By Stephanie Rayburn
I grew up Republican. My whole family is Republican. I grew up around my grandparents hearing slurs like “liberal idiots” and “lazy welfare recipients” even at the same time that they demonstrated how to give generously to those who need it. I listened to Rush Limbaugh — admired him even because I was young and impressionable and I didn’t yet know about
how adults twist the truth for their personal benefit (especially when it comes to being any kind of paid talk-show host — fear sells).
In the 1992 election, I participated in Kids Voting USA. Studied the candidates. Made decisions. Expressed to a family member which candidate I wanted to vote for and was told “But Stephanie! He’s a DEMOCRAT!” Scandal. I was clearly not good enough if I was going to betray my family by voting against their wishes. And it didn’t even count because it was a KIDS VOTE.
As a kid I cared about people and animals and art and the environment. I didn’t care what religion a person was or how much money they had. I was not disposed to thinking the worst of large groups of people.
When I went to CSU as a science major, my grandmother openly worried they would “brain-wash” me and turn me into a liberal. I told her science professors weren’t interested in swaying political beliefs, which in my actual experience was almost completely accurate. I registered as a Republican when I was 18, as if it was my religious affiliation. That’s just what we WERE. We were Republicans.
I studied anatomy and physiology and neurology and ecology and chemistry and physics and genetics. I was not brain washed. I paid attention. To the wars and the insane spending on more and more war with less and less taxpayer funding. To the things politicians who were making policy in our country said about science as if they were the ones with the Ph.D.s.
I finished school and lost my health insurance and paid out the nose for catastrophic-only insurance and then independent high-deductible insurance that the insurance company was willing to give me even though I had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome that I didn’t need treatment for. … Read More