American, regardless of party

When we at the Saratoga Sun write columns, it is our opinion or take on a subject, and not the newspaper’s stance. I try to steer clear of topics that deal with politics in general because we are all Americans and, although I might not agree with a certain value of a political party, I know the person from an opposing party believes what they do because they want the best for our country.

So, who am I to say something is right or wrong?

When I lived overseas, no matter what party we come from, Americans stuck together when a person of another nationality started telling us what was wrong with the USA.

As well we should have.

My father was a Republican who didn’t know how to vote for a Democrat. It was not in his DNA. My mother was the opposite, as was my stepfather. I respected them all, but I am most like my stepmother who believed it was the individual you voted for, not the party. I took elections seriously growing up and, at the age of 18, I was a poll watcher.

I worked for two senators and a political analyst Alan Baron that was the premier pundit of his time back in the 1980’s. Jimmy Carter called Alan, his worst political enemy.

Alan was famous for having poker games at his house that had leaders from both parties play and discuss politics in a friendly manner.

Friendly manner?

Those days seem like an eon ago.

I was such a young pup back then, I didn’t realize how lucky I was to be exposed to so many political personalities when they called up asking for Alan’s advice.

A favorite story of mine, is when a very rude political figure called up and wanted some information immediately. I can’t remember why I couldn’t give it to him at that exact moment, but the man on the other end of the line got incensed when I said I would get back to him.

“Don’t you know who you are talking to?” the person yelled.

He was so obnoxious, I remember his attitude like it was yesterday.

“Yeah,” I replied. “You are the ex-governor of Arkansas. Now I have to go and I will let Alan know you called.”

I hung up.

So yeah, I hung up on the future president of the United States.”

I was never a fan of Ronald Reagan, but my sister was. She was serving in our armed forces at the time and saw first-hand how depleted our military hardware was. Michelle was in the Air Force and told me of the cannibalism of planes to keep at least some planes ready for combat. She felt it was a travesty how we were letting our military go to ruins.

I understood why she voted for Reagan and respected her for it, even if he didn’t get my vote.

Over the years, I have voted for candidates from both parties. As you can guess, I was no fan of Clinton and I doubted he had the temperament to be the person I wanted in charge of my county.

If I had my way, I would be registered as an Independent but then I couldn’t vote in the primaries and that isn’t who I am.

I vote.

When I lived in Taiwan, my restaurant was a place that collected ballots for American overseas voters and gave them to the American Trade Office. There is no official recognition of Taiwan as a country, so there is no consulate. The point was I wanted to give every American in the city I lived in a chance to have their vote count.

Ironically, it is pretty easy for me to vote for a Republican in Wyoming because many of the candidates I respect are from this party. I go with the person, 100 percent.

Saying that, I am registered as a Democrat and I will vote as such if I think the candidate from this party is representing my views better than a Republican. Because I tend to side with the underdog, it is natural for me to be a registered Democrat in this state.

Anyone who knows me is going to call me moderate. Not because I am middle of the road but because I believe both parties have something to offer and listened to.

I would adhere to that if I was registered as Republican.

I guess that would make me a moderate Republican, which does seem to be a rare species in this age.

What really bothers me in this election cycle, is how so many in the Republican Party are saying that because I am a registered Democrat, I must be a socialist or a communist.

As someone who has lived in a communist country and saw first-hand what communism is about; it is insulting beyond belief. I found it just as offensive when Hilary Clinton called Republicans that supported Trump “deplorables”.

I may not have liked Trump and will admit to not voting for him, but Hilary was way out of line and, honestly, I felt that was an incredibly arrogant thing to say.

I do believe in quite a few values of the Democratic Party especially when it comes to people being given equal opportunities to make a life here.

I do know what prejudice is like because of skin color and looks by living in Asian countries. More than once, I was told to stay away from Chinese ladies by Chinese men because my race was inferior and they didn’t want a pollution of bloodlines.

I truly hate the attitude “my race is superior to yours” because it feels terrible when you are on the receiving end.

I am for renewable energy because fossil fuels have seen their day, although they will be a part of our lives for years to come. I live in Hanna and am very aware of how important coal was to our culture and growth as a country. I also lived in Beijing and breathed air that was dangerous because of all the coal fired plants around the city.

I was wearing a mask five years ago in Beijing because the air is so bad. Chronic bad air days were so constant with skies constantly gray, it will make a believer of finding better ways to fuel our world. It is a crazy thing to see a blue sky so rarely that, when you do, you go to yourself, “How cool.”

I am sad our country has gotten so divisive, that we have politicians who are supposed to be role models calling voters from the opposing party horrible names.

That goes for either party.

I am a Democrat, but there is nothing communist or radical about me. I want what I believe is best for America and ALL its citizens.

My sister, the woman who voted for Reagan, would take a bullet before voting for the current president. She hates his rhetoric in trying to make Americans fight each other.

If he does win, I hope he will tone down the rhetoric on people who oppose his ideas because, at the end of the day, we are all Americans; Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or whatever.

As residents of Carbon County, Wyoming and the U.S.A., we shouldn’t lose sight of that.


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