Talking to my dad last night, I had a revelation.
The conversation consisted mostly of what’s happening this election cycle, around the country, and around the world in general. Dad, being an imposing but easy-going sort, often gets into exchanges with others about politics. He’s not the type to start these conversations, but his seemingly laid-back demeanor invites others to start them.
He is laid-back, but not timid. As a conservative Christian and a Republican, he will inform the questioner what he’s about, how he sees the world around him and for whom he will cast his vote on November second. Having known the guy for nearly forty years, I can picture him doing it: all done in a calm, even, yet straight-forward manner, in much the same way that he used to lay down the law to yours truly way back when.
Dad hasn’t read much of my blog—unlike Mom, he’ll only go near a computer on a bet—but he and I have come to nearly identical conclusions about things, nearly independently of each other. Dad’s a very smart guy. ;-)
Both my parents are big fans of Ann Coulter. (Tough-minded, opinionated women are the rule and are celebrated in my family, as some may have ascertained. Dad was raised by one.) At present, Dad’s reading Ms. Coulter’s latest work How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must) : The World According to Ann Coulter. I haven’t read any of her work yet, not because I don’t like her, but because I’ve found most of the long written works penned by pundits—liberal, conservative or whatever—to be less than scintillating reads.
Be that as it may, the title brought out this thought: a black conservative can rarely avoid talking to liberals, since, usually, many members of that conservative’s family are liberals. When I mentioned this to Dad, he sighed in assent and mentioned the travails of having political conversations with some of our relatives.
But then he pointed out something that brought the revelation. There are five members of our family that are conservative Republicans: Dad, Mom, one of my sisters, her husband and me. Five members of a black family. (Technicality alert: my brother-in-law—native Texan and military--is white. But, no, he didn’t use his evil white-man mind-control powers on us. Not that I can tell, at any rate.)
That’s got to be some kind of record, no?
It’s a blessing not to have to tangle with my parents for ideological reasons. We’ve done enough of that over other matters as it is. Heh. It’s also amazing how smart your parents get when you started having to wear reading glasses and start seeing those first gray hairs on your head.
UPDATE: LaShawn writes about a conversation with an older black man who plans to vote for John Kerry. Interesting reading. When Dad and I were discussing our liberal family members, the two whose attitudes we found the most puzzling were that of my granddad (his dad) and my great-aunt (my maternal grandmother's sister). Both in their eighties, they actually had the experience of living with Jim Crow and know the party of the majority of those who perpetrated that institution. Both are deeply Christian. Both worked hard from their youth to retirement for everything they have today, in spite of the obstacles set before them back then. And both have stressed hard work, rather than hand-outs to their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Yet they are the two that display the most intransigence against voting for a Republican, any Republican. A head-shaker, for sure.