First off I must say I am thankful to wake up today and not have there be a war on my vagina, or my rights. Not that I am a huge Obama supporter, but not supporting that other guy was the only option. With that said, time to reflect back on the strange happenings of the last few months.
I used to be a Republican, right wing radical even. When I was about 9 I came home from school and my dad asked what I learned that day, he did not often talk to us about school. I was excited, that day we got this little monthly “newspaper” from scholastic books. You remember book orders for Scholastic and Troll, right? Anyway that day we dove into politics for the first time. It was September of 1980, I think. Carter was running against Reagan. I informed my dad, that not only did we look at the election, we were to did into each candidates platform. We held a mock election too. I was beaming at this point. I had found that I liked Jimmy Carter so much and I loved his platform. I told my dad this, and that if I could vote, I would vote for him.
My dad, nearly fell over himself and in a frightfully stern voice informed me that I was born a Republican and I was gonna die a Republican. Thus began my spiral into hell. I married the first guy that stuck around long enough. We were Republicans. We voted for Bush, and listened to Rush Limbaugh and his ilk for many years. Having been shamed about my left leanings at an early age made a huge impact on my early adult life.
The good news is that I escaped. The day that Bush bombed Iraq for 9/11, I asked my roommate why we would do such a thing. Iraq had nothing to do with it, at least I had no viable proof either way. To me you should never start a war without fact. My roommate angrily informed me that, we do not ever question this president, he was sent to us from God. Whoa, the Germans never questioned Hitler, and see how well that worked out? Then I began to question my faith as well, but that is a whole other blog post. The problem is that my politics and my religious beliefs were so intertwined that I could not renounce one and keep the other. They both had to go, or they both had to be embraced.
After my divorce, I became that one demographic that a Republican should never accept. I was a single mom, and I needed the help of welfare at times. You see, Republicans, at least the one’s I know, believe that single mom’s are the choice of the woman. She made her bed now she must lay in it. No matter what it is her fault. They never really focus on the dead beat dads, oh well that is because many dead beat dads are Republicans. Believe me, it is true. Take away welfare and the state is no longer invested in enforcing child support, trust me.
As I worked hard to maintain my life, it seemed to fall apart more often than not. The one thing I vowed to never do, was to make my children into atomatons. I would not make them feel that they had to believe the same way I did. Nor would I enforce my beliefs or political views on them. Their father to this day is angry at me. He thinks that I turned them into Democrats. I am actually not a Democrat, but a Socialist. What I did for my children was make them understand the issues and how to make an informed opinion based on what they felt was right. I never talked to them about who I voted for or the issues that I voted on. I did talk with them if they came to me and asked about my views and why I viewed certain ideas. In the end, I always told them that they needed to make decisions about their life and their political views based on what they themselves valued, not what mom or dad valued. To me this is probably the greatest gift, one that I would have loved to receive, instead of being told what to believe and how to vote. To be told that your opinion matters and that you have the right to disagree with anyone is something to be cherished. I just wish more parents would see that.