Skip to main content

Seventy Days and Counting

 Earth date: August 24, 2020

“Old enough to fight, old enough to vote” made a lot of sense to me. It was the chant during the anti-war protests back in the 1960’s and early 70’s. Lyndon Johnson became President after John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 and instead of keeping a promise to bring our military home from Vietnam, he escalated the war in 1964. He increased the number of soldiers sent to fight to a whopping 35,000 every month. He had also promised to lower the voting age from twenty-one to eighteen but that never happened during his time in office. I didn’t like that he had made empty promises to win the election. I learned the difference between a politician and a patriot.  

I suggested to my dad over dinner one evening that maybe he should vote Republican in the 1968 Presidential election. Nixon wanted to end the war, and maybe he would honor Johnson’s broken promise and lower the voting age. It made sense that if you were old enough to die for your country, you should be old enough to vote for that government. Wouldn’t that be the patriotic thing to do? I also mentioned that my older brother was now draftable age. Once my father was able to take a breath again, I was reminded that our family was Democrat and would always be Democrat.   

The Twenty-sixth Amendment did not pass until the end of 1971, and by then my brother was home from the war, but some of my cousins and half of the males who graduated with me in high school had died in Vietnam. It seemed unfair that they had sacrificed for a country that considered them “old enough to fight but not old enough to vote,” so I decided right then I would take the right to vote seriously.   

Richard Nixon was the incumbent in 1972 and George McGovern, a Democrat, was running against him. Since this was my first time to vote (I was finally twenty-one), my father firmly reminded me I was a Democrat. I argued Nixon had kept his promises and deserved a second term. Of course, this made Dad angry and Mom begged me to stop. It made everyone uncomfortable that I was the sole Republican (who would openly admit to it) in a family of Democrats. Then, Nixon went and shocked and humiliated us all, but the guilt was his and not mine. I trusted him and was still learning the difference between a politician than a patriot.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dating Challenged

I stink at dating – always have.   I sputter.   I hyperventilate.   I fail miserably every time. I blame a pathetically underdeveloped gene that got little use before I married in my early twenties, then atrophied, gathering dust and rust, until I became single again in my fifties.   I decided to use this defect to my advantage when I needed to do some investigative reporting a few years back.   While on a newspaper writing assignment on Boomer-aged dating, I sacrificed my dignity and my vanity for the sake of the story (and I got several). Thank goodness, HoneyBunch saved me from all this when we married.  (He comes up with the best dates.) I’ve decided I will “show you mine if you show me yours.”   I will swap dating horror stories with you, but you have to promise to play along. The trick here is to tell about your worst date in 25 words or less.   You must keep it clean and you cannot name names. Our little contest will run only this week and before my next blogger posting.   Me

Happy Breastday to Me!

I gave myself a very special birthday present this year – I had surgery. Before you think it was to increase, decrease, or “lift” something, let me tell you it was not cosmetic (though I could probably use a few nips and tucks at my age; the infinite number of creams I buy OTC are not working their promised magic). About four or five months ago, I discovered a hard lump about the size of a large marble in my left armpit.  I had been feeling small pangs of pain in my left chest for several months, but I figured it was just my turn to dance with heart disease.  Everyone in my immediate family is diabetic and suffers from strokes or heart attacks, so I thought – here we go; my turn. I was going to tell my internist about the pangs during my next visit, so imagine my surprise when I discovered the lump. The Drama Queen in me immediately manifested herself – cancer, I thought.  I have cancer. I searched some more and found that the texture on the left side of my left breast felt diffe

Twelve Female Hero Authors Who Influenced Me to be an Author

In honor of Women’s History Month, I decided to share twelve female authors who changed my life forever and who influenced me to try my hand at writing. Some are not widely popular so you might want to try them out. 1.    Charlotte Bront é – English – Her plotting and characters - Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester – are immortal.  2.    Louisa May Alcott – American – I loved how she created a family of Little Women that reminded me of my sisters.  3.    Jane Austen – English – Another author who knew how to build immortal characters. Two words:  Mr. Darcy. Two more words:  hubba hubba. 4.    Emily Dickinson – American - What a poet! Her innovation was pooh-poohed at first, but now we owe her for breaking all those punctuation barriers. 5.    Beverly Cleary – American – She created a little girl in Ramona that reminded me of me when I was a little girl.  I wish I had met Ms. Cleary’s books sooner instead of when I was in my 30’s. 6.    Judy Blume – American - He