My father, the original Alton Drew, was for the most part a reserved fellow. He was loyal to his friends, loved his family, and worked 18-hour days. Dad wasn’t very vocal when it came to politics but it was fair to say that he was a bit right of center.
A big fan of the late Governor Cyril E. King, he supported the Independent Citizens Movement in the U.S. Virgin Islands but threw his support to the Republican Party after moving to the states. He was no lover of labor unions, deciding that it was better to cross a picket line and lose a couple friends as opposed to letting his kids go without food.
I would not have described Daddy as a bigot either. Outside of the occassional description of American tourists as being cheap, especially when it came to tipping (my father worked in hotels for thirty years), Daddy never said anything bad about white people or anybody else for the matter.
Nor was it his practice to use curse words, unlike his son who can be quite generous with colorful metaphors. I heard Daddy use the word “hell” once and on one occassion the word, “damned”. It was on the occassion of the “D” word that I got some early insight into his politics.
While driving along Long Bay in St. Thomas, my father observed two young white people wearing long hair. Out of the blue my father ottered, “Damned hippies.” He didn’t have to say more than that. By then I was coming of age and had a sense of him just based on his actions and approaches to life. He just had no respect for condescending left wingers.
If Daddy were alive today, he might have used another colorful metaphor to react to President Obama’s apparent accommodation of today’s Baby Boomer hippie leftovers. Unfortunately for Mr. Obama, rather than bolting immediately to the middle of the political spectrum and focusing on promoting commerce and thus stimulating job growth, Mr. Obama and his merry horde of congressional liberals, have been trying to live up to the campaign rhetoric that bought him the votes of the far left. By focusing on cap and trade policy, climate change, consumer financial reform, and revamping health insurance, Mr. Obama had to lend justification to hippies going around wearing tie-dye T-shirts with his image on them.
Unfortunately for him, the majority of Americans don’t wear those shirts and place a greater priority on feeding their families and finding jobs, a priority that out-of-step far left types apparently don’t have. Daddy would have been ticked off at a lot of black Americans also who apparently are marching in step with this ridiculous misplacement of priorities. Given our position on the economic food chain, black people really don’t have time for all this climate change, save the humpback whale nonsense.
No. I think Daddy would have said to Mr. Obama that your true base is that majority of working Americans trying to make it better everyday; who realize that life is not a pipe dream conjured up by people who spend too much time in ivory towers. In this, the era of Facebook and Twitter, I think Daddy would have responded, “what the …”
I miss you, Daddy.