I don't often rant about my political leanings...I find as I grow older I am more tolerant of others' opinions (namely that they have a right to have opposing views than me, even if I don't agree), and I also find myself realizing that I LIKE my point of view, but I like talking about politics with EVERYBODY even more.
When I think of my first bent towards political anything, I find myself thinking about my Grandma, who died this February at the age of 94.
She would often hear me talk about something, whether it was political or not, and just shake her head with that "been there, heard that, done that" look that only age and experience can give you.
She had the luck of being born on the exact same day, in the exact same year as Ronald Reagan -- February 6, 1911. While President Reagan was President, apparently through the magic of computers and Social Security numbers, she received a printed White House birthday card, allegedly signed by the President.
I was at her house one year for her birthday when she got one in the mail, and she opened it, read it, rolled her eyes, and tossed it in the trash. I was a teenager at the time and oblivious to politics, so I thought it was quite an honor, even if it was a preprinted one.
"Damn Republicans," she said.
This was a first for me on two fronts -- first, that Gram never swore up til then in my presence, and second, I never knew where she stood politically.
I sure found out quickly that day just what she thought, at least I summed it up later.
I really think Gram, like many of her generation, appreciated the efforts of FDR to end the Depression, and that there were others along the line of her life like John F. Kennedy who must have struck a chord with her in their diligence towards bettering society, from Civil Rights to social programs that would stand up for the weakest among us.
Other than that -- I don't think she spent a lot of time thinking about how she would vote, just that she found Democrats more in line with her values as a poor person trying to get by and working hard through life.
As I have now lived through Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush II, I often wonder why our country leans so far left one moment, and so far right the next. I wonder how it is that so many people can swing an election so far one way one year (like Reagan's landslide victory in 1980) and then create such close calls as we've had in the past two elections.
I feel like I need to go take another Poli Sci class...Not just to learn about our system, which is so tragically polarized these days, but other systems like the Brits, who have the Stark Raving Loony Environmentalist Party, or something like it.
Well, I guess I can look on the brights side...at least Bush's ratings are in the basement. He's earned every bit of it, in my opinion.
No need to comment if you can't handle this post...There's nowhere I can go with this...just something I'm thinking about.