a political background, kinda


Many of you have read the post and re-post on my father, but if not, consider starting there for a better understanding.



Up until this point in my life, I’ve felt that I’ve only danced around politics; meaning that I’ve voted in every election, and that I’ve kept one eye on the news and the other eye on my candidate’s and my party’s platform. That’s it. But that’s not how I was raised—being political meant being involved, politics was hands on. My father was a Federal employee, a manpower specialist for the Department of Labor, a bleeding-heart, a do-gooder. One of his many passions was public service, and working within the provisions of the 1939 Hatch Act, won several local government seats during the late 50’s, early 60’s (the Hatch Act in essence prohibits certain federal employees from running for office and did apply to my father’s position). This was the era of “koffee klatches,” when my parent’s seldom used living room opened up to the local movers and shakers, to the hoi polloi, to those who took the business of election seriously. My mother ALWAYS worked the polls. This was the era of Kennedy-kool, when Democrat was not a dirty word, when hope existed, when a rich family was not scary, when we excused their indiscretions because of politeness and beauty, when there were far, far less talking heads and no tweets. My parents were Kennedy groupies—they played Kennedy inspired touch football with their friends every Sunday after church, for cryin’ out loud—go Democracy!

But nostalgia is not my point nor is my current political activity or non-activity. I have one of my father’s campaign brochures (in MD—will find and scan) in which there is a photo of me pouring my father a cup of coffee at the breakfast table. I have no idea why someone chose to use that particular, staged picture, but I never poured my father a cup of coffee at the breakfast table, or any coffee for that matter, in my life. My father’s breakfast was a belt of scotch on the way out the door to catch the bus. The alcoholic, bleeding heart. I wonder if I could have turned out any other way?


photo credit: getty images


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