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NOVEMBER 8, 2012 9:34AM

Do You Know Any Republicans?

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We are getting ready for our Tuesday afternoon yoga class. The kids are wound up, more than usual at four in the afternoon. Our school is a polling place, and there are stairways blocked off, signs saying Closed to General Public. 

We are on the third floor, away from the voters, but the excitement and the questions of the day are still swirling around them.

We voted in our classroom today, they tell me.  They call out the numbers. Twenty-four for Obama, two for Romney.  Twenty-five for Obama, none for Mitt Romney. 

We are in a city that is seventy-five percent Democrat. I am not surprised to hear the low numbers for the Republican candidate. They are voting the way their parents are voting. A small first grader with huge dark eyes whispers to me. My dad says that Mitt Romney will take our money and keep the poor people poor. 

I tell them it's time to get started, enough talking about the election, let's do some yoga!

Mrs. H, do you know any Republicans? 

The question suspends all the other activity in the room. The room stops buzzing. They are waiting for an answer. This is a city full of Obama bumper stickers and Obama signs in front of homes.

Of course I know some Republicans.  

I reach for the Tibetan singing bowl. The sound will signal that it is time to start our yoga class.

Do you have any Republican friends? 

I know this is where I could tap the bowl and let the sound signal that class has started. That all talking stops.  I know I can't. The opportunity is right there. Staring at me with blue eyes, blond hair, and bare feet. 

Yes, I do have friends who are Republican.

They look at me. Some of them blink. Eight small children with bare feet are waiting for me to talk about my friendship with a Republican.

One of my best friends is a Republican. 

The irony of that sentence is not lost on me. But it's true. I tell them that my friend has been my friend for over twenty years. Longer than any other friend I've ever had.

I think about my friend. How my daughter calls her "Aunt." How we have a bond of friendship that is deep and caring. How we don't discuss politics. Ever. We are connected. You are more of a Republican than you think, she told me once.  And you are more of a Democrat than you will ever admit.  I know who she votes for. It bothers me. She knows who I vote for. And as much as she really like the man, she cannot get past the liberal issues. She is religious, and the issues go against her beliefs. 

We don't talk politics. Ever.

In the last couple of years our friendship has waned a little. I think it's the natural ebb and flow of friendships, and not because of political differences.

I only tell the kids the important things. That my friend and I are friends for reasons that have nothing to do with who we vote for. That in spite of our differences, we respect and care about each other.

Oh, like when we say, Namaste, at the end of class! 

The blond girl with bare feet takes over the lesson for me.

Like when we say, Namaste to each other. Namaste means 'the light in me honors the light in you.'

Exactly, I tell them.  


I make a mental note to call my friend tomorrow.

I tap the side of the Tibetan singing bowl. 

Even though we've already begun. 







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My childhood friend is ultra conservative. She scorched me pretty good yesterday for making a snarky political comment on FB, but I would never let anything as base as politics keep me from our friendship.
I know many Republicans, though some of them have not felt right about voting Republican for some years. I never want to live in a country where there is only one viable political party. I always want to be able to still talk, and like, people who may have very, very different views from myself. This is what we need in this country, people able to still talk to those who do not share our views.
Great post.

I live in a nice comfy liberal bubble, and nobody on FB or in person says anything to upset my equilibrium. My late husband was a staunch conservative, admirer of Reagan and of *business*, but he was stuck in a time warp...and of course, after a few preliminary rounds, we never discussed politics.

Sometimes I think I should get outta the bubble....but why would I want to talk to someone who is against gays or women's freedom or help for the needy? And in Canada, finding someone anywhere who is against socialized medicine is difficult. Some complainers, sure, but anyone who wants to throw the system out? Forget it.
Namaste, Joanie H. Beautiful post...I can hear the Tibetan singing bowl as you tap it.
I have some wonderful conservative and/or Repub pals, some from when I was 6 yrs old, and one a recent/former student.

