04 November 2008

The Great Divide

For the first time today, I had the experience of going to vote with both of my parents.  

In 2000, I was robbed of my chance to vote by the pesky fact that my birthday was mere days after the election.   In 2004, I voted absentee from my college dorm room.  This year, 2008, I stood between my parents as I showed my license and signed my name.  

What struck me more than seeing our names all in a row on the registration sheet was how much I have diverged from my parent's ideologies.  I'm no longer the little girl who hangs on every word said by her Mommy and I no longer like sports teams just because my Dad does (the Lions?  Seriously, Dad???).  As my parents began to grow more conservative with age, my sister and I have become increasingly liberal (S. once called me a "little Commie," and I had to politely reprimand him:  "No dear, I'm socialist.").  
However, I know that I hold my liberal views because of the values my parents impressed on me as a child.  If I only could remember the number of times my mom said, "Kate, you are no better than anyone else and no one is better than you."  I can remember my dad digging for dollars and change for the homeless as my sister and I tried to blaze on by.  Family vacations always had to be some form of compromise between a beach for mom and a battlefield/historical site for dad--so we could have fun but also never forget the sacrifices of others.  My whole life, I've been taught how incredibly blessed I am, and because of those gifts, I have a duty to give back to my community.  That those with more have an obligation to help those with less.  That everyone, EVERYONE, deserves a fair shot in life.  Just because you're born with more doesn't mean you deserve more, or that someone born with less doesn't deserve more.  And most importantly, sometimes you have to make personal sacrifice to ensure fairness & justice.

Sound like some rhetoric we've heard lately?  Read this.

So thank you, Mom & Dad, for making me who I am today, even if we don't always agree on politics.  In some ways, the apple still hasn't fallen far from the tree.  It just feel further to the left. 


The Odd Duck said...

This was my first chance to ever vote in a presidential election so I have yet to vote alongside my parents.

What you learned from your Mom & Dad, I learned from my Nana and from the women who raised me.

The apple really didn't fall that far at all.

- Kendall

Mandy said...

I have voted in three presidential elections now and still get overwhelmed with emotion every time. My family is largely democratic but I do fall a little further left. I love reading posts about voting!

Mandy said...

I LOVE being an Ohioian today!! You need Twitter! Live tweeting going on about the election....and well, you just need one! :-)