Hey, Democrats, wait for me

Opinion: Columns

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

By Mary Kay O'Grady


I'm not a lifelong Democrat. My parents were Republicans, largely because they were cynical about Chicago politics and steeped in resentment, which the Irish do so well. I began to make my break when I was old enough to vote by writing in Nelson Rockefeller in a Republican primary.

In my first presidential election, it was Dr. Strangelove/Goldwater vs. Lyndon Johnson, who lied his way through the Vietnam War, but at the same time passed the Civil Rights Act. It didn't matter because I was living in Washington D.C, whose residents couldn't vote at that time. Really.

Most of my life I voted for Democrats, but often the choices were so bad I voted Socialist Labor. Remember them? I voted for Ford against Carter because I didn't trust Carter's religious views. I almost voted against McGovern because he ousted Tom Eagleton as his VP, due to Eagleton's mental health issues. Then again, McGovern was running against Nixon, so "no more questions, your honor." I didn't vote for Clinton the second time because I was disgusted with his lying to a grand jury.

About 10 years ago, I gave up the conceit of being an independent and became a Democrat to the point that even though I'm disgusted with Danny Davis, I won't vote for the Republican or Independent because I know we need a reliable liberal vote in Congress.

However, my senior citizen sensibilities were a bit dumbfounded when I saw all the women and minorities speaking at the Democratic Convention. I kept thinking, "Another woman? Didn't we just have a woman speaker? Another Hispanic? How come so many Hispanics?" It made me nervous. I kept wondering whether we could get away with that, if it wasn't going too far. Sure, Lilly Ledbetter and Elizabeth Warren, but a nun? Movie stars? An illegal? Hispanic twins?

It gradually hit me. I'm the one who hasn't kept up. We really have come a long way, Baby. Deval Patrick, Sandra Fluke, Tammy Duckworth, Rahm Emanuel, Lily Ledbetter, Jennifer Granholm, Gabrielle Giffords — what a bunch. I was so proud. What we've said we wanted for this country is actually happening.

And Bill Clinton. I think I'm almost ready to think like the dreaded French — that a leader's private life should be private. My God, what a speech! He laid it out like a new lawn.

Interesting that Hillary Clinton wasn't there. She's busy, but she could have been there. Lots of the pundits think she'll run in 2016, with, uh, Bill's encouragement.

And furthermore …

Did you notice how many speakers at that convention have been — or were related to — Democrats who were injured or killed in the line of duty?

Also, am I the only one that thinks that Michelle Obama has been a flawless and involved First Lady and has blossomed in the political spotlight? Keep an eye on her political prospects when those girls are in college.

Can you imagine two female Democratic presidents in a row? Can I hang on until I'm 92?

Reader Comments

12 Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 14th, 2012 10:36 PM

Both parents working outside the home has existed since the end of WW2. It increased steadily for the next fifty years, and boomed in the 90's. The dual income families is an economic reality throughout the world - not just in the United States. Has it had a negative impact on society? I don't think so. As far as the boy's education issues, I have my doubts. I worked for one major automotive company from 1966 to 2000 when the shift from women being secretary and clerks to professional level. I saw many young men complaining that women's gain was prejudice and expected that businesses would find out that women were not as smart as men, did not have the skill sets of men, and that women's promotions were a sap to the government. So men ignored the new workplace reality and fell behind. Too many men relied on a "Dad will get me a job at the plant." mentality and let themselves miss great opportunities to learn from female college graduates rather than whining about them.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: September 14th, 2012 9:22 AM

Wow OPRF Dad. That's a pretty strong statement. It's 100% possible to raise children well in a 2-working parent home. You have to work on it and it's good to have a strong support system (and I'll admit I'm a bit spoiled in this area).


Posted: September 14th, 2012 6:42 AM

JBM you are right, and the prevalence of women in the workforce is a big part of the reason that our society has the problems it does today. When two incomes are required to support a family, that means two people are out of the home and not raising kids. Law of unintended consequences strikes again. Now if you want to talk about how our educational system is skewed against young males, or how eliminating males from the workforce is a catastrophic mistake, that is another conversation.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 13th, 2012 10:28 PM

Unfortunately it is apparent that you have been in good health in the last decade of so. If you had spent any time in a hospital you will find that there are as many female doctors there as male doctors. You would also find that most of the technicians are also college grads now and most of them are women. I also suggest you look closely at constructions sites. There are many women in a profession that had no women 20 years ago. You will see the women in hardhats but they generally not slinging a hammer. The are civil engineers, architects, etc. Hey, I am pro-male but also a realist.


Posted: September 13th, 2012 7:07 PM

Yes, women "dwarf men" regarding the degrees from college. Unfortunately, most of those degrees today are obtained through desperation. They get the BA (Sociology, Ed, or Art/Music History?) and then, shock, can't find a job!?! Therefore, hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to grad school they go and, gulp, that JD or MA leads to...nothing! Well, not "nothing," - they have a lot of debt! FWIW, the gender gap begins in kdg. So does the racial gap. Too many are going to college today. It is NOT for everyone!


Posted: September 13th, 2012 6:38 PM

Yeah - JBM - right on the mark! College, universities, the incubators of "dumb" - the new normal!

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 13th, 2012 5:16 PM

Mary, you are on the mark but we might have put too much emphasis on women as politicians. Your critics need to take a look at women's percentage of college and doctorates. They dwarf men who have chosen to sit back, criticize, and plan for the coming years when things return to normal. That is; until everything is the early 60's again.


Posted: September 13th, 2012 4:28 PM

Mary Kay - Your comments wreak of naivete. Your Republican parents had righteous foresight. You should be steeped in resentment at this point. Are you proud of your local, city & state of Il Democratic politicians? You mention Lyndon Johnson-civil rights act - only to be cancelled out by his "Great Society". You said,"what we said we wanted for this country is actually happening". Really?! You are an example of the results of the dumbing down of America.

NOPE 2012 from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2012 6:16 PM

It was pandering to the highest order...you forgot that Ms Warren is 1/32 Native American alledgedly. Mr Murtagh, I'm not sure how old you are (I'm 55), but I don't recall anytime when the women in my life were hesitant, soft-spoken, or apologetic. This isn't the 1920's. We've all evolved. Mostly, the Dem women, in particlular Granholm, Miluski, Fluke, and Wasserman-Schulz, were shrill, mean-spirited, and borderline incoherent. To the typical Dem male, that's progress.


Posted: September 12th, 2012 5:52 PM

Mary, I have news for you, it's called pandering.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 12th, 2012 5:50 PM

I was amazed with the women's in both conventions but had a particularly enjoyable time when the DemWomen were at the podium. Gone are the days when women seemed hesitant, spoke in low voices, and were almost apologetic the the men in their content. No more - gloves off, smiles on, and no hold barred. Of the DemWomen, the one you missed is Barbara Miluski, Senator from Maryland. She's not as energetic when she first joined Congress in the mid 1970's or as in-your-face when she spoke for the first time at a convention as a U.S. Senator, but she still has tons of conviction and the heart of a lion. Almost all women who entered politics since the 70's have a little bit of Barbara in their veins.

Crisia Merino from Dallas   

Posted: September 12th, 2012 5:05 PM

Wow! One of your paragraph is very racist but it doesn't surprise me , democrats or republicans just use Hispanic for the votes

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2017

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2017 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad