|My sister Kerry 1956|
The two pictures were framed together and displayed on my grandma's dresser. It became a long-standing family joke—and the bedrock of our political game we’d play together every presidential election.
Growing up in a bipartisan home was normal to me. Political discussions were lively, but never mean. My Republican dad baited my Democrat mom, but he listened to her views on everything from welfare to women’s rights.
Having a college professor grandpa on one side and a highly successful junior high-educated grandpa on the other just meant that I had a full spectrum of ideas.
Presidential elections brought increased volume during dinner discussions. It was no different when I’d visit my grandparents during the summer. I sat with them as they listened to the national convention speeches.
Political passion meant getting involved—and that’s exactly what my family did—just on opposite sides. As each election got closer, I knew that I’d win either way, because in my heart I knew my family would support their nation no matter who won.
The benefit of growing up bipartisan was I learned how to live in both camps. My parents didn’t try to sway me—instead they said I couldn’t wear a candidate’s button or wave a sign unless I understood the policies behind the candidate. I could choose sides, but being an honorable citizen came first…during and after the election.
They say politics isn’t nice. That’s never been more true. And as government debt has increased so has the divisiveness among us. Yes, our problems are monumental, but so are our human resources. Our nation has always relied on its people, and for many, we also rely on God. There will always be things in which we disagree, but we need to agree on the things that truly matter—like our freedom.
Sometimes I really miss the good-natured family jokes and political debates I used to have. With just twenty weeks until the election maybe we can forget what side we’re on and remain united no matter who wins. If we don’t, we stand to lose far more than this election.