As I mentioned in an earlier post, Dad was a Republican. From him I learned the merits of constancy, compassion, humor, and business savvy. As I also mentioned, I do not believe he would recognize today’s GOP.
What I did not mention was that Dad also taught me to respect all people, and despite living in a highly racist county of Michigan — it was our two community green groceries that served black families. I still remember when he introduced me to the Tims, an older couple that lived next door to our store in Middleville. Mr. Tim came to the store one morning when I was “helping” Dad, and told Dad that Mrs. Tim had just made some cookies and they wondered if I would like some. I eagerly agreed, and Dad approved.
Minutes later I was seated with them at their small kitchen table with my plate of cookies and glass of milk, when a question came to my mind: “Mrs. Tim, were you and Mr. Tim burned when you were kids?” They looked at each other, and then at me. “Why would you ask such a thing?” she replied. “Cause you’re black.” They laughed.
Dad didn’t see color. He saw kindness, hard work, and good manners.
Dad’s GOP can be described by the first paragraph of the GOP platform of 1948:
“To establish and maintain peace, to build a country in which every citizen can earn a good living with the promise of real progress for himself and his family, and to uphold as a beacon light for mankind everywhere, the inspiring American tradition of liberty, opportunity and justice for all—that is the Republican platform.”
So, I decided this morning that the Republican Party has strayed from its original principles, the principles that Dad respected. I am going to do my part to get them back on track. I am turning my back on the Democrats and going Red — as in the good red: heart.
If I could wish one thing, I would wish that everyone in the country that was concerned about the downward spiral of the Republican Party would do the same. Join them, and use our inherent sense of stability, compassion, and community to turn them from the course they’ve taken. Whether yellow, black, brown, or white — if you have a heart that beats for the good in people I invite you to join me.
Let’s take back the GOP, and bring them back into the light of day.