Coming from a family of farmers, Grandma Evans was always a staunch Republican. Remember she walked five miles to hear Alf Landon, the Republican nominee against FDR, kick off his campaign in 1936. She remained faithful to that party. Her sister, Jim, on the other hand, had five children to feed switched her alliance to the Roosevelt presidency. My mother recalled Jim snapping back to her father, when he questioned that," I have mouths to feed, Papa."
I do find it interesting, that Grandma moved to the city, never lived on a farm the rest of her life. She married Grandpa, his job was in Pittsburgh. The Westinghouse branched to Sharon and he transferred here. Aunt Jim married a farmer, Ralph Slater, over the line in Ohio. She left the traditional party of farmers.
My mom and dad first registered as Republicans. Later along the way, I believe it was Jane Thompson, the head of the Democratic Party in West Middlesex, signed them up for that party and they remained that. Dad worked for different candidates in Mercer County, mostly friends. All politics are local. The state representative helped Dad get jobs after he retired from Sharon Steel.
So I, naturally, at eighteen registered as a Democrat. I shouldn't say naturally because some eighteen year olds rebel. Yet, I loved my parents, respected their beliefs, as well, as mostly held them.
I contend the old Democratic Party did have a good heart. I listen to old John F. Kennedy speeches or read an obituary of a leader in the local party and they hold conservative ideas. The Democratic Party lost me when they refused to let Governor Bob Casey speak at the national convention due to his anti abortion views. I'm not even sure if I had become totally pro-life as I am now, but that just didn't seem right.
My husband came from a family of farmers as well, one generation away. His Grandfather Nickler, a die hard Republican pretended to not like David's brother, Ray, because Ray was born on FDR's birthday. The old bank calenders at the time had a little drawing of every president in the corner of their birth date. Ray, one year, cut out his school picture and pasted it over FDR's, that man in the White House. Adam Nickler never pretended to not like Ray again.
David remarked that when he was in high school, probably for a civics class, they observed the registry of voters in Cameron County. The names fairly jumped back and forth between the two parties, mostly. Then came the Lyon's, almost all of them on the Republican side, with maybe one or two exceptions. This was over forty years ago, I have no idea where that is now.
The parties have changed for sure. Yes, the idea of the rich fat cat running the Republican Party is still there. But I think all the leaders are rich beyond most of us. Farmers were Republican because, they, too, are small business owners and less regulation from the government aids them. Some hold that the two parties are not much different. I have never changed my party, due to in the primaries, I can vote for the most conservative Democrat. Many in this area cross over anyways. This region is highly Democratic. I had home health patients that liked a nurse, except for her name of Reagan. Yet, I could detect an undercurrent of truth. They would like her more, if her name had been Kennedy.
Tomorrow, I'll write on how a liberal gal married a conservative guy.