Author Topic: HillBilly Views: Revisiting the Generation of My Elders  (Read 1362 times)

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HillBilly Views: Revisiting the Generation of My Elders
« on: March 26, 2010, 07:19:33 pm »

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Revisiting the Generation of My Elders

The spirits of the family elders are laughing all over Heaven this morning. They have been peeping through the clouds for months now checking on the family and the political climate in this country. (Don't bother telling me what the dearly departed can't do...they did a pretty good job of keeping up with the deeds and misdeeds of my generation when they were on this side of paradise...I doubt their changing sides has stopped any of them! I'm willing to bet my brother is still telling and retelling the Obama election story and has been ever since he crossed over.)

For a generation born on the cusp of the end of slavery, my grandparents saw some remarkable changes in the country, the world and in our little corner of the universe. They went through two World Wars, the Korean Conflict, the Great Depression. That wooden boxed Crosley radio on the table by the front door brought them the news of the world until it was replaced by that small screened black and white television which brought them even more news...some of which was greeted by raised eyebrows I'm sure. The dawn of the Space Age amazed my grandfather (then in his 90's) but he watched several blastoffs! He wouldn't have missed them. He and my grandmother listened and scratched their heads in wonderment at many of the world's changes. Quietly, late at night when I was supposed to be asleep, I'd listen to their comments shared in the companionship of a 70 year marriage.

Politically, they were Republicans....members of the Party of Lincoln...a membership my grandfather maintained proudly until that party betrayed him by nominating Barry Goldwater as their candidate for President. Although deeply disappointed and angry that a man he considered a racist of the worst order would be the nominee...Grandpa made his decision. Since all of his grandchildren had been well schooled in his political views (by him), the Old One decided that it was Final Exam Day and we were all summoned home to West Virginia.

Of course, none of us would have supported Goldwater. We knew that our only viable strategy was to vote for Johnson and we would. For me...facing my first Presidential election, I knew that I would never register as a Republican so I bit the bullet and registered as an Independent (I didn't plan to take the chewing out I expected from Grandpa over my party selection). Yes, I know that there was supposed to be no way he could have found out but...I knew better. Nothing happened in our small town that the elder grapevine didn't communicate faster than a telephone call and in the 60's...most of them didn't have their own phones!

The story has been told before...each of us was questioned as to how he or she would vote. As the youngest voter...I told my grandfather that none of us would vote Republican and to my shock...he was relieved. Then I got brave and asked him what he was going to do because he had never missed a vote in his life and he NEVER crossed party lines. I wasn't prepared for his answer....he wasn't going to vote! In shock I asked him why...and he told me....He was going to die! At 96 years and some months, my grandfather did exactly that.

I changed my party registration and although I may have crossed party lines in local elections...the Republican party has held no interest for me...ever. If it had held any interest...watching them unanimously vote against the Health Care Reform Act in the House of Representatives would have been the final irrevocable nail in coffin. To me the only obvious reason for such obstructionist behavior is blatant RACISM, a refusal to work with a black President of the United States!

This comes John McCain....another Republican from Arizona...who wants to repeal the Health Care Reform Act! What is it about the Arizona air that creates people with such extremely antagonistic agendas? As a child and a participant of the Civil Rights Age, I don't need an interpreter to recognize the behaviors of extreme and selfish prejudicial behavior. Goldwater, McCain, Klan, Teabaggers, whatever agenda is may not be identical but, its all the same. This morning, I blocked a former childhood friend on my Facebook page because of the same issue. I have seen rat holes in apartments rented to poor people in Washington, D.C.; a grub worm burrowing into an open sore in a toddler's leg (in that same neighborhood...where I personally paid a doctor friend to ILLEGALLY excise the grub from the child's leg); watched a friend die of a treatable cancer (because she had no health insurance and couldn't pay for a doctor)....and I could go on and maybe on another day I will.

The elders would say that the chickens are finally coming home to roost. They may be right...we'll see.