I was in San Francisco and Silicon Valley yesterday. Today I am in Los Angeles. I wanted to make sure I voted before I got on the road so I hit the polling spot early. I don't remember if I ever talked about my early experiences with politics but this morning Jessica suggested that we take our son Tate with us to the polling location. Since I was in a rush I wasn't able to go with but I think she is going to take him.
I was introduced to politics at a very early age by my "grapes of wrath" great grandparents. They had grown up around Hanford, California. My great grandmother Henrietta Castillo was born in the US but her family had come over from Mexico just a couple of years before she was born. She spent most of her life in the central valley of California and in San Bernardino.
They were very poor and growing up I spent a ton of time with them. Without a doubt they were the people I most identified with in terms of family. They thought Republicans were evil and said as much. They loved FDR. I would sit with them at a very early age and watch the news and especially watch the election returns. Their influence set me on a course that was left of center.
Over the years I have done campaign work for candidates as well as some party organizing work. Most of that work has been with either moderate left of center candidates but occasionally very left wing causes that were focused on the environment which is a big issue to me.
I generally refrain from discussing politics these days as I find myself disgusted by the lack of civility and the lack of a desire by either side of actually doing something meaningful that normal middle of the road Americans want. I find myself torn between my sense of civic responsibility to try to make this a better place for my children and the desire to tune out these annoying politicians. It is sad to me that I have come to this place.
I hope that sometime in the near future somebody sets on a course to set up The Moderate Party. The Moderate Party would be a party that balances personal liberty, financial responsibility, and a concern for the welfare of future generations. I think that there are a large number of us in the Western and Mountain states that fit that description. Unfortunately there aren't many political parties that embrace those values. When someone starts up that party I'd love to help out. Until then I won't hold my breath and I will hope that the vast middle of the American population decides that their personal annoyance with politicians is something that they can overcome and they will place votes to elect people who fit that mold. One can hope...