To the editor:
My grandmother is spinning in her grave.
G’mom, as she was known to all family and friends – the name created by a grandchild who couldn’t say “grandmother” – was a life-long Republican. As the child of immigrants, she was quite aware of the distinctions of social class, and during her heyday in the 1940s through the 60s, she made every effort to advance the family up society’s ladder.
She was a proactive woman, and was constantly involved in, and was frequently leading, any number of community activities. She was an ambulance driver during WWII. She was a medal-winning war-bonds salesperson: nobody said “no” to her. She was the president of her synagogue, and she was on all kinds of community-improvement organizations.
Nobody ever accused her of being a warm and loving grandma – she was too busy doing things for other people – but her chicken soup endures in all of our memories.
Her Republicanism was a product of its times: she believed in personal responsibility and individual freedom, but as the child of immigrants she knew that society and government had the responsibility to help people, and especially, to protect women from harm. She respected people who were different from her and listened to other peoples’ opinions, and she hated bullies and intolerance. She valued learning and knowledge and institutions and ethics, and she believed in good government.
My Republican grandmother is spinning in her grave.
-Stephen Leeds, Alexandria