The Eye Of The Beholder – Insights From Buzz Thomas Dissected
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by Thomas Antkow [Special to The Tennessee Conservative] –
According to the famous former Retired American Baptist Church Minister, attorney (not quite sure if retired), school superintendent, longtime Blount Tennessee resident (which obviously means he has unmatched credibility) and obviously dirt-poor Democrat columnist for the Daily Times in Maryville, Buzz Thomas. “Since most rich people are Republicans, I grew up prejudiced against them”.
Oh, and this gem of wisdom. Because of his dads’ unbiased “Hardscrabble” existence, and his upbringing including a vision permanently embedded in his memory and emblazoned forever on his psyche from “the only two pictures hanging on the walls of his home”, that good old Democrat savior FDR, deserved an equal place of honor with Jesus.
Wow! No wonder I grew up a Republican. The only portrait I recall in my “hovel” was Jesus and a crucifix hanging on the wall beside it.
Like most kids growing up in rural America, when I was a child, I didn’t think on a level of rich and poor. The haves versus the have nots. I was just happy to have loving parents, a roof over our heads, hot meals at dinner and playing outside with my friends. My folks never once discussed in my presence money. They taught me about money by working to earn an allowance.
Believe me the only rich people in my life lived on the “right side of the tracks”. Some in the same surrounding neighborhood. The largest families in my area that were “rich”, proclaimed the virtues of the democrat party. One local father recruited myself and some of my friends to staple democrat candidate flyers to telephone poles. We enjoyed the cash. We could care less about the politics. Early-stage onset of capitalism, I guess.
This was in a predominantly poor Republican County. I guess the John F. Kennedy Clan were quite impoverished back then and needed the help. Coincidently the wealthy families were named Barry and Courtney. The poorest family was named O’Brien. All Democrats. Imagine that. Believe me. We were not wealthy by any means. Rich in spirit and values? You bet.
Dad and Mom never discussed politics. Mandated that my sister and I attend the local Catholic Church to receive our first Communion and get Confirmed. Still value my Confirmation name to this day. I departed that Church soon after they changed the service from Latin to English and I realized that most of the requests were for more donations onto the collection plate.
One of my father’s heroes was Dwight D. Eisenhower because he served under him in WWII while my mom was engaged in defense work as a “Rosie the riveter”. I know that they voted as Republicans because of that loyalty to America. I guess that they leaned toward Republican their entire lives. My father was influenced by his grandparents. His parents died when he was only a teenager. He worked on a farm. Hard work and his faith were his biggest virtues They did show me through their actions the following. Keep your home clean. Take care of what you have. Respect others property. Believe in God. Respect things that are greater than yourself. Judge not or else ye be judged. Honesty has rewards. The news was something for my Dad to read about while sitting in his easy chair. TV was for family Friday night at the movies and Saturday morning for watching cartoons. All in black and white I might add. Sunday was reserved for Church and dinner at the dining room table. All other meals were at the kitchen table. Playing outside was a good thing. Always be on time for dinner. Keep your opinions to yourself. Boy did that last one change.
Yes, gay was queer. Homos had cooties. Dressing up as a male in women’s clothing was odd. To say the least. Cutting off body parts to change the sex you were given by the Good Lord was abhorrent. Still is. Not acceptable by any means with me. No matter how you put a spin to it.
Unfortunately, as I grew up and moved away from my family to marry, (yes, a woman) I found political opinion. When you get political, prejudice rears its ugly head. Lines are drawn. Skin color and race begin showing up as name badges. Fortunately, my view on immigrants is different than most of my childhood friends. My grandparents were all immigrants. My folks were first generation Americans. I’m second generation. I respect my culture for food and traditions. I don’t respect illegal entry into our great Country. All my ancestors came through Ellis Island. Legally. That’s a main divide I personally have between my political democrat friends and myself. Among other stuff.
So, May God bless you Mr. Thomas. Enjoy your “wealth of opinion” and earthly goods. It is unfortunate that you chose your political beliefs early. As you know. Both FDR and Jesus were quite political. You may or may not agree with this Republican that the difference in their politics were quite stark.
THOMAS ANTKOW is currently a freelance writer and produced and hosted his own daily radio show on KCSF AM 1300 and co-hosted talk shows for KVOR AM 740 for Cumulus Broadcasting in Colorado Springs. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can subscribe to Tom’s FREE newsletter at: Antkow.substack.com