In the ancient world, an extreme form of revenge is to kill your enemy’s children. It’s worse than killing your enemy, since your enemy remains alive to suffer at the loss. The story most people would be familiar with is the drama Medea, in which a spurned foreign wife kills her own children to strike a blow against her Greek husband, before also killing his new bride. A more extreme version of this kind of revenge is mentioned in Herodotus and also in the Bible, where an enemy’s children (in Herodotus it’s Harpagus, a Mede) are killed, cooked, and then served up at dinner to the enemy without his or her foreknowledge.
I recently experienced my own, less Sweeney Todd, version of this revenge.
I’ve been a realtor in Washington, D.C. (and its suburbs) since the mid-1990s. From the late-90s up until the mortgage crash of 2008, I was overworked, but made a huge amount of money, some years over $200,000, as DC properties appreciated 25 percent annually (from their depressed prices under the crime ridden days of Mayor Marion Barry), as the Clinton regime inflated the currency and created one asset bubble after another. In years where I bought an undervalued property, held it, renovated it, and finally flipped it, I’d make even more from selling the property, not from brokering. (I should’ve done much more flipping and less brokering.)
DC is by registration over 70 percent Democrat, and only seven percent Republican (just under 20 percent of voters register “No Party,” and about one percent are registered as either Libertarians or Greens). So virtually all of my customers were Democrats. Since I trolled for new customers at gay film festivals, fundraisers and happy hours for the Human Rights Campaign, the Lesbian Power Breakfast, and the Mautner Project for Lesbians with Breast Cancer, many of my customers were liberal or left-wing gays and lesbians, and even my straight customers tended to be lawyers and economists or urban planners at the World Bank or the EPA or the Department of Justice, or lawyers, lobbyists and PR people at the Sierra Club or the National Women’s Law Center. I had many lesbian clients, often new couples selling their condos and then buying a house together in preparation for adopting a baby from abroad (sometimes I had single straight women doing this as well).
These people all assumed their politics were mine since I’m gay. I had slightly long wavy hair. I wore Armani Exchange high-end causal wear. (Imagine Ellen DeGeneres if she were Scot-Irish, chestnut-haired, green-eyed, and better-looking.) Everyone assumed I was a liberal. Once I was at a CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Conference) annual meeting typing on my iPad in the back of a workshop on new media, and conservative radio talk show host Larry O’Connor (now a friend, then an editor at Breitbart) asked “Do we have a liberal spy here?” and it took me awhile to realize who Larry was talking about. Everyone thought I was a man of the left, which I hadn’t been since giving up socialism in the ninth grade when my best friend, Emily Wilhoite, made me promise to read Ayn Rand over the summer so she’d have someone with whom to discuss Atlas Shrugged.
But then the mortgage crisis happened. I had a slow year and some free time. I took up blogging. Tea Party—One Lump, or Two? was my blog on Blogger, which Google has since cancelled (if you search hard you can find it archived on WordPress). No one noticed or cared for months.
Then Glenn Beck decided held an anti-Obama rally on the National Mall. And I wrote the least ideological entry ever for my blog—a guide to where the cheap motels, coffee shops with good Wi-Fi, and safer neighborhoods were in Washington, D.C., for Tea Party tourists.
I’d taken a part-time job a block from my home (I lived in a downtown co-op). When I came home in the early afternoon I saw I had messages from journalist David Weigel, an acquaintance I knew from his days as a reporter at the libertarian magazine, reason. Weigel wanted my comment on the controversy. I didn’t know what he was talking about.
A friend in Maine had asked if a Tea Party publication there could repost my guide and of course I said yes. While I’d been at my side gig, a variety of leftist websites denounced me as (what else) a racist, because I told tourists not to randomly get off the DC metro and wander around without someone like me in the neighborhoods now heavy on stabbings, shootings, and carjackings. Because most of those neighborhoods are majority African-American (as are the victims of crime in those neighborhoods, something the liberals always overlook).
My cancellation was swift. I think I have just one politically-involved and aware leftist customer, a World Bank economist whose wedding I’d attended and to whom I’d sold three houses, through singlehood to marriage to childbirth to divorce, who continued to use me. The rest, a local ACLU attorney, feminist non-profit law center employees, GLAAD activists, DNC committee people, all dropped me.
One lesbian customer, to whom I’d sold three houses and helped her sell two, once told her friends (in front of me) that I “was the source of all her wealth,” which was true in the sense that I advised her on buying houses on blocks that were about to rapidly appreciate and helped her snowball that money into better investments. House #1 she was buying with her partner of the time to have a baby. We talked about many things (I was having a baby with someone else at exactly the same time). I thought we were friends. By House #2 she no longer had the partner but did have the baby. By the time she was buying House #3 and selling House #2 the boy was a pre-teen whom she dressed in girl’s or gender-fluid clothing.
I’ve followed her career and subsequent real estate transactions. Like all of my former left-wing customers I send her Christmas or New Year’s cards, as I do to all my former customers. From the left-wing customers (save the one) I never hear a peep back.
Flash forward to this month. I go to a book talk by Ashley Hayek, a tradmom of five who ran Women for Trump, at the local Log Cabin Republican meeting on Capitol Hill. I’m older. I barely have hormones. I almost have to lift weights and eat a steak to have the metabolic substrate to notice that a guy’s interesting. Among the people I hadn’t met was a skinny kid with almost emaciated features, a kind of Timothee-Chalamet. He was animated, almost hyper, and at some point a bunch of us were in the kitchen of the house the Log Cabin organization shares with some other conservative group, and he said something interesting. We started talking about crime in DC, and he mentioned that he grew up in DC. Then he started talking about a specific neighborhood, Columbia Heights, and mentioned the names of streets he had lived on.
I asked him if his mother was a lesbian. He said yes. I asked him if his mother was “XXXXX XXXXX.” He looked perplexed and said yes. I told him I was his mother’s realtor on her first three houses and that I’d known him back when he was nine years old. He told me that his mother was beside herself back in 2010, calling her friends and complaining that “My realtor is a Republican!” (At the time it would have been much more accurate to say I was a Libertarian.)
But here he was at a Log Cabin event. He was driven from the left by its “pathologizing being white” and by his experience working for a Democrat campaign consulting group that had him surveying Hispanic voters in Maryland and then ignored the findings (Hispanic voters want more police!). We discussed all the lesbians we knew who were in his mother’s circle, from a Scripps Howard heiress to a poet/carpenter. Before we left the event he asked for my phone number and texted me. I texted him back the Daily Beast article on my Tea Party tempest in a teapot.
My leftist lesbian fair weather friend’s pink diaper baby has been red-pilled.