05 December 2012

Doped on the GOP

My locker from high school-note all of the Reagan items
I grew up such a political junkie.One of my favorite television programs was the McLaughlin Group-a political analyst’s panel on PBS.Yes, this was during high school and college. River City elections were being held in 1987, with the primary in May-the month of my graduation.I sent a letter to the candidate I thought most worthy to become mayor, an attorney, and asked if I could help on his campaign.He invited me to his office to talk with me and I think I impressed his socks off.I worked for his campaign-though brief since he lost in the primary-but that was my first taste of campaigning.

I started following politics with a terrific zeal, some would say “obsession”, during my Bethel years.  The interest was intensified as I started listening to Rush Limbaugh by about my Junior year.  I soon became a Rush-addict and wondered how anyone with half a brain could possibly not see eye-to-eye with my sold-out, die-hard Republican identity.  I thought Rush embodied the clearest possible thinking for what was wrong with our country and found myself taking what he said as gospel.

What does the obsessed do?  I video-taped Republican convention and inauguration speeches by Ronald Reagan.  I attended the start-up of the young Republicans’ club in Republicania County.  I helped with John Hiler’s congressional campaigns, stood outside in the frenzied crowd when George H. Bush came to Notre Dame to speak, watched election results with great anticipation, and when Bill Clinton was elected President I proudly put a “don’t blame me, I voted Republican” sticker in my car window.  I had perfected GOP-speak and understood party strategy so well, having enwrapped myself in the party, that my future in politics looked very bright.
 
Ha…little did I know!

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