Saturday, January 24, 2009

Alone

When I married someone in the military, I figured I would be amongst people more conservative than I am. After all, I was a product of a liberal, liberal arts college as well as a geology major from a school in Colorado. I am a hippie in Gap jeans. And I was right, though I had no idea the extent of it. I would open my mouth at parties and if it were about most political issues, people would just drop their jaws and stare at me. Then, they would swing their eyes over to John and look at him as if to say, "You know this about her? And you married her? On purpose?"

I was almost always the only "blue" in a sea of "red." Every once in a while I would meet someone who sympathized with me and we would huddle over our drinks at the Officer's Club and laugh ourselves silly, thrilled to find a kindred spirit.

Then, when I heard we were moving to Maryland, I did a little jig. I was moving to a blue state! Hallelujah! For once, my vote might count.

Tonight at our neighborhood playgroup the talk turned to the inauguration and I said I watched every second of it. And some others said they did too. And I started feeling my hopes rise. Until someone said they would just sit back and watch and hope it wasn't as bad as they think its going to be. And, everyone nodded sympathetically. And I died a little inside.

Again, I was the only one.

Apparently I live in the "reddest" neighborhood in a "red" county of the state.

My sister says I "look like a Republican." And I certainly live a very conservative lifestyle. I mean, I married young, I live in the the 'burbs and drive an SUV and, oh, I don't know.....sometimes I wear pearls? Or something? I'm not an urban hipster, or a commune-dweller type. I am a very traditional person. I just have political views that are democratic. And I recycle like a mofo.

So, now I'm feeling all introspective. Am I somehow attracted to people who think differently than I did? Hell, I married one (though, I must say he is more open-minded than I am.) Has it all been circumstantial? Or am I doing this subconsciously?

14 comments:

Angie said...

Surely there was someone in the room, who just didn't want to say anything. Surely.

Even though I was an absentee voter in a very red state, where the governor was running for VP, MY VOTE COUNTED! Not for president, but I did help get Stevens out of office!!!

I'm actually just hoping that things are as GOOD as we are expecting them to be. Unfortunately, politicians from both parties have a tendency to disappoint.

Katie said...

Oh no. I was THE only one. They all looked at me in horror. Actually, it was more like pity. I wanted to say "Don't worry. I'm praying for you." But I just couldn't bring myself to do it! :)

Grammy Bonnie said...

You have the support of many of your blog readers, relatives, Minnesota friends, and well over half the country. After the next four years more of the red folks will see the benefit of a blue government over the last eight years!

Lost in Space said...

It is your job to educate them! Do it nicely.

If Obama can do (or, more precisely, oversee its doing) 35% of what he states he desires, he'll be a big success.

Jen said...

That's funny...I feel a lot like you do, and I'm one of those conservatives! I am always a little nervous to bring up politics, because I feel very strongly about certain things, and it tends to alienate people who don't agree with me. (I might have done that to YOU once upon a time in Korea, and I'm sorry if I did!). A huge chunk of my friends are libs, for some reason, though. I guess we just like who we like? I certainly have to say that although we probably don't agree on a lot of issues, I like you tremendously for who you are!

Bevo said...

You are NOT ALONE!!! (Although your sister sometimes feels like a blueberry in a huge bowl of tomato soup!)

There are other folks who understand and abide by our Constitution, hate torture, support diplomacy, have ethical principles, have empathy for our fellow humans, want to rebuild our infrastructure for the future, think it is immoral to spend 1.2 billion dollars on cronies as their enormous financial institutions fail, fight for equal rights, appreciate intelligence, want women to have the right to choose...

Thank God you are NOT alone! Obama's approval ratings now are over 70%. He has an overwhelming job to do, and I am so thankful that someone with his brains, foresight, and competence is in charge.

Hook 'Em!

Tracy said...

I truly hope I am pleasantly surprised by him over the next 4 years.

JD said...

48% of the people (nearly 55million folks) in this country voted against Obama...Nearly one in two...My Point: It is very difficult to go anywhere these days and find someone who shares the same political views. Aren't democracies GREAT!

PS Katie I love the way you think

MommyK said...

I'm a moderate conservative, and I seem to make friends with people who are extremely liberal. My best friend and I have an unspoken rule to not discus politics, because we just end up fighting. Sometimes we do, then I call her a communist and she makes cracks about Catholics, and then we're friends again.

However, I may come from a conservative, Republican background, but I'm feeling hopeful about Obama and what the next 4 years will bring. And I think it's incredibly disrespectful to refer to his presidency as a "train wreck" as I heard someone call it, when he hasn't even been Prez for a week.

MaryB said...

Amen, amen, again I say AMEN! Check out the unitled post from April 07 on my blog...only I LIVE IN TEXAS!!!! Being a moderate like myself here makes you a "crazy ass lefty socialist liberal" in their eyes.

I also think it is very intersting that over my military years I have founf that (speaking in sweeping generalities here!)Marine wives tend to be cons/repub, AF wives a bit more moderate but still to the right of center. Navy and Army wives a bigger mix. Most of my navy gal pals are moderate and actually more left leaning than me.

i am purple and proud.

Also, I couldn't "look" more "Republican" if I tried.

Swistle said...

My mom is a Republican, and I have nearly bitten my tongue OFF as she makes her sighing comments.

Anonymous said...

Katie, don't worry, and keep speaking up! Going to a private school, despite living in the hippie land of washington, I meet lots of people who I need to educate. So many times in history or government classes i have completely lost my temper with ignorant, uninformed, young republicans. I think I scared the pants off a little freshman when he said that poor people don't deserve government aid. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK-little susan.

Natalie said...

Many of my friends here are British, Spanish, Danish, etc. You would have loved to sit in on a recent book club. Europeans tend to be much more up front about what they feel. They about reduced the only two people at the mtg, voting Rep, to tears. One British woman started it when she said something like this:

"I question the intelligence and sanity of any person voting Rep. this year. Sure, I don't agree with everything about Obama, but, you can't just vote for one party b/c you feel strongly about one or two things (she was referring to stauch pro-life voters). Obama is, obviously, the best choice and I won't even speak to anyone thinking otherwise about it. You Americans should be ashamed and humilitated by Bush. He was your worst President in history."

All of the Europeans agreed with her and added more slams. All the Americans in the room (AF and Navy wives, and myself - the one Army wife), aside from two women, were voting dem. While we didn't necessarily agree with all they had to say (some of the slams were over the top), it felt good to be in a room like that!

I think I've only met one European who felt differently than the Europeans in the room that night. And, while I am aware that Europeans would rarely, if ever, vote rep if they could vote, they had some very intelligent comments/thoughts on the whole matter. What they say makes so much sense! Throughout the months leading up to the election, I kept my mouth shut. However, I can't tell you how many times I sat in on conversations w/Europeans speaking to Americans about the subject and I was pleasantly suprised when the Europeans would get a stauch Rep to stumble and grapple for something smart to say in reply to certain questions. It was very entertaining.

Anonymous said...

To Mommy K - Bush was the train-wreck!

To Bevo - If you're referring to the Merrill Lynch fiasco - it was 4 billion, not 1.2 billion. Sorry.