And here, all this time, I had thought you were a Republican... ... ... ;)

Joan - thank you for this. I have several wonderful friends who are Republicans (as well as my entire family) and we just look for what we have in common rather than those things that tear us apart. I so hope that we can do that as a country this time around. Because we are all in this together.
I grew up in Republican land, and my friends from then are still all Republican.. some I have let go due to the spill off of what they say is politics and what I say is racism. My country road was full of Romney signs this season. Do I know any Democrats besides my family and my colleagues in Philadelphia? that is my question...
As I believe you know, I live with a Republican. ;-) Sometimes, particularly during the endless election season, the back and forth gets unpleasant, feelings are hurt, and treaties of civility are made and reaffirmed. Mostly, though, we seek common ground, and find it. We also both find ourselves called on to articulate and sharpen vaguely held beliefs that go unchallenged if one only interacts with like-minded folk. I think the world, the country, our communities and THE GOVERNMENT would all work better if people got to know "others" as humans with similar dreams and desire, different only in their ideas about how to reach them.
Lovely. I think I'm going to print it out as a primer for the next few months. As usual, we can take a lesson from the children. And how do I get a Tibetan singing bowl?
My entire family to the last man, with the exception of three of my four children, is Republican. My grandfather was in politics in Chicago pre-Mayor Daley and my cousins all posted pro-Romney stuff on Facebook. My own father sided with Paul Ryan on Facebook! So I can't gloat or celebrate. I shut up. It's all good.
This is touching. A while ago I wanted so much to have the conversations between people who don't agree. But I also have learned over time why people have to not talk about certain things in order to feel close. Namaste.
"The light in me honors the light in you." So much beauty and truth in this. We all hold our shadow sides and our light sides. I love what you taught your students this morning. It is the pathway to eventually working together, despite the differences and maybe even because of the differences. Loved this.
Yes, but at the moment we're not on speaking terms
How sad they seemed to understand Republican as only an unknown, a scary thing.
It was my Republican friend who held my hand at the hospital in Georgia every single day when my mother was dying, the Republican friends who filled the house with cards and food and hugs when my mother died.
My mother, the very liberal Democrat who helped bring Maynard Jackson to the mayor's office in race-divided Atlanta in the 70s.
That same friend in Georgia who held my hand, called me crying yesterday that Obama was going to ruin our country. She called me an idiot for voting for him, I called her a bonehead for voting for the Plastic Man.
We laughed.
God, I miss her.
Just about every person I work with...and damn near every golfing partner I conservative and Republican.

I work at a county golf course in one of the richest and most conservative Republican counties in the country. And almost all of the people I play with are white men of a certain age...who tend to be conservative and Republican.

I love each and every one of them...and would go to the mattresses for any of 'em. But we have a kind of agreement not to discuss politics to any great degree.

It works.

Good thread, Joan.
Nameste. ~ Joan H. Knows DC's Kooks?
The Election Day was a EYESORE To See.
Poor Woman and Poor Men No Buy Pants.

When Barack Obama Won Four Years Ago?
I had been in DC's VAMC For Two Months.
Four Years Ago People in DC Smile Bright.

People Came To Work in New Underpants.
The Undertaker Bury Rich and Poor People.
Poor Folk Often Are Rich In Inner Treasures.

We Still See the FOOL Caesars and Barbarian.
We Best Be True Noble Humans. Honest.
The Rich Folk Often are Not Benefactors.
We see?

Some Give Headaches and Rob Treasury.
They Ruin. They Deceive. They Self-Loath.
An Admirable Human Being Share Money.

Yesterday I was in WV's VAMC. Amazing.
The Populous is Deluded By False Folks.
Billionaire eat Three Meals Each Day.
GI Got The 1,000 Mile Vacant Stare.

Millionaires Go to Same Earth Sod.
Bodies Decompose Like Democrats.
The Dust Under our Beds Be Who?
I wondered..does the population of DC change when there is a republican president ?
splendid!! absolutely splendid post. misted up me eyes considering that my beloved best friend ex husband republican crazy person is dearer to me than nearly anyone ever. he is my friend, my Johnny.

but he is exasperating and mean! when it comes to certain issues, the Red Hook has never left the man.

he can be hateful and racist and he'll needle you too. but the truth is he would lay down his life for all people with NO hesistation, in spite of all the crazy fox-ramped up things he says. all his life he has loved everyone - one of the greatest examples of the term Christian I have ever known. no one can resist him because he is a walking talking contradiction of love, my johnny is.

namaste to you. big hug too.
Thanks for coming by, everyone. I didn't know you were here! Apparently, OS stopped emailing me when I receive a comment!

