My political life began before I was born. My dad hated Richard Nixon – it’s one of the few things that can still make him mad even now. Nixon had been the counsel for the Committee for Un-American Activities. Dad also had a genuine distaste for Ronald Reagan as well. Reagan – I believe while he was still and actor – had testified before the the same committee, informing on his friends and coworkers in Hollywood. My father said that government does not have the right to pry in people’s minds, and that people who were not loyal to friends did not deserve his support or vote for higher office. This must have been hard for my dad, being a proud memeber of the Republican Party, in less partisan days.
Dad fell in with a bunch of Dixiecrats in 1968. (Dixiecrats were Democrats supporting George Wallace, not Hubert Humphery.) This is where the story picks up for me. Several of the men were serious characters, one carrying a pistol, often brandishing it like a giant steel penis. The one I remember was a man by the name of Fred Culp. Fred was old in 1968, surviving on coffee and toxic cigars. He remembered World War I and the second deforestation of the midwest when this country suddenly had to feed Europe. He seemed to know everybody and had a loud opinion about everything.
Another member of Dad’s entourage was Charles Redwing, a blue collar Everyman who I simply loved. He was one of the few adult men who paid attention to me. Not everyone loved him. Redwing was a Klansman who worshiped George Wallace as a defender of the White Race. Again, a drinker, chain smoker, and opinionated redneck, he later served time in federal prison for setting fire to a black family’s house when they dared to move into a sacred white neighborhood.
My dad’s activities in politics in 1968 (and in 1972, when he ran for Indiana Secretary of State) did not benefit him at all. In fact, it got him in trouble. The Wallace people were destiture and turned to the Klan for money, only to find that they were broke too. (I was sometimes at the meetings.) The FBI thought that the Klan was laundering money through my dad’s business. The IRS hated my dad because when they did a line-item audit (reserved for crimial suspects) for 10 years in a row, his refunds got bigger. I grew up in a household where the phone was tapped, the mail was opened: sometimes we were followed. Dad shrugged it off, but it burned out my mother’s sanity.
While I have been underwhelmed by Mr. Obama, I really can’t support Mr. Romney. My family has had close connections with the LDS church since it’s origins. An uncle, who was hounded by LDS elders to marry an LDS woman and bring the family back into the fold, said that the LDS men he had contact with were “theives in cheap suits”. The LDS members and non-LDS members know where they other group will spend the afterlife.
With the LDS church and it’s anticedents having engaged in sophisticated domestic terrorism against the United States for two centuries in the name of Zion and smug manifest destiny attitudes, I can’t support any LDS member for the highest office in the land.