Sunday, September 28, 2008

Turning into My Father

When I was young it used to drive me batty that my dad would spend a good part of Sunday morning watching what I at the time thought was the most boring TV shows ever: the political talk shows a la Meet the Press and Face the Nation. I couldn’t understand why on earth he would care about such things. I also remember the summer when the Watergate hearings were televised. My dad was glued to the TV throughout, right down to staying in the hotel room while my mom took us kids to the beach when we were in Miami Beach on vacation.

In addition, my dad read every book he could get his hands on about Watergate and about the major players in Watergate. He continued his reading with other books about politics and politicians. Every time a politico comes out with a new book, Dad’s down at the library checking it out. He reads while he watches CNN, C-Span and Fox News in the background. Not only does he read, but he writes too. He writes letters to his congressmen, both state and federal. He lets them know exactly what his feelings are about issues and that whether or not he’ll vote for them in the future is dependent on their votes on certain issues near and dear to his heart.

In other words, my dad is a political junkie. He thrives on it. The scary part is that I’m starting to become just like him. Not that we always take the same stand on issues (although we do about three quarters of the time I’d guess), but we both love a good political discussion and both prefer to be as knowledgeable as possible about the issues.

I watch Meet the Press (though it’ll never be as good as when Tim Russert moderated) with some regularity. I find I tune in to the other Sunday morning political shows more and more often than I used to do. I immerse myself in news articles both in hard copy newspapers and magazines and from online resources. I find myself more and more interested in really listening to what the politicians say and then seeing how their votes and their actions align with their words. I spend very, very little time on political forums online, preferring to look for facts rather than emotions, and trying hard to look for substantiation before believing what I read. I tend not to rigidly vote the party line but vote for the person I believe is right on more issues, and particularly on the most important issues. I often vote for someone not of the Republican or Democratic persuasion.

I am my father’s daughter. Thanks Dad!

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