@trilogy, most of DC votes Democrat, no matter what.
How often we forget that our differences of opinion do not keep us from maintaining peaceful relations. This was brilliantly worded, and says it all. Thank you, Joan.
That was lovely -- of course where I live (Arkansas) the situation is largely reversed, but the message would still fit. I remember going to the school principal when I lived in Oklahoma because my son's teacher had told her class that Republicans were communists. I was extremely upset that she was trying to indoctrinate fourth graders. I was furious that, as a teacher, she would use such illogical hate speech. In my opinion it's part of the problem we now face. Hate speech is used by people of both parties to attack members of the other party. These are our countrymen and women! Not our enemies!! I hope I'm more than just a Republican ... I know my friends who vote Democrat tickets are so much more. Namaste ... I love it!
Here in Massachusetts our last three Democratic Speakers of the House have been convicted of crimes, and not just your ordinary garden-variety bribery. One who I went to law school with was convicted of perjury for lying about his role in a redistricting scheme that reduced minority representation. So much for Dems being the party of minorities.

We currently have three former Democratic state legislators in jail. There are currently no statewide Republican officeholders, none in Congress and not enough in the state legislature to stop D's from doing anything they want.

So as my buddy Lord Acton used to say, power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
I've grown up around and worked with Republicans for most of my life. They're not bad folk just a bit cautious and sometimes scared... they've got their own kind of light. R&R ;-)
I had a father-in-law for 40ty years who threatened to cut off my testicals when I said I was against the Viet Nam War. He was an idiot who never disappointed me for his lack of reason or tolerance.

One of my very best friends, however, comes from one of the most prominent Republican familes in Hawaii. He's extremely wealthy. It make sense for him to be a Republican, though I'm not sure he's entirely comfortable with it given what's happened to the party. It makes rational sense for him given his own interests, but these folks without a pot to piss in are another matter.

A cousin, who I dearly love, regardless, is a devotee of Rush and the demagogues. He has PTSD from Nam and never really overcame it. At least, that is the excuse I give him. I have to admit, I think of it more as a disease than a rational judgement.

I'll still fight for the miserable bastards right to their opinion, knowing full well it is a liberal trait they don't share.
Gaud Have Mercy? My Father's Brother Was Against the Second WW-2. Uncle Bernaed
He'd ` Amen To:`
Ben Sen.` Others`
No Be` Blockheads or`
No Be` Duh-Nun-Com`
Be Bee` Duh-Oy-Poops`
O! Be` de`- OHO-Goof!
Joan H, de-BE`Behave!
No Ale-Irk-Bum`Stink!
Joan H. smell` Sweet.
She Has` sweet`Smell.
Joan H.` sniffs` Faces.
I sniff Joan H. Cheek.
I only met Her Once.
Joan smells Sweets.
I am sure that 75% or greater of my coworkers are Republicans. Those who want to talk politics have learned to not do so in front of me. They may have heard my response to political discussions. "You are not being paid to discuss politics or religion". It has worked out pretty well...and yes I am pretty sure they do it when I am not there.
As for family we have learned to find other things to discuss.
This *&^%$#% OS has eaten my comment. I wrote about the discomfort I felt when I discovered my friends in CA were not just Republicans, but Tea Partians. It has taken me a while, but I now realize they are among those I call single-issue voters. That single issue is economics. I have to say, though, it is very difficult to see them in the same way I saw them before this election cycle. Something has changed, but we are still friends.

I watched the returns with my opposite party neighbors. We had pizza and one side admitted defeat. It was quite simple and I'm sure we will do it again at the next round. There are only problems if one side gets snarky.
Lovely, in an especially tender way.
Well of the two friends I was out with on the 6th, one supported Romney. But he's one of those rare birds who believes in evolution and supports a woman's right to choose. It's certainly better if Dems and Repubs can maintain civil relations but when a large segment of Repubs are vehemently anti-choice, believe that Obama is a foreign born Muslim socialist, believe that creationism is just as plausible as evolution, think that any tax hike cripples the economy, equate with pacifism a cut in military spending so it's only greater than the next 12 biggest spenders in stead of the current 15, and refuse to believe that the planet is warming or that carbon emissions are a significant factor behind it; well, that creates a whole lot of off-topic subjects.
Joan, you are such a magnificent writer.
This is beautiful..
Joan, you are such a magnificent writer.
This is beautiful..
Joan, you are such a magnificent writer.
This is beautiful..
Already said it but wow, this is the essence of pitch perfect writing. Through the mouths of babes you highlighted adult conflicts and gave us a way to gracefully bow to each other. We must all remember to teach our children well. And thank teachers like you who help us do all that and more.
This was fun to read as I sit here at a bar in ultra liberal Santa Monica, waiting to cross the street to see Hitchcock's Dial M For Murder in 3D, no less. This is why I keep checking in to Open Salon, for the occasional chance to read something well written that is enlightening and not full of anger and hate. Something from a different perspective. So I thank you for this nice moment.

