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I Am A Republican

No, not me, silly!

My 20-year-old nephew recently came out to the family as a conservative Republican. How could this have happened? Where did we go wrong? What are we going to tell the neighbors???

My family is pretty shamelessly liberal. Growing up, we learned that all people are truly created equal, that we should all be allowed to worship God (or not) in our own way. We should work hard but share what we have with others who do not have enough. Yes, we’re probably — GASP! — Socialists…

I sometimes forget that our perspective is not necessarily the right one. As much as we may rail against the religious and conservative right, they have as much right to their convictions as we do and that’s what makes America amazing. We have a system of government that allows and in fact requires a balance.

On the other side of his family, my nephew is descended from fairly recent Hungarian immigrants to America. They arrived here after the wars in Europe and come by their disdain for socialistic government quite honestly. They’ve seen that it doesn’t work when practiced exclusively. They are also staunch Catholics and their social views seem to fall along those lines.

At 6’7″ tall, it hasn’t been determined whether my nephew has stopped growing physically but it is with great satisfaction that I am watching him fill out mentally. Like many in our family, he slopped his way through high school, finally earning a GED. It was not a lack of intelligence that held him back, but more a disregard for the structure of the educational system that wouldn’t allow him to stretch his mind. He is brash, doesn’t take crap from anyone, is profoundly gifted in many areas, and is often misunderstood for his ADHD tendencies. Having grown up in NYC, he has been exposed to every kind of issue that humans encounter and he seems to understand the need for empathy in determining the direction of our country. He probably wouldn’t be caught dead in a suit and tie, and the hair on his head and face is an ever-changing collage of styles. He is streetwise and wouldn’t hesistate to cut you to ribbons in an argument, but then he’d go out and rescue a baby bird and bring it back to life with a gentle breath from his massive lungs. The boy is not to be pinned down.

I am fascinated with the blog that he recently started. In some instances he simply parrots the ideas of conservative talk-show hosts, even hurling insults at those who don’t agree with him the way the shock-jocks of politics do, but other times his rants are more controlled and I am finding myself understanding some economic concepts that I wasn’t aware of because of his increasingly well-illustrated arguments. I am as concerned as I am comforted that I am in good company in this country in my lack of knowledge.

With the election behind us and many Republicans disappointed with the outcome, I have begun to see an emergence of new young Republicans who may be the ones to reinvent the party. They are educating themselves on the economic structure of our country while also figuring out that the Republican stances on many issues like abortion and same-sex marriage have overstepped their bounds and have impinged on the basic freedoms of Americans. Similarly, the excessive elasticity of the Democrat party has stretched the opposing ideas too far in the other direction.

I believe that this generation of people, the 20-somethings coming up now, will push past the ideological inanities that keep our government from coming to the kind of consensus that would benefit all of us as equally as possible. This is not a matter of conservative or liberal ideas trumping each other. It is a matter of getting back to what the founding fathers really intended, allowing our rules to expand to accommodate the changing atmosphere of our society responsibly, and I think the next generation will be the ones to successfully engineer that growth.


Categories: Politics
  1. November 12, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    my dearest Ellen, I cannot tell you how high a praise it is to receive such recognition from you for many reasons. But I will tell you anyway. Seriously though, praise of my ideas from someone on my father’s side of the family would be nice, but not really unexpected. Being praised from someone on mom’s side on my political values would be astounding, but getting them from you is worlds beyond my dear. You and I have gone back and forth on Facebook concerning these issues, but to see you praise me in so public a forum as your blog, which I love and respect for both it’s intellectual as well as creative values, is beautiful. You are one of the most intelligent, creative people i have ever known, which is probably why you have never held onto one job. And of course i do not mean that as a jibe, but more as an acknowledgment of how hard it is for a cluttered, brilliant mind to dull itself down and continue in what can only be described as an insane cycle of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. You writing an entire blog about me, means worlds to me and I love you and if ever I am president, I will invent a new office for the secretary of creative thought lol. We will change the world, the way people think, or at least we’ll have fun trying.

  2. November 12, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    When I read your title, it scared me. I really thought you’d gone off the deep end. After reading your nephew’s comment, it gives me hope for the Republicans of the future.

  3. Father of the ROBZ
    November 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Constructive conversation is where we need to go.

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