About 3 years ago, I went digging through Facebook, looking for people I went to school with back in the 70's. I was quite successful, as nearly a quarter of my contacts are indeed old classmates.
One guy, by the name of James (last name omitted), used to pick on me unmercifully. I'm not singling him out for that reason, because quite frankly, I was picked on a lot as a kid. I remember chatting with him, through Facebook, and he couldn't stop telling me how sorry he was. Funny thing of it is, he was the only one of my Facebook contacts from that era that even acknowledged how nasty he was to me.
James now lives in Cambridge, Minnesota, a long way from our childhood neighborhood, on St. Paul's West Side. Of course, that puts him in Congressional District 8, a district that sent long time Representative, and transportation advocate, Jim Oberstar to retirement, in favor of Chip Cravaack.
I only mention this because James recently commented, through Facebook on a posting I made about Sarah Palin. The comment, while not nasty or mean spirited, told me that he may be leaning towards voting against President Obama in 2012. Until that point, I had never spoken to him about politics.
James is a hard working truck driver. He has a modest home (I picked him up in my cab last Spring) on a nice little piece of land. What I don't understand is why James would ever consider voting Republican.
To me, James is a classic example of hard working rural Americans that don't understand that the Republican Party is not interested in anything about them, other than votes and campaign contributions. Oh, I get the classic stereotype of Democrats only being interested in taxing working families, in order to fund programs that give money to the poor (or lazy, as most rural Americans see it). What he may not recall is that it was the Reagan administration's anti-labor policies that sent many of these families into a downward spiral of welfare dependence.
There are a lot of things that need to be fixed in this country. But it won't happen until we start bringing good paying jobs back to this country. And as long as the Republicans are in control, all you will see are more and more American shipping jobs off to India, China, and even Vietnam, in the name of "free trade."
So to my friend James, and any other person that busts his ass for peanuts, get a hold of me some day. I'd like to tell you who's really on your side.