Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It Worked In Blazing Saddles

We sat down for dinner on Sunday night at my parent's favorite steak house. I don't get to see my parents as often as I would like (and will be seeing a lot less of them come next month), so we take dinner as serious catch-up time, not just for me to tell them about my life at school and work, but also to hear what they've been up to. Mom had the most interesting announcement of the night, by far.

Quick back story: My sister and I come from an interesting mix of cultures, ideals and religions. Our father's parents were Jewish (though he is an agnostic) and tends to be a somewhat "conservative" Democrat. Our mother is a Roman Catholic who tends to always find an excuse to vote Republican (although we're convinced she's a single issue voter, being pro-life, but seemingly democratic about all her other philosophies). She had been telling me only a couple weeks ago about how much respect she has for John McCain and that she rather likes Sarah Palin, although she could not name a single policy of theirs she agreed with other than "life begins at conception".

But mom had come to an interesting decision in the past couple days.

"I don't want any pressure from you guys, but... I don't think I'm going to be voting for Mr. McCain this year."

My first assumption was that this meant she would not be voting at all, but I was corrected for the most part.

"I just don't feel 100% comfortable with voting for Obama, either. But I think I will."

I looked at Dad, who looked at me, neither of us said a word at first. But there was obvious excitement and a big "I TOLD YOU SO" lingering in the pit of my stomach. I saved it though, and calmly replied, "Well, you know Jessica and I are both involved with the Obama Campaign. If you have any questions, one of us should be able to answer them."

And we left it at that.

I'm sure that my mother would rather talk to Jessica (my older sister) than me about politics because she and I disagree on the things I find fundamentally important. With my biggest issues being in Secularism and Education, my mom seems to think that both of those things have adequate standing in our current administration. She thinks America is a secular country that attacks Christians for their beliefs. This is clearly delusional and comes from watching "No Spin Zone". Mom seems to think there's an attack on Christmas and that American citizens hate believers. I'm not sure where she got this idea from, but she doesn't seem to want to waver on it; she prefers that Christians play the victim card in our society.

I have a lot of problems with my mother's views on our domestic policies. I feel like my mom can regurgitate information in a way that could make her a great teacher, but she doesn't think about the information in a critical sense. She doesn't value good information; rather she takes in the information and filters out what's important to her based on her "feelings". This is frustrating to me, and we often quarrel because of it (I'll do a big post on this sometime soon).

I'm proud of my mother. She's no longer a straight-ticket voter. She's no longer a single-issue voter. She's thinking about her future and mine as American citizens. I think this is a great step forward.

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