I grew up on a dairy farm west of Republic. My parents were Depression-era farmers, my paternal grandpa was a butcher, and my maternal grandpa (Spanish-American War veteran) drove a team of horses grading state roads. One of my aunts was an actual riveter in a Wichita airplane factory during the war.
I was doing chores on the farm before I went to school. Slopping pigs, dressing chickens, gathering eggs, putting snakes in the grainery, and cleaning cow teats were part of everyday life.
I spent a lot of time with my parents while they worked. They talked about values a lot. Mom and dad told me how important it is to take care of the land and the animals. They told me honesty, hard work, humility, perseverance, and thrift are what makes a good person. I saw how families from all around would come together to bring in the harvest. Everybody loved to talk politics.
They took those strong conservative values to the voting booth, and I voted a straight Republican ticket for over 20 years.
Over the years, the Republican Party abandoned fiscal conservatism and walked away from social responsibility. They became an ugly blend of selfish libertarianism and neoliberalism. The values and ideals I learned to associate with the Republican party seemed to vanish.
I tried the Democratic Party. I even tried on the Green Party. I just could not find a fit.
Back to My Roots
Maybe the progressive conservative ideals I believe never existed in a political party? But when I look to the past, I find many examples of great leaders who have advocated for the values and ideals I believe. There may not be a pParty that represents my values and ideals, but
I can be the change I want to see in the party.