Are you a Democrat that raised an Alex P. Keaton? Do you wonder how that happened? Does it make holidays and election years fun?
AP writer Leanne Italie took a look at what happens when parents rear children of the opposite political persuasion. Here’s what she found:
“NEW YORK — When David Burrows took on Barry Goldwater and Ayn Rand as “mentors” at age 14, his parents wanted to know what else he was doing that they might be ashamed of.
Andrew LaGrone’s grandmother was an Edmund Muskie delegate at the Democratic National Convention in 1972 and was stunned when Andrew became a Republican at 19.
Growing up in Buffalo, Jake Wagner’s dad assumed he’d be a Democrat. NOT.
While young people have gone “liberal” on their conservative parents for decades, teen crossovers to the GOP are more of a rarity. How do parental Dems and their Republican kids manage the familial bond when partisan politics are on the line?
As the Republican National Convention got off to a slow start Monday in Tampa, Fla., President Barack Obama continues his effort to get young people to the polls. Obama leads Mitt Romney 54 percent to 38 percent among voters younger than 35, according to the latest Associated Press-GfK poll.
No matter. The 21-year-old LaGrone in Nebraska and 19-year-old Wagner in New Hampshire are staying busy marshaling campus support for the Romney-Ryan ticket as they looked back on where it all began. Burrows, 50 and living in his hometown of Dallas, has lost both his parents, but he remembers their reaction to his Republican awakening like it was yesterday.
His dad threatened to cut him off financially once he mustered the courage to tell his parents he had broken from his Democratic roots to become head of the Baylor University GOP in 1983 — and a year later, chairman of the college Republicans of Texas.
“My dad made a comment about, well, the Republican Party’s for rich people so maybe you should get your rich friends to pay your tuition,” Burrows recalled, “and I was, like, uh oh, what have I done?”
And mom? She would drop him off at the library while she went shopping. That’s where he discovered Rand and Goldwater, the longtime Arizona senator and Mr. Conservative himself.
“My mom patted me and she goes, ‘Well that’s good for you but let’s just keep this a secret in the family,’” he said. “I never understood how they lumped in my political views with taking drugs, having illicit sex and cheating on exams, but it somehow carried with it the same ‘immoral’ baggage.”
I agree with one of my parents politically and disagree with the other. It does get ugly when we talk politics. I generally avoid the topic. I used to watch a lot of political shows when I was younger. But not so much any more.
We talk about issues facing our country with our kids and try to present both sides. I hope they end up seeing the world the way I do.
Do you agree with your child politically? Did you try to sway them when they were young? Do you present both sides of the political debate on an issue or just the side with which you agree? Do you let them watch/listen to political shows? Do you want them to form their own opinions or follow your view? Have you threatened to cut them off? Can you discuss issues reasonably or does it get ugly?