Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

From Chair of the local Republican Party to Screaming Progressive

By       Message Missy Beattie       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment


Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Author 72
Become a Fan
  (2 fans)
- Advertisement -
Kentucky is the Bluegrass State. It’s where I was born and lived until leaving for college. My mother was Chair of the local Republican Party at a time when Republicans were scarce there. Now the state is glaringly, blindingly red.

Mother made national news years ago when she took issue with the county judge, a Democrat, meeting with him in his office to demand that campaign signs for Democrats be removed from the courthouse lawn. The law was clear that these signs were not allowed within a certain distance of the building. The judge argued but, soon, acquiesced and my mother was declared the victor. She’s always spoken her mind.

Our house was political. Hosting receptions for gubernatorial candidates, Mother would introduce them to local business owners. She organized teams to call registered Republicans, urging them to vote. Back then, this effort hardly made a dent.

Even we children were summoned to duty—handing out brochures. I remember when some anonymous caller phoned and wanted to know if the “little Nazis” would be out on the streets again with their propaganda.

- Advertisement -
Election night was always exciting. The telephone spent little time on its cradle as person after person called to discuss returns.

My mother was born into a staunchly Republican household. Accepting her family’s views, she lived and breathed conservatism: “I remember as a child, talking politics with Democrats, taking issue with their positions,” she told me. “I loved this debate.”

Still, she admitted that even while local Chair, she examined the candidates and didn’t always vote a straight Republican ticket.

- Advertisement -
And, then, at some point, Mother began to study the policies of the parties. Gradually, she came to the realization that progressive politics reflected her beliefs—that social programs for the poor benefited everyone. She decided that her religious convictions also turned her away from the “right” and into the light:

We have to take care of our poor. The Republican Party cuts taxes for the wealthy and either under-funds or eliminates government organizations that help the poor and middle class. Also, the Civil Rights Movement was a huge wakeup for me.

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Mother didn’t think either candidate was solid (she thought Al Gore relinquished himself to his handlers) but she recognized Gore’s foreign policy expertise. “It’s not just Bush’s lack of experience,” she said. “He can’t pronounce countries or their leaders’ names.” Actually, my mother and father thought Bush lacked the intelligence necessary for the task.

After 9/11 when Americans were thirsty for revenge, both of my parents were dismayed that the president continued to build a case against Iraq. My mother had just read Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the Unites States, a book she recommends to all who want to be knowledgeable about the roots of terrorism. It’s her hope that Americans will engage in the reality of our tyrannical foreign policy. “Our image was damaged before the presidency of George Bush,” she says. “But he’s accomplished its destruction.”

When people say they like Bush because he’s tough, Mother lets them know that toughness and a disregard for truth are a dangerous combination. She tells them this war has created more and more young men and women who are eager to volunteer for suicide missions against Westerners.

Both of my parents are appalled by the corruption of this administration and that so many Americans continue to support a president who has no regard for our Constitution.

- Advertisement -
When my nephew was killed in Iraq on August 6, 2005, my parents agreed to be interviewed by local television anchors and newspapers. They declared: “George Bush killed our grandson.” They never wanted their grief to be so public, but they needed to make a statement. They hoped to prevent others from hearing the unthinkable—the words that changed their lives forever. Tragically, more than 300 troops have died since Marine Lance Cpl. Chase Comley was killed. I worry about my mother. Anguished over the senseless loss of her grandson and the continued deaths not only of our troops but of Iraqi citizens, my mother’s face is etched with grief.

My mother believes that if Bush hadn’t been handed the election by the Supreme Court and, instead, Al Gore had taken the oath of office as president, a country having no connection to that Tuesday in September would not be on the brink of civil war and our own society would not be so bitterly divided.

And Chase would be with us, living the life he loved, and joining us at family gatherings. His absence hits my mother in wave after wave of disbelief.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a (more...)
 

Missy Beattie Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Now, Paula Zahn

Ann Coulter and Fred Phelps Announce Engagement

Dead Wrong

F the USA

The Friendly Fire of Dick Cheney

Acuna Matata