Sunday, September 23, 2012

Unexamined Belief System - Political Views

Political Views, (No what do you really think?)


I was raised a Democrat and very pro union. I remember one of our family elders saying that "I'd vote for Al Capone if he was running as a democrat rather than a Republican." He went on as he often did, "Republicans are for the rich, Democrats are for the "little man." On and on it would go about how the Democrats always treated the worker better than the Republicans. These wonderful discussions usually lead by the Pater Familias and joined by all the adult males would argue the plight of the "little man", women were usually in the kitchen back then and rarely got involved in "men's conversation". The talk would range from how Unions protected the worker from the "Big Men", (I've really grown to dislike that term. But it is such a part of my memory of those days that I have to use it.) and how the Democrats had the "little man's" best interest at heart. 

Now, looking back on arguments I'm amazed at how true they were for the time and how false they were. I'm also saddened, that as a result of the "big man" "little man" arguments some of us accepted our fate as "little men" who never had a chance and so we never tried to climb the mountain. There were some however, who not only climbed the mountain but they made it to the top! These refused to accept that they could not achieve. They refused to accept mediocrity and just stay in their place and complain. In a sense there were two paths offered growing up stay a "little man" or achieve great things. I, until I retired, choose to be safe in a nice government job. While some of my more successful relatives choose to achieve and they did and so did their children! These very successful relatives set high standards for themselves and their children and success followed.   

Life is complicated.  Mom and Dad were children during the Great Depression, the singular economic event of the last century. The Great Depression changed forever the way people thought and acted . I remember growing up dad and mom telling me over and over again not to waist food and too clean my plate. I remember how mom could make a Sunday chicken last until Wednesday. Sunday, roasted chicken, Monday leftovers like Chicken Ala King, Tuesday maybe a chicken salad in our lunch and Wednesday chicken soup. This of course depended upon the size of the chicken some were big roasters other just fryers that would last only two days. I don't remember being allowed special dinners because I didn't like something. Dad would say, "This is dinner you will taste everything." Then we'd get the lecture of how mom worked hard to make dinner and we should appreciate what we have, "children in China are starving." And yes I did once suggest they send them my share, it didn't go well with me and my dad was not happy. I remember sitting at the table for quite along time before I finally got it through my head that I could eat my dinner in five minutes and watch TV or I could sit there for the rest of my life. I ate the food. 

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