'Cause I'm a Republican too. Sort of. Well, at least sometimes.
Thanks to everyone who read and commented on my post. I thought about this a lot after I wrote it. About teaching children kindness and compassion. About raising children to be generous and thoughtful to each other.
I thought about how those are the lessons I wish parents and teachers would teach.
@ Art, thank you for coming back so many times. Did we only meet once? It seems like more... :)
This is a frightening story. How can you talk about people who are hated by great swaths of the country? People who hate back intensely, and can do things to cripple your life - and do those things?

I have to leave politics out of discussions almost completely, especially with people I work with or socialize. One friend, years ago, spoke proudly about how he was voting Republican because George Bush was clearly the best man. The teeth marks in my tongue are still there, especially when it became clear that Bush and his rich buddies had irrevocably cursed the people of this nation and its international reputation. I haven't said anything in the last few years even approaching politics near him, and if lucky I will never let anything else slip out.

I also know a car mechanic, a good honest man, who constantly listens to Rush Limbaugh and his local clones in his shop. The teeth marks grow deeper around him. He is a Vietnam vet who still has bumper stickers ranting against Jane Fonda - as if she was ever relevant, as if she ever mattered to anybody but herself. He sees Jane Fonda and Evil Negroes everywhere. There'd be no way to bring light into his darkened soul that wouldn't require him to suffer enormous pain. Maybe there never is, for politically canalized people.

In the end, all I can do is keep my mouth shut, my tongue stilled, and watch the bloody car wreck as they realize how wrong they are - if they ever do.
@neutron, I can't imagine what frightens you in this story. Are you sure you understood my point?
The only people in my life who are Republicans are my family. Nothing can be done about them, and I can deal. They bloviate and I snap back when I've had enough.

I used to have Republican friends. They all figured out over time that I wasn't on their ideological team and found a way to backstab their way out of my life. I don't get attached to Republicans out in the wild anymore and my life is a lot calmer. I like having friends I can trust. It's a better way to spend my time.

Yes, I get that we're a divided nation, but being friendly to the other side hasn't worked for me. I'm 56 and don't feel like it anymore. And the Republicans lost, so I don't have to.
you know i share your feelings about this topic, joan. mr. forte is an R, even if not a vocal one and certainly not a fox news one, and i have old pals too who don't vote the same ticket i do, so all that felt true and honest as i read this. but what struck me is how well you wrote it, how easily the point of the story flows from the kids' comments and your answers, how not staged it is, how extraordinarily well-paced it is. and that last bit is gorgeous. brava, joanie. and namaste. xo

