My Mom Believes In 45–And I Do Not.

This is really hard to type…as one can imagine. I love my parents. My dad is Democrat, my mom is Republican. I’m Moderate as a result.

Here’s a little background on me: I want fiscal responsibility. I believe that fiscal responsibility includes a living wage for the 90% of us who are the working class. The top 10% and worse, the top 1%, have the world at their finger tips. Contrary to popular belief, providing a living wage is not “robbing” the rich. If the rich cannot afford $15-$20 dollars per hour, as a base salary, then maybe THEY should not be trying to run a business. I have heard the following sentiments too many times: “I’m trying to make a profit, I can’t afford to raise salaries or offer healthcare to my employees. Thank god it’s not legally required”. (Let that sink in.) The second knee-jerk statement that grinds my gears is this gem: “Poor workers shouldn’t complain, they should find a better job! Better yet, go get an education!” Really? Does that genius suggestion fix the problem? Our economic construct asks minimum wage workers to ‘do their jobs’ for scraps and shut the hell up about it–please-for all our sake–just shut up about it. I’ve been a minimum wage earner. I’ve worked without health insurance. I’ve made other people wealthy and comfortable while I rode on a bus back to my 425 square foot apartment. (I hear some Disney employees, as of 2019, can’t even afford that and are sleeping in their cars.) It’s not okay. America CAN do better. We can. And we must. Under 45, however, I believe he, and those with whom he chooses to surround himself, care only about the financial interests of the wealthiest Americans. I think he would like nothing more than to go back to having only rich, white men in total control–over policies, over women and over people of color. I think, in his soul, he feels that an abhorrent system of social and fiscal oppression, greed and racism, is what “makes America great”. It worked then, why can’t it work now? (Okay, let me now step off of this soap box……)

My parents raised us to work hard within this unfair system. We understood we simply needed to get used to it, but also, do our best because “…society expected people of color to fail”. (We’re Hispanic–four generations in and around Austin, TX). My parents also grew up in the 50’s & 60’s when racism was LEGAL and publicly and socially practiced; possibly even cheerfully practiced-(makes my skin crawl to think about it!) And ever since 45 entered, and then sullied, the White House with his garish narcissism…I’ve seen a change in both Mom and Dad. Dad has grown quiet. Sometimes somber. He and my uncles are pensive and only briefly comment on how things are reminiscent of more racist times. Mom, on the other hand, has come alive and has had more to say about politics than I have EVER heard her utter in all of my time on this earth.

Now, my mother has a Master’s degree in education. She was an honored and careered public servant for over 30 years. After retiring, she taught English abroad. She is traveled, charismatic, has above-average intelligence and possesses life skills that rival MacGyver. But during an overdue phone call, she not only praised the current administration, she also advised me to tune into the OAN network so that I could ‘understand the truth about the Corona-virus’. “Uuhhmm….no thanks, Mom”, I respectfully responded. “I’m a part of the science community. I just want testing so that we can all get safely back to work. Testing? We need to test folks. Who has it? Who needs to stay home or seek medical treatment? We need Testing….” I paused, anxiously. I didn’t realize I was also holding my breath. “Hmmm…yes.” she agreed. “But try to get away from that main stream media. They report nothing but lies!” I chuckled nervously and said that everyone should be at least a little wary of what is said on television, period. We agreed with one another and chose to change the subject and then ended our conversation on a higher and more positive note. Whew! I was proud of us for (mostly) sticking to our agreement to refrain from discussing politics.

It is so strange to be at political odds with a parent. She fed me, sheltered me; she grounded me when I did wrong…and now I want to ground her! LOL! But I can’t…more importantly, I wouldn’t. And because she raised me, we have finally chosen to, respectfully, agree to disagree. You see, when Obama was on board, she and I were a little more heated. It was scary. I mean, she unfriended me on Facebook when she saw I was following him! And I was left asking myself, “Did I just lose my facebook-mom to politics? Really??” Thank goodness, in 2020, we’re in a better place–not more mature–she and I are as old as dirt now. Ha! We’re still not friends on Facebook. She did, however, finally add me on Instagram. And, after noticing I supported a move by Speaker Pelosi, instead of blocking me this time, she gave me an earful on Pelosi’s political past.

Progress people! Progress! :))

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