Shedding tears of relief after midterm elections
© by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Thursday, November 13, 2014


So, say I’m participating in a political debate today, and someone asks me “when is the last time you cried?” People who’ve lived with me would say this question is meaningless for someone who tears up watching Hallmark commercials, but never-minding that, I’d have to say it was while reading David Shribman’s column in this paper last Saturday, about “The fall of the wall”, followed by two more articles about liberated East Germans.

If you didn’t live through the Cold War, you can’t imagine how if felt: after a childhood and youth spent fearing communists, waiting for nuclear destruction -- to see the Berlin Wall destroyed, showing the world that communism doesn’t work, that freedom will survive.

I didn’t have a lot of time to dwell on it in November 1989, as Citizens for Limited Taxation was busy finishing up a petition drive to repeal that summer’s Dukakis tax hike, so maybe my tears are a delayed reaction. Or, maybe they reflect the relief so many of us feel right now, that the freedom which has been threatened again by liberals running our government has been renewed by mid-term elections.

It seems clear to me what happened last week; I’d been expecting it as inevitable. Republicans and other conservatives remained opposed to the president’s plan to “transform” America. Liberals were disheartened because he hadn’t done enough to “spread the wealth around” as he’d promised, not to mention ending war and controlling climate. Moderates who just wanted to prove they aren’t racist learned that this is a dumb reason to elect a president with no useful experience in the real world. Young idealists were disillusioned. “Takers” who didn’t get free cellphones in the weeks before the election had no reason to show up.

It’s been interesting watching the Obama supporters in denial. They argue that the election wasn’t real because 2/3 of voters didn’t vote (see disheartened/disillusioned/unbribed above), as if an election has a quorum that if unattained makes the decision invalid. They struggle to understand why more women didn’t buy the worn-out “war on women” rhetoric this time.

I watch the Sunday morning talking heads every week, and was amazed to see ABC’s George Stephanopoulos begin his show with the release of two more foolish Americans from North Korea, where they’d discovered that communist states are no fun to visit. Look, folks, Obama got some prisoners released, and by the way, Republicans took the Senate.

My son was nice enough to congratulate me on getting the governor I’ve been wanting but expressed his concern in a text he says I may reproduce here: “You can understand why, as a person concerned about our effect on climate, appointment of deniers such as Inhofe and Murkowski to chairmanships makes me opposed to Republican leadership. Exactly the wrong direction to be heading in”.

I wasn’t nice enough to express my condolences that his senator, Harry Reid, will no longer be Senate Majority Leader, but I did point out that he, unlike his mother, has one Republican senator and a Republican Congressman to lobby about his concerns (as well as a Republican governor).

You may wonder why I haven’t moved out there. Have to admit I was considering it if Martha Coakley had won, if I could convince my partner Chip that Lake Tahoe is just as good as the Atlantic Ocean for sailing his little Catalina 22.

Anyhow, continuing with making this column balanced: my son then responded that he “will be letting our representatives know. But the money is flowing against me, and the environment as well. I will vote for those who are willing to address the issue of climate change, of whatever party”.

As his son pointed out during a family discussion when he was eight years old, “global warming is better than global freezing”, which made me check and sure enough, we were due for another ice age, and now we aren’t. My grandson may have changed his mind now that skiing is his favorite sport, and I can see why last year’s shortage of snow in the Sierra Nevada may be influencing my son’s politics too. I’ll be open to discussion as soon as power-hungry liberal politicians aren’t running the Democrat side of this debate.

I do recall that when I was growing up in the Great Lakes regions, winters were much colder and snowier than they are there now, but, it seems summers were hotter too. This year summer seems to be lasting forever – my Mother’s Day plant is still blooming under the golden maple tree. I’m lucky to have such a wonderful son, regardless of political differences.

However: he just sent me a column by Mark Sappenfield in the Christian Science Monitor that validates my earlier point about those who can’t comprehend the election results. Sappenfield writes “today’s older voters are more conservative than those in the generation before it. The New Deal Democrats who grew up during the Depression and were part of the "Greatest Generation" are gradually being replaced by the Silent Generation, who trend more conservative”.

Whoa there! I and my friends are not and never have been silent. In fact, the “Silent Generation” briefly replaced the Greatest, then ended when the next generation came of age in the ‘60s singing “We are the crown of creation” with the Jefferson Airplane at the top of our young lungs.

We were the children who ducked under our desks practicing for a nuclear explosion, then celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall. Some of us, for some incomprehensible reason, became liberals; but others like me still sing of freedom and oppose all forms of socialism and therefore, are celebrating now.

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her column appears weekly in the Salem News and other Eagle-Tribune newspapers.

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