he made it clear that he had no scruples about hating his political enemies, even though Christians are supposed to fight against hate, even for their own enemies.  (He once told me that he hates Democrats.)

At the time I was a moderate Independent (used to be Republican) who thought the Tea Party was silly, but not much more about it.  I wasn’t “anti” any party.

But the more I learned about the Tea Party from Richard, his friend Chris and what they posted on their Facebook walls, the more ludicrous and dangerous it seemed.  The media did not influence this; the media merely confirmed what I already saw from these two Tea Partiers.

For example, at the end of April 2010, Richard e-mailed me a website claiming that the US flag was actually the military flag and that the American people were duped into using it instead of the “civil flag,” meaning we’re living under the Law of the Military Flag without realizing it.

I wrote back that I debunked it within two minutes via Google, so I wouldn’t put much stock in it.

Jeff heard Richard and Chris discussing this in mid-2009 while they moved Richard’s family into a new place, so I had already heard of it, and Jeff and I thought it was wacky.

Richard even had his children refuse to say the Pledge of Allegiance because it was written by a socialist.

I also saw that such nasty politics were becoming quite common, on Facebook and off.

Chris also posted wacky stuff on Facebook, and accused people who disagree of being “sheeple.”  He posted about fluoride eroding the intelligence of local voters, conspiracy theories such as birther or 9-11, how our freedoms were supposedly being taken away, and the usual Illuminati/New World Order-style conspiracy theories that have been around for decades.  There were also posts about Annunaki aliens.  (As of 2018, he is also a Flat Earther.)

I couldn’t tell for sure if Richard was influencing Chris, or Chris was influencing Richard–

or if they were just two like-minded individuals who were both nuts all along and I just didn’t know this about Richard until 2009 or 2010.

But the two of them together posted all sorts of wackadoodle political stuff that showed up in my news feed every day in 2010, when they used to be pretty quiet about that stuff, posting more personal and fun stuff on Facebook.

But now their personal accounts were turning into platforms for bizarre and paranoid conspiracy theories.

I also saw Richard treat dissenters on his wall the same way he treated me: A guy in a union complained about how he spoke about unions, another one told Richard that he was part of the problem in the Libertarian Party, I think because of the way he poked fun at the guy he didn’t want to win in a party election.  I think another one complained about how he painted all military troops as evil, same as he did the police, because of some bad ones.

It was becoming very obvious that he did not tolerate people disagreeing with him on politics.

Now I tend to just post an opinion on Facebook or forums and then let other people post theirs.  Even if I disagree with their views, I don’t want to stop being friends with them over it, or ridicule them, which is not how decent people treat their friends.  What I post here is venting that I never, ever said to them while we were friends.

But Richard was actually scolding and lecturing people, including Jeff and me.

But of course, when I complained to him on June 28, 2010 that I didn’t want him telling me how to think and scolding me for disagreeing with him (not just in politics but regarding NVLD), he got furious, acted shocked, and talked as if I were falsely accusing him.

After this, in July and August 2010, I couldn’t stand to hear anything at all about politics–especially the TEA Party. 

I could handle just watching The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, because they made fun of politics and were full of sense. 

I loathed the TEA Party, Libertarianism, Anarchism, and anything like it, because of what they did to my friend–how they made him turn against even loyal, loving friends who were not like-minded.

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me

4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children

5. My frustrations mount

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

13b. Thinking of celebrating the first anniversary

14. Updates on Richard’s Criminal Charges 

Sequel to this Story: Fighting the Darkness: Journey from Despair to Healing