I take my politics seriously. My parents are responsible for this—the tv was on the news every night, and they were constantly talking about current events in a critical way. My grandparents are somewhat responsible too insofar as politics was the center of family conversations during holidays to the point where my grandfather and dad would yell at each other about their narrowly different perspectives on certain issues.
When I look back on their perspectives, though, I am amazed at how I came to view the world. THAT was all my mother, and perhaps that was because of her immigration to the US and experiencing our society as a minority.
But my grandparents and my dad—they were Kennedy Democrats. Working class democrats, pro-union, advocates of social programs that helped working people. And they were racists. But their working class roots, and perhaps their experiences during the Depression, marked them to always question the motives of the Republicans. My grandparents and dad hated the Republicans because the represented the interests of corporations. For my grandfather, the prospect of me going to college angered him—I would be rubbing elbows with “those educated idiots” who he framed as the leaders of corporate America. Educated Idiots didn’t care about the working class. I would become, he thought, one of them.
I guess with my conflicted political background, I can say that I fully understand where the Drumpfer’s come from. As I see the rural poverty around me here today in East Tennessee, I understand as well their frustration that the economy no longer favors them. I am angry, though, that they’ve kept that racism that is generationally passed down as the reason for their plight. They have forgotten their working class roots—the foundation for their anger should be corporate interests as they have moved to not only maximize profit by taking jobs offshore but have also maximized investment by keeping (hoarding, actually) the profits they make all to themselves without investing in the US worker.
I’ve always been a political nerd. When I was in the 3rd Grade, I worked the Bobby Kennedy campaign handing out pamphlets at the Democratic Party headquarters on weekends in May and June 1968. His assassination hurt me to the core, but work me up politically. It matured me politically at a very early age. I had stickers on my bike (that I made myself) that said “Nixon—In Prison Now More Than Ever.” It was a play on his reelection campaign slogan in 1972.
Politics is important to me. It started at an early age.
That is why it is so difficult for me today to interact with those who are Drumpf supporters. I can handle interacting with anyone, really, but if they begin to articulate a Drumpf ideology, I will not only turn them off—I will cut them off in my life.
I need a place (like here) to make that sort of testimonial. A mix between being too old to care, and valuing my interactions with people, moves me towards eliminating the interactions I have or may have with Drumpfers. It is for my own mental health to a large extent.