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M.O.M.: My Opinionated Mouth
Leah Cauthron

Liberals/Conservatives

Posted Friday, August 24, 2012, at 10:01 AM
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  • My grandfather was reportedly some big deal in South Dakota Republicanism. Whatever Rep. Stephanie Herseth's grandfather was to the Democrats, my grandfather was to the Republicans. Grandpa was a huge fan of Eisenhower, Nixon for his first term, and Ronald Reagan.

    He was born during Teddy Roosevelt's administration, a first generation American and the first in his home, along with his older sister, to learn to speak English. His father was building a homestead act, but they lost it when he died at age 36. He felt welfare should be there for those who really need it (he was raised with his four siblings by his widowed mother, and they had to move in with his uncle and their five children, and work on the farm -- he got to go to school to tenth grade only because he had an injury). He felt less regulation on companies would mean more jobs for workers who needed it.

    When he ran the town grocery store during the Depression and WWII, he allowed people to have extensions on their food tabs, even when it meant his family (wife, son [my father] and three daughters) had oatmeal or eggs with toast for dinner sometimes. He could have charged food himself at his own store, of course, but he was determined to keep a balanced budget so the community was not left without a store entirely while people would go without if he didn't extend some help. No, I don't think people bought themselves steak, candy or Coke on his generosity, or felt entitled to it, and maybe that's why it used to work in the past for neighbors to simply give a helping hand to their neighbors.

    I think on immigration, he would feel immigrants who tried to go through legal channels should be given a hand up to provide for themselves, as his family was given. I've long thought this too -- for immigrants, welfare recipients, or whomever -- what if they had a chance to make it like the Homestead Act. That's what built the middle class in the Midwest.

    -- Posted by AmyPeterson on Fri, Aug 24, 2012, at 1:52 PM
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