p.s. sorry it took me so long to get on here, but it wasn't for lack of trying. it has taken since this was posted for me to access OS, get to your page, log in, rate, post a comment. many failures and error screens and timeouts on every.single.step of the way. it takes a piece like this to even get me to keep trying, because i'm pretty close to hating this site.
I'm wondering to you even use your brain to think or do you automatically accept accusatory narratives by the scheming campaigners like David Axelrod's lies? Is a Republican some kind species that doesn't roam near your neck of the woods or something?
Have you ever bothered to question why your President signed 943 executive orders and what was in them for instance like approving a UN initiative called Agenda 21 which is both unconstitutional and would threaten the sovereignty of this nation? If your President was so good then why would he sell out his own people? Before you write an article do some research, connect the dots, do the math, and you will find things are not the way they seem. i know that's real hard for all you liberals because it requires critical thinking. I challenge you to scrutinize your President. Learn the truth.
Very nice, I live in Massachusetts,went to college with the son of the house majority leader ( a felon) and that is where I decided to get educated.
I remember being in sixth grade being very upset that anyone would vote against Jimmy Carter. Dole was mean and Ford was a bumbling fool. Looking back,what a terrible introduction to civics many parents and teachers give young impressionable brains full of mush.
My children just had there vote and Obama won 22-9. I asked them how they voted as I would never tell them how.
Con this state is a mess. It is corrupt to a tragic degree. Warren is a millionaire transplant elitist who will just vote party line. She defeated one of the most liberal republicans on record who was born in raised in the state. Joe Kennedy III beat an ex-marine who started his own successful business. Joe K has been out of school for 2 years.
My whole family is blue and I love them but, there has not been a challenge to their philosphy since their teacher frowned at them when they were about to cast a vote for the fool Gerald Ford in 6th grade civics.
Lovely, as usual. I don't have many Republican friends. That's not on purpose. I just gravitate to the types of people who tend to be Democrats. But I would not have a "friend" who was bigoted. That's the deal breaker for me, whatever the affiliation.

It will never happen. Being a liberal is never having to say you are sorry. Do you think they ever process a question like "Is there an abortion that you would never support"? Are you comfortable with a baby being aborted because the mom wanted a son?
Do they wonder why only 15 % of black births occurred outside of marriage in 1960 before the "Great Society"and now it is inverted? Naw that is a coinicidence.
No, they talk about the Senator in the Red State and have another chardonnay while they submerge in the tub wishing they had turned up NPR just a little louder before they submerged.
Most of the bigots I know are Democrats. I live in Boston considered the most racist city in America by many, find a Republican anywhere.
For Doc Vega:

You make me feel so young,
You make me feel like spring has been sprung,
bells have been rung,
and a wonderful thing has beeeeeeeeeen doooooooooon!
Namaste. Short, simple, sweet. A perfect example that such an indisputable truth need not be expressed in a way that is superfluous or overly articulated. I love stories where we are revealed through children. They see so much for which they are not credited. Thank you for sharing. :)
For Jay Richter:

I don't want your sour pickle I just want to ride your motorcycle.

I luv baby, never change.

Sometimes, when they're asking for it, you gotta let 'em have it or its cruel.
Joanie, I daresay this is one of your best posts ever. R.
I struggle with this problem too, since my only sister is a Republican. She is not one of the religious anti-gay, anti-woman types, thank goodness, but I still have trouble with what I regard as her selfishness toward the poor, and anyone else the Republican party scorns. She says she is a fiscal Republican, but to me that only means that she is willing to accept the immoral beliefs of the Republican party in order to line her own pocket. I'm still looking for a way to find peace with this issue, since it comes down to a question of morality and character, in my mind.
I hope we can all get to namaste...

...and no mas Tea Party.

Kids provide some of the best writable moments, don't they?


You used to visit me all the time before you became one of the stars. I hope you haven't become a Namaste Nazi. There's far too many of them, and it's no fun after awhile. Trust me. I been there.
I love this message of peace and how there's so much more to life and friendship than politics. Just brilliantly presented and put. Those kids are lucky to have such a wise teacher!
You may know more Republicans than you think you do. If you live in the kind of town where I do, you dare not reveal your true colors: everyone simply assumes that you are a Democrat -- and a liberal one at that -- and it's much easier to just keep your mouth shut. My husband and I were at a neighborhood get-together last week and someone ventured to say "We're the only Republicans up here on _____ (location censored to protect the innocent)." But it turned out that all five couples there admitted to being of conservative persuasion on everything except social issues. You just never know . . .
a long time ago, just to annoy my father-in-law I told him I had republican friends and he didn't speak to me for years ...

i will join your students here on the web : ) cheers!
I love kids. And yoga.
I have many Republican friends, and I can certainly understand long relationships being maintained despite differences. I have friendships with some people that I've known since before we knew anything about politics. Since before we knew what we were.

But still, I have to say, for me, anyone with whom I "can't" talk about politics, or anything, for that matter, the relationship is per se less close because of it. In my view, this is almost tautological. It is arguably true by definition. Politics concerns our deepest values and the things we think are most important in the world. One's politics can't but speak to the kind of person one is. And so, while not all Republicans are through and through horrible people, and many of them have many admirable qualities, I find it impossible to ignore the elephant in the room, and moreover, the feeling of trying to ignore it, makes me feel horrible.

