Thursday, November 6, 2008

who are these people and what have they done with my REAL family?

For some reason unknown to even me, I haven't really spoken about the elections with my family. Despite being some seriously traditional, Church-going, Feast-Day-observing, Abortion-hating Catholics, my family tends to vote Dem. My sister is a long-time educator in various capacities over the years in Orange County public schools and she is a fierce opponent of vouchers and No Child Left Behind. My mom is all about helping the less fortunate and I can't remember the last time the Republicans did anything to benefit the poor. And well, my brother is my brother. I couldn't tell you what or who he would vote for because we NEVER talk about politics (to put it into perspective, we can't really talk about college football either since he's a diehard Notre Lame fan).

On election day, my mom called me while at work. "Did you vote today?" she asked me. I replied, "Yes, of course." With hesitiation she asked, "Who did you vote for?" I responded indignantly, "MOM! I can't believe you asked me that! Yes, I voted for Obama!" Not understanding where my attitude came from (yes, I was insulted that my mom, even for a second, assumed I had voted for a Republican for the first time in my life), my mom answered, "Well, I didn't know. You haven't talked to me about it and I thought since you work in DC that maybe you liked Bush." OH. MY. GOD. Not only did my mom think I was backing McCain, she presumed that I supported Bush's presidency! Does she not know who I am?

After calming down, I realized that, despite speaking to my mom nearly every day, I kinda left out the part of my life the past few months where I volunteered for the Obama campaign all those times, especially on Latino night so I could convince my fellow brown peeps to support Obama. I simply didn't tell her because I really didn't think she'd understand what an Obama presidency meant to me.

Later that day, while waiting for the first results to come in, I spoke to my sister about the elections for the first time. She was on her way to drop off her ballot in California. I reminded her to vote for Obama, which was a given. But then I realized that there was one big political question that was not a given with my sister--Prop 8 (which would ban same sex marriage). So I asked her, "You're voting No on Prop 8, right?" Without skipping a beat, "Liz, for some people, voting is a private matter." Despite her pulling a Sarah Palin on me, I knew what that meant. She was voting Yes. And I was ashamed.

After speaking to her, I vented to Jesse. "How could I possibly be related to these people? First my mom thinks I actually liked Bush and now my sister is voting to put discrimination into the constitution of the most liberal state in the Union? Who are these people? How the Eff did I turn out this way?" Before I started to wonder if I was adopted, it dawned on me that I should've pushed the issue with my sister and I should've told my mom about the volunteering I did. Sure, my mom just misunderstood, but I really didn't understand where my sister was coming from. As a minority, we've experienced discrimination before and it sucks. Why my sister would support Prop 8 is beyond me.

Unfortunately, Prop 8 passed. It's not over yet though. I heard the ACLU has filed a suit or brief of some sort so the fight is still on.

I can't help feeling like I could've done more. I had worked so hard to turn Virginia blue that I hadn't really thought about the elections elsewhere. I assumed that Prop 8 was so ridiculous and hateful that a majority wouldn't consider voting for it.

I guess I was wrong.


zandria said...

Wow. She thought you liked Bush just because you live in DC? If only she knew the mentality of so many people who live around here...

Anonymous said...

You know, maybe your sister did vote no but she wanted to keep it private. For some, political viewpoints are personal and talking with someone who is loudly opinionated (not meant to be a bad thing) can be exhausting...

People just have different viewpoints and ways of expressing themselves. Even for people who may express who they support, they may not want to talk about if they donate/how much they donate etc

anOCgirl said...

zandria: yeah, i have no idea where she got that from. and she knows why i moved here and it had nothing to do with politics. oh well. that's my mom for ya. :)

anon: true. i can accept that. but this is my sister. and she's never kept something like who or what she's voting for a secret from me. i think its odd that she picked that particular ballot issue to be all silent about.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I was pretty sure Prop 8 would be shot down too. It's just proof that we still have a long, long way to go. And gross that your mum thought you would support the Bushie!