The Republican convention last week got me thinking. There were many excellent speeches by young and diverse people, then there were the ones from the old guard. What I took from this was a passing of the torch from the old guard to the new guard. In 2010 there was a huge turnover of old timers and ineffective representatives and senators, that was motivating, but I think 2012 will be more of the same, though I’m hoping for a big turnover in the senate from liberal to conservative.
It got me thinking how I came about to be a conservative, which for one misstep, I’ve been the entire time. When I was young, living in NY, me and my best friend loved to see movies, and we saw a lot of them. We did not have enough money for my folks to just hand out weekly ticket prices, so me and my buddy worked. We both had paper routes, we mowed lawns, raked leaves, and shoveled snow. We didn’t ask for money, we took it upon ourselves to work for our money, which bought movie tickets. We knew at a young age you had to earn, not just receive a handout.
When I was a young teenager I got in lot of trouble with the law, and I remember very clearly my mother telling me, you screwed up and “you will have to pay for what you did”. She wasn’t meaning money wise, she was meaning whatever punishment was coming to me. This was the first real test in accepting responsibility for my actions…and boy was I headed for deep water, but I took it, and persevered.
Later in my teen years my sister and I wanted to wear the nice Polo shirts and Levi 501 jeans…but they cost a bit of money. My dad said he was our father, that he would buy our cloths as long as they were JC Penny Plain Pocket jeans, or Fox shirts. Here’s the hook, he siad we could get the Polo and Levi’s, but we had to pay for half the cost…that meant we had to go to work to have the nicer things. Similar to the movie story, we had to work for the non essentials, they weren’t going to be handed to us.
The fun biggie was when I graduated from high school. I didn’t have a desire to go to college at the time (I wasn’t a good student), so I wanted to go to work for the same company where my dad worked. But did I just get handed a job, no, he set it up where I would have to go through the interview process, there was no guarantee of my getting the job, if I had blown the interview it would have been no dice. Well, I got the job, and one of the first things my dad told me was this, “you are making enough money now to live on your own, starting now you will pay $50.00 a month rent, which will pay for your food. Your rent will increase $50.00 a month every year until you move out”. Right out of the gate my dad was making learn the responsibility of paying bills, because in addition to the rent, I also started a car payment at the same time.
No, my parents started teaching me the basics of responsiblity at an early age, which I thank them. Anyway, that is my story of becoming a conservative, I didn’t know it at the time, but it was being instilled in me at a young age.
After I got bored working in the factory, I joined the U.S. Marine Corps, and that was icing on the cake of my youthful lessons.
I have said for years that democrats/liberals don’t belive in taking responsiblity, blame someone else for your shortcomings or problems, it is very evident in their basic policy attitudes. At the same time I’ve always said I thought republicans/conservatives were more apt to take responsiblity. This was very evident to me while listening to the motivating, take action and responsibility speeches from some of the bright young conservative stars out there. I was very motivated to see the younger guard taking a big, much-needed step forward. Clearly there are exceptions in both parties, but the rule of thumb stands.
One thing I can say for sure, I have started teaching my kids responsibility, respect, and individualism at their young ages. Sure, a lot of it will need to be repeated over and over and over again…but it will eventually sink in, and when they are grown I hope they can look back at the same kind of moments I have.