Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Politics, Religion, and Pizza (Part 1)

After a long day, most of the way through an even longer week, I find myself seated with a Venezuelan, a Mid-Westerner, and a deep-southerner. I am the oldest person in the group by 8 years at the close end, and 18 years at the far end. We have a few drinks, talk about the projects we are working on, watch a little Curling on the bar TV (yes, I said "Curling"...cute girls playing shuffleboard on ice...we're in Canada, eh!). And the young Venezuelan begins a passionate rant about Chavez...someone (was that me?) mentions Obama, someone else takes offense at the comparison and.....we're off!

It was interesting for me to hear the Venezuelan's view of America and his views on what governments should do for the people of a free nation. Less interesting to me was a traditional emotional, "bash Bush" for not listening to the all-knowing liberal sage, Teddy Kennedy, some-odd years ago rant by the mid-westerner. Most interesting was the deep southerner trying to stay in the middle while occasionally letting slip a dig on the liberal...oh wait!..wrong moniker...I believe he said he was an "economic conservative with left-leaning political beliefs" or something similarly confusing.

When all the smoke cleared, two scotches later, I realized how much my views were unique to me and the fact that my having children had dramatically impacted my world view. I verbalized that even though my children were, by way of my income level and, according to the mid-westerner, skin color, viewed as coming from "the privileged class," and thereby afforded more opportunity than someone of a "disadvantaged minority" (their labels, not mine), they were still just kids making choices, good and bad, that would wind up being the sum total of their young characters when they left home. My compadres seemed to think "high income=privileged children" without taking them at face value or taking into consideration the cost of raising a family of 7 (yup...none of the young fellas had kids and the most vocal one was not married...)

As this post is getting a bit long...part 2 tomorrow!

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