CROSSING PARTY LINES AT HOME

February 1, 2008 | By More

Help! My son is a Democrat!

Now before my Democratic readers get themselves all worked up and start-sending emails espousing the many merits of the Democratic Party, let me share a little background information.

My grandfather Joe Wheeler is a Democrat, and there is not a man on this earth I respect more than my grandfather. He is a man of great faith and integrity. I may disagree with him politically from time to time, but otherwise he is perfect.

One of my dearest friends, Lisa Porter, is a Democrat. I don’t know what I would do without her in my life. She is one of the most selfless people I have ever met. We talk about everything for hours on end, but we never discuss politics.

There are even a few Democrats I would vote for in a heartbeat; Pope County Judge Jim Ed Gibson is one of those. (I would even campaign for Jim Ed if asked.) Some politicians transcend party lines and I believe that Jim Ed is one of those.

Just to be fair, I will admit that I also know a few Republicans that make me want to change my loyalties. Seriously, I have walked away from some conversations thinking, “No wonder people hate Republicans.”

Now with all of that having been said, please allow this traditionally conservative Republican mother to grieve the loss of her youngest child to the Democratic party.

What makes this personally more difficult is that I am already dealing with the very avant-garde views of my oldest child, Adrin. To say that he is anything but a traditionalist would be an understatement. Adrin has pushed the envelope all his life, even as a child. He is very intelligent, caring and hard working, but even youngest son Payton doesn’t want to discuss politics with older brother Adrin.

Let me warn you unless you have lots of time and love to debate, I would not suggest asking Adrin about his political philosophies, ever.

I made the mistake of allowing Adrin to read what I had written — I always try to make sure that what I am sharing does not embarrass my family. This resulted in a long dissertation on my lack of true understanding and knowledge of world issues.

If I remember correctly, he blames this onmy“simplemind”.Nowsomeofyou are probably thinking I should give ‘that boy’ much more than a piece of my mind.I understand, but I know that all “that boy” needs is a few years out in the real world on his own to realize his mamma’s mind is anything but “simple”. Now back to Payton, the Democrat.

I have always known Payton had an open mind. He did not like believing something just because everyone else believed it. He may have inherited a little of that from his parents. I mean, it’s not like his father and I have not been accused of being independent thinkers from time to time.

Payton, however, has made it very clear he will question anything and everything that his father and I believe. This is not all bad, maybe a little infuriating, but certainly not all bad. Most of the time we can find common ground with Payton and he will eventually see the wisdom in our opinions.

This led me to believe that we were making progress in shaping his political views.

Apparently not! Payton, a senior at Russellville High School, came home from school last week and announced that he would be participating in the Presidential Debates they were having at the high school.

I was so proud. I asked when they would be holding this debate. He informed me it would be following the February primaries, when it was clear who would be the final candidates. Off he went to his room.

In a few moments it dawned on me that he had not said on which side he would be debating. About that time, he came out of his room and I asked, with hope in my heart: “Which side are you on?”

“The Democrats …” he exclaimed.

He said other words as well, but as soon as he had said ‘Democrats,’ my mind went other places. Places like, “What have I done wrong? How did this happen? What will people think?”

Finally, I laughed aloud, praying, “God, you have an amazing sense of humor. Won’t this be a fun election year?”

I began to imagine all the dinner conversations at the Bentley house. Between Adrin’s views, Payton’s views, and mine and Donald’s views, it is bound to be explosive.

We do have one more son, Dillon. He is your typical middle child. When all the fireworks start, he looks at all of us as if we have lost our minds and then calmly walks away.

Payton did leave me with one sliver of hope. He came back later and informed me that if Hillary Clinton were the Democratic candidate, he would probably change his mind. Then I shared with him: “If Mitt Romney were the Republican candidate, I would probably change mine as well.”

I guess there is still room for common ground after all.

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Category: Every Day Life

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