Have I told you that one of my sisters is enrolled in the memoir-writing class I lead in Printers Row? It’s true! Cheryl chose to write a “letter to dad” for this week’s assignment just like guest blogger Bruce Hunt did yesterday. I was so young when our dad died that I don’t remember him, and I appreciate Cheryl for agreeing to share this letter to give you a glimpse of what our dad — and her relationship with him — was like.
A letter to the future or past generation about the 2016 national election
by Cheryl May
I know politics wasn’t a big topic of conversation around our house when I was growing up, but I assume you remember the last Presidential Election that you voted in on November 8, 1960.
Remember the incumbent, President Dwight Eisenhower, was not eligible for re-election. He was the first president affected by the 22nd amendment that said the president could only serve two terms and the 1960 election was also the first-time voters from Alaska and Hawaii could vote after they had become states the year before.
I remember people wondering if the Democratic Senator John Kennedy of Massachusetts, a Roman Catholic, could ever beat the Republican Vice-President incumbent Richard Nixon. But Kennedy proved to have excellent campaigning skills that far outweighed Nixon’s experience.
I wonder if you remember the commercial that was televised from a press conference with President Eisenhower? He was asked if he could give an example of a major idea of Vice-President Nixon’s that he had heeded. Eisenhower responded with a flip comment, “If you give me a week, I might think of one…”
Both Eisenhower and Nixon claimed he was joking but I’m sure it stayed on voters’ minds as they went into their voting booth.
Dad, when people go to their voting booth on November 8, 2016, they’re going to have a lot more on their minds then whether a candidate is Catholic or if a candidate might not be getting the backing of one guy he was counting on.
First of all, we have a woman nominated for the President of the United States for the first time, can you believe that? She’s a Democrat and if she wins she will succeed our first Black President. Lots of changes since 1960, right?
The Republican candidate this year was never a lawyer, Senator, Congressman or Governor…. he’s a business man. We did have a Republican candidate who was a movie actor and was elected President of the United States in the 1980’s, but he had also served as a Governor of California. (Actually you may have known him as a Democrat because he switched parties in 1962.)
The campaigning of the 2016 candidates has included name calling, lying, accusations of womanizing, (excuse my language Dad) but groping and even possible rape. Needless to say, this is not a national election that you could have ever imagined, and I can’t even imagine what the Presidential election will be like 50 years from now.