I have the dubious distinction of being one of only two known liberals in my family. There might be a couple more in a closet somewhere, but, if so, nobody’s talking. The rest of my family morphed into staunch conservatives.
This is weird, because my Dad was a liberal Democrat. He was a long-time mayor of our tiny town in Washington State (population 1,200), and that must have encouraged him to think he could run for County Commissioner. He got trounced. Our whole area was so white bread Republican we might as well have had a one-party system for WASPs only. No Democrat stood a chance, especially an Italian Democrat.
There weren’t very many Italians in our area, either, but that’s a whole other story.
Fast forward several decades. I had not been living with my family since I earned my M.A. in Music and moved to the East Coast. When I called home, it was to talk to my Mom and find out what was going on with the family, not to discuss who got the United States into a mess and who could best fix it. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that not only had my Mom (my Dad’s wife, of all people) turned to the Dark Side, but all the rest of the family as well, except for one niece, who was tolerated by the family because they loved her, even if she was a wide-eyed liberal. I think I’m tolerated for the same reason, although I like to think it’s my great personal charm that does it.
What I am trying to get at is I love my family, even if they are misguided, brainwashed and blindfolded.1 I haven’t tried to convert them, because I know it’s impossible. It is also impossible for them to convert me. So we let each other be. It’s more peaceful that way.
On the other hand, I get into some lively discussions with the organist at our church. He’s conservative; I’m not. He equates the American liberal ideas with communism. He got his fill of communism in Russia, where he was born and spent the first 15 years of his life. I can’t make him change his mind, and he doesn’t have any better success with me. Fortunately for us, we like each other and we both know how to laugh at our differences, so there has been no throwing of hymn books at each other’s heads. That would not be socially acceptable, especially in church.
So okay. I am going to vote for Barack Obama and hope that enough other people do the same and he will have a second term. No, I am not going to move to Canada if Mitt Romney is elected. Canada is too far away from my beloved New York City. Besides, I am very fond of my American citizenship.
Yes, we liberals DO love our country. That’s why we want the best for it.
1Funny – they have formed the same opinion of me. Strange.