Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Red Sox and the GOP

On the wall outside my grandmother's bedroom when I was growing up there were two pictures. One was of Ted Williams. The other was of President and Mrs. Eisenhower.

Grandmother would be very pleased with her beloved Red Sox this summer. Sitting in first place with the Yankees seven games back in fourth place, it doesn't get much better than that. But I'm not at all sure that she would be pleased with the Republican Party this summer.

Grandmother and I didn't agree on matters of politics. She once demanded that I remove a political button when we visited her in the early sixties. It was, as near as I can remember, an indication that I was supporting, even though I was not old enough to vote, H. Stuart Hughes, a peace candidate for the Senate in 1962. A Ted Kennedy button would have been only slightly less offensive. The only acceptable candidate would have been the Republican George Cabot Lodge. Years later I learned that my mother had voted for Kennedy in 1960, but had kept that a secret.

Today I am not at all sure how Grandmother would view the Republican Party. As the granddaughter of a Congregational minister and the daughter-in-law of an Episcopal Archdeacon, she would, I think, be very disturbed by the recent actions of some in the GOP - passing the Farm Bill in the House without any money for Food Stamps; threatening a government shutdown unless the Affordable Care Act is defunded; passing state laws that make it harder for people who are poor to vote; and opposing any policy simply because it has the President's support. 

Grandmother wouldn't recognize today's GOP. It is not the party of President Eisenhower who warned us about the military-industrial complex. It is not the party of the first President Bush who understood that providing nutritious food to children saves us money in the long run. It is, sadly, a party that appears to have no interest in governing responsibly, in working to craft solutions to the nation's problems. Perhaps in five or ten years the Grand Old Party will be one grand once again, but I'm not holding my breath.

But we still have the Red Sox.

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