I'm honestly not a very political person. My father started his own business in 1986. He built the company from the ground up all his own and with the help and drive from my amazing mother. They both came from humble beginnings, both born and raised in small towns in Massachusetts. My mother remembers being very poor and picking blueberries in the field and making pennies to buy her own things. She said she was even made fun of for being poor and wearing old tatty clothes. My father's story isn't as bad, they were more middle class but he always worked really hard for his own money. He was taught the value of money at an early age and has always instilled a work ethic in us and we learned very young that nothing in life is free.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I now work for the very same company my father started when I was just 3 years-old and am proud to say I work in our family-run business. I've learned you can do anything you want in life, or become anyone that you want to be, you only need to have that want and the drive to make it happen. You can move mountains if you believe you can. The hard part is believing. Ok so I am getting off track now.
My father is very political. He is a Republican and is extremely verbal about it, and about politics in general. I admittedly don't care about a lot of it, and I'm not extremely passion it about it, but as I got older I started to align myself more as a Republican once I started to learn more about both parties. I had an open mind about it all, and if there is a Democratic candidate I feel strongly about someday, I will vote for them. I'm more about the candidate than the party, but if you ask, I'll probably tell you I'm a Republican as I come from a family who runs a small business and see how we are raped by taxes and for many other reasons I chose this party.
This recent election I voted for Meg Whitman for the Governor of California. I felt she would best solve the mess were in now, and I liked who she was about. Did I agree with EVERYTHING she was about? Of coarse not. There is no candidate that agree's with everything I agree with, unless that candidate was me, of coarse. :) I didn't feel Jerry Brown really did anything last time, and I wanted to see what a strong woman with a strong background in business could do for us. So yes I voted for her, but unfortunately she did not win. Oh well. It would have been nice, but am I crying and yelling and pounding my fists? No. My life isn't really going to change all that much, except for maybe higher taxes and more freebies for those who don't deserve it, but that's life.
A certain relative of mine who is openly gay posted on his Facebook that any friends of his who voted for a Republican better go ahead and delete him as a friend because they are voting for someone who openly opposes his right to marry his partner. I have always been a big supporter of gay marriage. As issues go, I always tend to be more liberal in my opinions. I voted against Prop 8 and was passionate about it. I have two sisters who are gay, and numerous friends, family members, etc. I think everyone should have equal rights and it upsets me that this day and age, people are not treated equally. Every chance I get I will always vote in support of gay marriage, and always fight for equal rights. I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion and its the difference of opinion that truly makes the world go round.
I definitely don't expect my friends and family members to think, believe and even vote the way I feel they should. I respect each individual's right to their own opinion, and freedom of speech. I love my friends and family for who they are and their own unique belief systems. I couldn't imagine living in a world with people that think all the same. How would the world go round?
So this relative posted again today on Facebook that his lazy Republican friends and family didn't delete him as a friend and he would do the dirty work and burn bridges as he put it. He promptly told me, Andy and other friends and relatives that he was removing us as "friends" because our political beliefs differed.
I was shocked. How could someone who grew up different then those around him openly criticize and cut-ties with those who believed differently then he? I emailed him immediately and told him how hurt I was and that I have always been a big supporter of equal rights and his right to marry. He said he couldn't be friends with anyone who supported a candidate who openly opposed his right to marry his partner. In this dire economy we're in - you really think I should just automatically vote for whichever candidate supports gay marriage without looking at the real issue's at hand? People don't have jobs, they are losing their homes on a daily basis - I make a decent living and am barely scraping by at times. But I should only be thinking about your right to marry?? I think you forgot the world doesn't revolve around you. While I want him to have the right to marry whomever he wants, I think its important to vote for the candidate I think will best help us get out of this mess. I want a roof over my head and to be able to provide for my son.
This is a relative who we invited out for Christmas last year (with his partner). We showered them with love, presents, family, and involved them in our Christmas traditions. Even though I had only met him once when I was 8, we welcomed them in our hearts bought gifts for each of them and made them feel like they were a part of our immediate family. My parents are extremely loving and open and are happy to invite anyone and everyone into their home. And after all this, this specific relative has decided to "burn bridges" with my family because their belief system doesn't match theirs. He also said he didn't know my parents political affiliation before coming out for Christmas. If he's THAT passionate about it, I'm surprised he didn't or wouldn't ask before he came out. Or before he goes to a friends for dinner or meets you for a drink. In fact, when people add him as a friend on Facebook, he should probably check out their party status before adding. Because, ummm, God forbid a friend of yours doesn't think EXACTLY like you.
For someone who has been different their whole life, it sickens me that they could be so narrow-minded and hurtful. On top of that, after I emailed him (while I was crying because I took it very personally which I shouldn't have because obviously he is a crazy person), this relative had the audacity to post on Facebook that one angry relative just responded about much they support gays and the email was full of "grammatical errors" but openly votes for a Prop 8 supporter. I didn't know Meg's stance on Prop 8, and while it is an important issue, I don't think its the MOST important issue right now. I'd rather see a roof over some people's heads than the legalization of gay marriage. I couldn't believe that this relative would insult me and make fun of my grammar when I was only defending myself and telling him how much I do support him and who he is. How could someone be so heartless and cruel when I have only had nothing but love support and open arms for them? And then make fun of my grammar to the world on Facebook is so humiliating and hurtful. He kept saying that I didn't support him or who he was because I voted Republican. I really thought this was an intelligent, open minded person that I could talk to about who I was, but I was more than wrong. Obviously.
Its this kind of extremism that causes hate, fighting and war. Extremism will never solve anything on either side. I love all of my friends and family for who they are, what they believe in and I would never not be friends with someone, or cut ties with my family because they didn't believe in what I did.
Who wants to surround themselves with people who think just like them? I choose to be a well-rounded person and surround myself with people who differ from me so I can always make well informed decisions.
I'm glad other family members agreed with me and supported me, even one who I don't know that well called him out on his ignorance and deleted him.
I will always support and love each and every one of my friends and family. I will always support your right to speak your mind and for your freedom of speech. It would have been one thing to tell me how it made him feel, but another to get rid of me as his friend. I'm happy to debate and talk about our differences because I feel like it makes me a better person. I want to be surrounded with diversity.
I wanted to share this with you and get it out of my system so I can move on and continue to be myself and love and support those around me for whoever they vote for, or whoever they are or want to be.