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The Heartland of America can be a mixed bag of political ideologies from the rural, more conservative Democrat to the Silent majority. There are even a few sprinkles of alt-lefties, though they reside mostly in places like Chicago, as their brand of leftism just won’t stick anywhere else in middle America. Sometimes, these folks are all found in the same family.
Blended families, if you will, identify as one party, but agree with the other on several issues of importance. Just the kind of people who would do well to represent the masses in the Swamp.
On the vast expanse of prairie deep in cattle ranching territory of Kansas is one such family – and their generations-old family ranching business. They were part of the original cattle driving families that worked the Chisolm trail. On just shy of 5,000 acres of grassland, three generations – and working on the fourth – share a rural and remote lifestyle. Four family homes and a variety of outbuildings make up the compound, while longhorn cattle are their only neighbors for miles on end.
Jack and Mary are the elders; two of their four children are in the family business. Their son, Jack Jr., and his wife have three children – all at college pursuing business degrees. Daughter Ann and her husband have two children, one in high school and one out of college, back home, and married. It’s a boisterous group when they all get together for Sunday dinner, and politics are a favorite topic in between passing the roast and the yeast rolls.
Senior is a lifelong Republican. His wife: a lifelong Democrat who has only voted Republican the last fifty years, who says that “Democrats have forgotten about family values and the rural way we want to live. I don’t want to drive a battery-operated car or take the bus. And last time I checked they ate steak too.” Senior was quick to agree. “We are the stewards of this land and for almost 200 years, we have done just fine. We don’t need the likes of those who don’t appreciate or understand us.”
Junior and Ann and their spouses went off to college and found the experience to be uncomfortable. “Professors were so liberal minded that grades depended upon agreeing with them, which we didn’t.” Junior added, “It was a long few years, but the football was great and I did meet my wife at Kansas State. Go Wildcats!”
Junior’s daughter, Emma, is a sophomore at Kansas State and they have noticed a slight bend toward tolerating the liberal mindset. But that doesn’t make anyone happy at the dinner table. “She’ll grow out of it,” grandpa Jack said.
“We have that hope,” offered Mary.
Although they disagree on a few hot button issues, they are solidly together on core family values. Mary isn’t a Trump fan, Jack Senior loves Trump, Junior is fed up with immigration, and Ann hopes a compromise is met with DACA soon, as “the innocent people caught up in this need our help.”
They are responsible gun owners and pro Second Amendment. They believe Planned Parenthood is responsible for murder, and they want special counsel Mueller to wrap up his time sucking investigation and retire.