Friday, February 15, 2008

Growing Up Right-wing

I grew up in a GOP household, but not right-wing. My parents were Eisenhower and Taft Republicans; they were moderate men who worked for the common good. I can't imagine growing up in these days in a right-wing household. What conversation must be heard at the dinner table each evening? Would the rantings of Rush, Sean, Laura and Ann dominate the conversation; the right-wing spin on with all that is important to know about society, government and politics. Grumble, grumble, damned liberals!

Our children grew up not knowing about right-wing radio or FoxNews. They got their information from PBS, NBC and other network news stations. During our family dinners we talked about people, often the oppressed, and what could be done about their situations in life. Is that 'liberal' talk? Seems to me it is Jesus talk.

When our children were in grade school we sponsored a Laotian family, a Hmong family, who fled their country after the Vietnam War when the Vietcong began to retaliate for these mountain people's efforts in rescuing American pilots shot down over the mountains between Cambodia and Vietnam. Our children became friends with theirs, and we were all enriched by this cross-cultural association. They were dirt poor and the subject of much bigotry from people who called them gooks and other slanderous remarks. Our children knew better; we taught them better.

Our children learned to accept all different kinds of people, especially the downcast and marginal. Today they are healthy adults who are very mindful of the variety of folks who call America their own. Liberals? If the word means all-encompassing in thinking, then yes, liberals. My wife and I are very proud of them and, as they raise their own children, we see them instilling love for others in their parenting skills too.

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