When I first took up birding in late September of 2016, I figured two things; that the majority of birders would be nuts or so severely neurotic that they could pass for nuts, and second, that the entire group would be composed of progressive leftists and Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders Democrats.
I got those ideas over the years by knowing nothing about birding or birders, and my first talk with a birder on one of my first South Shore Audubon Society birding walks incorrectly confirmed the progressive nature of the birding population.
I opened my conversation with this woman by relating that my recent trip to Cuba disgusted me by the filth, poverty, and unemployment of the country. Even the ships in the harbor were rusty! [Read http://frankscoblete.com/cuba-triumph-revolution/, October 15, 2017)
She listened to me and then said she and her husband were really impressed by the country and the people on their trip to Cuba. That had to be impossible because every other building was a decaying dump and little had been done to fix the crumbling once-great architecture of Havana. I didn’t argue with her because she was fierce in her belief in Castro’s revolution; a true progressive, she probably cut her teeth on the 1960’s love for the Communist movement.
She didn’t have anything negative to say about the revolution’s golden boy, Che Guevara, the official executioner of the regime. He probably lovingly watched the executions of thousands of people — that is, those he wanted executed. I am guessing good old Che was a hero to her as he is to the government of Cuba.
But I was wrong. The birders in our South Shore Audubon Society aren’t anything like a coherent group. Yes, most are of the left but there are plenty of Trump supporters. In New York City and its environs, the leftist Democrats rule by something like two or three to one over Republicans and conservatives. So I found the many rightists in the society surprising.
Now, many of my own opinions are leftist but I do not share the wide-eyed love of communism — a failed, violent philosophy that destroys societies. [Read the Black Book of Communism.] But I do have affection for some of the Trumpian ideas and I respect plenty of the basic conservative principles. I do not, of course, buy into the right-wing evangelism and anti-science nature of the ultra-right.
Aside from the love (or like) of birds, the members of our society are philosophically diverse but they all basically agree on several issues: protection of the environment, protection of our national parks and protection of the habitat of our feathered friends and other animals. Habitat is a key ingredient in the protection of birds.
The rightists and the leftists agree on these principles and that brings everyone together. They are birds of a feather.
[[Read Frank Scoblete’s Confessions of a Wayward Catholic and The Virgin Kiss. Both available from Amazon.com, on Kindle and other electronic media, at Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores.]