It's almost 4 years now since I started this blog. I thought Republicans and Democrats alike were spending way too much--unsustainable for our kids and grandkids. That was then. My local suburban newspaper, The Pioneer Press, was censoring letters to the editor or hacking them up nearly beyond recognition, when they didn't match their politics. I think they're pretty much going out of business these days.
In my initial blogger profile I wrote that my blog was a product of over 25 years of biting my tongue in polite society. When I met Bill Ayers the other day it wasn't a strain to keep quiet. Because, though I had never met him before, I knew Bill Ayers.
I grew up in Wisconsin, the UW was so cool. In 1968 when I was 14 I supported Gene McCarthy, the peace candidate. My freshman year at Harvard I walked precincts for George McGovern. Four years later, I voted for Jimmy Carter. Raised an Irish, Catholic Democrat, JFK was my idol. I still think he was a good president. I still think Daniel Patrick Moynihan was a great American, perhaps the last honest Democrat, a wise man and true statesman. The summer of Watergate I interned in D.C. for Democrat Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, the founder of Earth Day. And when we withdrew from Vietnam I thought it was a good thing.
I graduated in 1976 with a degree in Russian History and Literature, and went to work. Then came Jimmy Carter's crisis of confidence speech. When Ronald Reagan ran for President I was with him all the way. His smiling picture was on the frig, along with Pope John Paul.
I've worked for a grain company, as a commodity broker in Chicago, and then a bank. I got my M.B.A. at the University of Chicago in 1983, walking up from the Loop after work to the old 190 building. An at home mom after my second of three was born, I volunteered a lot. Woman's club president, PTA president, church choir, Sunday school teacher, Girl Scout leader, Den Mother (hockey and soccer mom! one exclamation point, is that breathless enough for you NY Times) and all along for the few Republicans there were in Illinois.
In the summer of 2001 at my 25th Harvard reunion I learned in the class survey that my classmates had overwhelmingly supported Al Gore over George Bush in the previous election--and that only a miniscule number of them volunteered in their community.
The 70's at Harvard saw the dawn of political correctness. Now it's 2009 and I get called a stalker by the NY Times (all the news that's fit to print--when was that last true) for reporting the words of an unrepentant domestic terrorist, our President Barack Obama's political godfather, in a civil, if tense exchange at a Starbucks at Reagan National.
So I say Earth to NY Times, go stalk yourself.
P.S. Just to be clear--I didn't ask Bill Ayers that question at all--he told me. Three times. Which I reported. And actually, I met him before the education conference, not after. Apparently the Times editor has not read my post carefully. Perhaps she was too breathless.
--photo of the old Wilmette depot, The Chicago Daily Observer
UPDATE: I will be on WLS 890 AM Chicago Tom Roeser's radio show this Sunday night at 8 p.m. central. Andrea Shea King Show, Blog Talk Radio Monday night somewhere between 8-9 p.m. central.