1972 Presidential Election. After three years of service in Vietnam I was finally old enough to cast a vote. My choices were Richard Nixon or George McGovern.
I chose McGovern. I did not like Richard Nixon. Even then, before Watergate was excavated, Nixon seemed sinister. To me he always looked like he was wound too tight, his speeches and physical mannerisms odd. I intuitively felt Nixon was mentally disturbed.
By contrast George McGovern was a soft-spoken old school gent, one whom I would have been delighted to sit down and have a cup of coffee with.
George wanted us out of Vietnam. I had few qualms about that. The last six months of my last tour of Vietnam I had been firebombed by Saigon college students, had witnessed first hand the corruption of the Vietnamese regime, thought we had sacrificed enough treasure and lives for a Vietnamese people who seemed to care less than us about a communist takeover.
And in 1972 I was still an idealistic young man who believed that the downtrodden were suffering at the hands of a society that left them out.
So I stepped into the voting booth and voted George. And I was shocked to see how badly Nixon beat him.
My political awakening would arrive shortly after that election. I began to see folks better off than me using food stamps ahead of me in the grocery line. I began to look closely at my pay stub. I looked at how much the state and federal government was taking out of my pay check. I began to see how Democrats continually agitated for bigger government and bigger handouts to those unwilling to work.
1972 would be the last and only time I voted Democrat. The choice was easy. I saw how Democrats changed their ethics and beliefs as easily as they changed their clothes. I saw how they pandered to the lame and lazy to win and stay in power. And I began to see the effects of Lyndon Johnson's liberal judiciary turning America upside down.
But it was at the kitchen table where I converted to conservative. It seemed that, no matter how many part time jobs my wife and I worked, we could never seem to get ahead. The more we made, the more the government taxed us. As we struggled to pay our bills we looked on as millions of our fellows became financial leeches......leading a better life than us.
In the next 12 months America will again be faced to make a difficult choice. Turn out a less than admirable Trump, or sign on to a Democratic ticket that plunges America into socialist state bankruptcy.
I suspect "kitchen politics" will once again defeat the "greenies", the "Medicare For All" crowd, and the party with the big government gravy bowl. The good folks who look at their pay stubs just can't imagine an even uglier pay stub.