Words of Wisdom From my Grandmother

My grandmother is now 76 years old. She came to this country in 1967, at age 35, with her two daughters, 6 and 14. Sometimes, for dinner, she had an onion…for all three of them. Life was hard. She couldn’t drive, she’d had only a third grade education, and she didn’t know the language. She worked menial labor her entire life so that her two daughters could go to college. And they did. Not one of them ever took so much as a penny from the government; my grandmother considered it dishonorable to be in “debt”.

Now, my grandmother doesn’t vote in every election. She has Alzheimer’s, and much of the time, she can no longer tell if she’s speaking Spanish or English. But this election, my grandmother is going to vote. And she’s going to vote for John McCain.

Why? Well, becasue John McCain is old. He doesn’t need power, he doesn’t need control, and he doesn’t need to get rich. Whatever he does, my grandmother says, he will do trying to do what’s best for the country. Even if you don’t agree, he will actually try.

Furthermore, Obama offends her. She had no boots, and hence, no bootstraps. She managed to pull herself up anyway, contrary to Obama’s now famous response to

“You’re on your own – pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”

“Well, what if they have no boots?”

My grandmother doesn’t understand why people want the government to help them. In fact, she fears the government. She remembers Fidel Castro, and worries about her family under Hugo Chavez. She is so petrified that Obama will be the next Fidel that she has decide to vote this year.

And she’s voting for the nice, old guy with nothing to lose for doing what he thinks is best for the people.

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4 Responses to Words of Wisdom From my Grandmother

  1. Peter says:

    So because your grandmother was capable of working her way up the social ladder, NOBODY deserves any help when they CAN’T? Not everyone is capable of things like that, and nobody with a regard for human life can say that they deserve only what they can scrape together.

  2. Selfishcynic says:

    Peter if you had nothing, and couldn’t find a way to improve your own life on your own then you wouldn’t deserve help. The same goes for anyone like that, including me. If I got into that kind of situation and didn’t work to improve my life without help then I wouldn’t deserve a better life. There are three was that a situation like hers can be handled. First, there are people out there who can’t do what she did and they don’t offer anything to society; therefore, society shouldn’t offer anything to them. The second possibility is that the person has the potential to become successful and doesn’t bother to make it happen. Why should laziness be rewarded? That would just encourage laziness. Is that what you want? The third kind of response is what we see described in this post, someone who takes the initiative and does whatever is necessary to improve their own life.

  3. Clyde says:

    I’m kind of young (49) to be at the stage of life that I am – my only relatives are younger than me. My grandparents never spoke their politics, but they lived their lives supporting themselves. No government help asked or taken.

    Not enough people like our grandparents anymore … thanks for sharing this story.

  4. Peter says:

    @Selfishcynic: Not being able to get yourself out of debt/poverty does not equate to laziness. And conversely, hard work does not equate to wealth. I’d love for that to be true, but it simply isn’t.

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