As I say, I tolerate some of these relationships out of the desire to preserve what's good about them, but my instinct is often urging that I'd rather force the issue, and insist that we be free to talk about those things about which we disagree, and that if doing so resulted in the end of the relationship, then it wasn't worth maintaining anyway. It's a source of constant internal dissonance for me.

Thanks for the post; food for thought.
Hey Joanie, my own half-brother is a Republican who voted for McCain in '08. We had been estranged for something like 15 years and were raised separately for the most part so I was shocked to learn of his religiosity and right-leaning politics. I had a student the other day, a wealthy Japanese businessman who said he had no political party affiliation and asked me why I was a Democrat. While answering, I realized that my party loyalty is much like religion in a way. It's just as deeply ingrained and I can't imagine being anything else.
Slow to read and comment, but no less appreciative that you show that compassion and awareness can lead us to many places. Namaste.
Democrat is all I know.
My very best childhood friend is now not only a Republican but one of those way-out-there-on-the-Right types. We went to the same Catholic schools together for 11 years and our parents were friends. We fell out of touch for quite a while until I looked him up on Facebook and was shocked at some of his posts; I eventually had to "unfriend" him. I live in China now and I swear I understand Chinese people better than Republicans. If/when I ever move back home I can't envision having Republican friends. It seems they simply don't live one the same planet I do.
I am feeling sad, knowing this may be my last post on Open Salon. I am holding out for a small miracle, but realize this might be it.
Thanks everyone.

I actually have been to Stockbridge and have been in the building that was "Alice's Restaurant"back in Arlo's days. I am one of those kookie Republicans that have been a "Big Brother" raised and worked for numerous charities and believe in giving back to the community. I am just convinced that taking from one without his consent is amoral. I also believe that those that are given things without truly appreciating the reality that others contributed to that which the "got" has been done an incredible disservice by socierty.
I think we see those results daily some think it is compassionate to ignore these tragic results.
Joan H. Your comment about we met more than Once?
Maybe we dream. I saw You @ Salon. You Get Good EP.
I tried to do a comment @ Other Salon @ Margaret F.'s.
Now - No Begin Romance Rumors. I still a Gizmo Idiot.
I can't Figure Digital Contraptions. I learn like a Turtle.
I Slow. Computer Do Collapse Too-I use 3X5 Card`Gin.
I might Trade my Pu For a Donkey-I Use To Buck Pony.
I Bought my Daughter a Shetland-I Sad at Her Plights.
She was Brilliant and Shining Face-Till a boy Woo Her.
Joan H. Your comment about we met more than Once?
Maybe we dream. I saw You @ Salon. You Get Good EP.
I tried to do a comment @ Other Salon @ Margaret F.'s.
Now - No Begin Romance Rumors. I still a Gizmo Idiot.
I can't Figure Digital Contraptions. I learn like a Turtle.
I Slow. Computer Do Collapse Too-I use 3X5 Card`Gin.
I might Trade my Pu For a Donkey-I Use To Buck Pony.
I Bought my Daughter a Shetland-I Sad at Her Plights.
She was Brilliant and Shining Face-Till a boy Woo Her.
Gaud this Open Salon is Slow as a Canadian Porcupine.
Most people who identify themselves either Republican or Democrat tend to associate with people of their own political views. Same is true with most religious and ethic groups. Maybe it is true birds of a feather flock together. The challenge is to reach out to others that do not share our views in a honest way in order to understand and find common ground and move forward. Both political parties have done a pretty good job of keeping everyone apart and as a result elections are decided on a few ideological issues instead of the broader scope of problems facing this country.
Really enjoyed this post. Where I live in Kentucky, the same could happen only the children would be asking if I had any friends who were "Democrats"....I become more liberal the older I get and have many liberal friends. I also have many Republican friends who are caring, compassionate people wanting to make a difference in the world. My friendships are based on character issues and not who someone might cast a vote for. Thank you!
Really enjoyed this post. Where I live in Kentucky, the same could happen only the children would be asking if I had any friends who were "Democrats"....I become more liberal the older I get and have many liberal friends. I also have many Republican friends who are caring, compassionate people wanting to make a difference in the world. My friendships are based on character issues and not who someone might cast a vote for. Thank you!
I am so glad you decided to talk about it with the kids. What a wonderful short story - the last lines are beautiful. Thank you for being their teacher! r.
I am so glad you decided to talk about it with the kids. What a wonderful short story - the last lines are beautiful. Thank you for being their teacher! r.
I am so glad you decided to talk about it with the kids. What a wonderful short story - the last lines are beautiful. Thank you for being their teacher! r.
I am so glad you decided to talk about it with the kids. What a wonderful short story - the last lines are beautiful. Thank you for being their teacher! r.
[r] I was in elementary school when JFK ran and my mother was so enthralled with him. I discovered that the MAJORITY of the class had Republican parents and were filled with Nixon talking points. We were lower middle class members of an upper middle class community which triggered other scenarios of consciousness raising down through the years, believe you me. Anyway, I was in charge of our group for the "big" debate and took it rather seriously. Interviewed my mother more closely on JFK and listened to the news and read the newspaper. We did okay, we debaters, though in the class election JFK lost, but he won the big election.

I had totally forgotten about that experience until reading your moving blog.

I used to feel alienated from Republicans but rarely talked about the issues. Now I feel even more alienated from Democrats even than Republicans especially with the "lesser evil" rationalizations and I talk more about the issues and it causes tension but I hope in a tough love way. So it goes.


best, libby
I haven't been able to get onto my own blog in so long, I didn't see any of these last comments. Thanks so much for reading. I always appreciate it.
It is interesting that I have many republican friends, but until Facebook came along, I didn't realize just HOW republican they were. We had arguments back in the college days, and mostly learned not to talk politics to each other, but now... with the posting and the sharing and all that, it is almost unavoidable!

It's usually a proxy argument. They post some picture with Willy Wonka talking about debt and I post the same picture only now the caption is about caring for fetuses more than children- that kind of thing.

But the most worrisome thing for me is that they seem immune to much of any criticism of thier stances. I'm not exactly willing to bend like a reed myself, but I have backed down/away from certain views I had back in the early 90s!

Last bit- I have noticed that when my republican friends change their mind on something, they always follow the lead of another republican. They'll never admit that Al Gore was right about the climate change, for example, but John Huntsman? He's got some important things to say on the subject.
"My dad says that Mitt Romney will take our money and keep the poor people poor. "

That says it all doesn't it. How can any parent tell kids that young such a simplistic mean spirited description of a person.

I am not a parent but I do have a 7 year old nephew who know nothing of politics and has no such narrow notions of parties or people. But I guess the liberals stat the education early. Your whole class obviously think "repbulicans", a word that cover a large gamit of political ideas, refers to a group of mean people.

And personally I don't care at all about religion in my politics, yet your example of a friend implies its only for religious reasons that anyone DIDNT voe fro Obama.

But no worries. I a sure this education of first graders will be successful from your point of view.

Interesting none asked if you knew any financially responsible politically oriented people. Maybe we should teach first graders the economics. Then maybe they will have some different questions for their parents.
I enjoyed this. It's sad to me that we've gotten so polarized in this nation that people make an effort to only befriend those who have nearly identical political beliefs. I am a registered Republican, but know that I think more like an Independent. Like your friend, the main reason I did not vote for Obama was because there are a few things he supports that I will not due to my religious beliefs. That being said, I did not vote for Romney...I couldn't on good conscience participate in any portion of his sleazy campaign. Before this past election, I expressed that I was not Pro-Obama, but I was definitely Anti-Romney. Anyways, I find that having people who believe an array of different things in my life only enhances it.
Ha! The second I realized that one of my best friends in med school was republican, I exclaimed: "My best friend is soiled...I need a new one." But I completely agree that it hasn't harmed our friendship. In fact, it makes it spicy because he likes to poke fun at my views and ideals and I call him a "redneck" to return the favour.
Fantastic post. I love the part about honoring the light in her regardless of her political convictions. I wish we could all remember that more often.
Nice writing here, Joan!
Isn't everybody a Republican?

I knoe more than I care to admit. my brother, and a gay male friend.


that's what I said.
Friends are a lot more valuable than politicians, the vote is the only place that opinions matters.
I don't talk politics with extrem right-wingers. There is a difference between them and Republicans, in general.