All Politics are Local or relational....

Today, I will walk into an Elementary School and color in some circles in an attempt to actively participate in a right that has been hard to come by for some, if not all of us. This year is different though. This year I will be voting, not for who I think is best, or who I feel will lead better, but instead, I will be setting aside my fishing pole and pick up my wife's, casting it into the deep muddy waters of the political ocean.

Why people vote the way they do is as varied as the different species of fish. Some don't vote at all. The first time I voted, was for Clinton. He went on the tonight show and played a sax. He was hip. I was young. I didn't vote for him a second time.

I went from a bleeding heart liberal to, what some might classify, as a hard core conservative. When I met my wife, I didn't ask about her politics. In fact, when I met her, we didn't even speak the same language. She referred to me as "Guapo", which I obviously understood to mean she thought I looked like the guy from The Three Amigos movie, "El Guapo". Turns out that's not what that meant.

Why am I bringing this up? Why am I voting for who my wife likes? I'm getting to that. The first time we ever spoke about politics, it turned into an epic battle of words and misunderstandings. Imagine some of these threads here, only with real people and half of it in Spanish. (It was where I learned that Tonto wasn't an Indian sidekick to the Lone Ranger.)

We've learned since then how to navigate the political waters of our opinions carefully. We both think we're right most of the time. To be honest, she has been right a time or two.

Which brings me here. I wouldn't classify my wife as a bleeding heart liberal. She would be a liberal conservative, if I had to stick a tag on her. We agree on some things and heartily disagree about others. What I will tell you is, she is the strongest woman I've ever known. She came to this country alone in 95, leaving behind a child, a mother and a life of promised perpetual poverty. (Don't discuss poverty in America with her, she will tell you that no one in America is poor and then she will tell you why)

She walked across the border, by herself, into Nogales, Arizona and then made her way to New Mexico, because it was the Nuevo Mexico. She found a job, that by our standards paid little, but was more than she had ever seen before in her life. She paid taxes. She sent most of it home to her mother and daughter and still managed to fulfill her need for the latest fashions. Had a son, and never once did he ever want for anything.

She stayed within the Mexican community mostly, her comfort zone, and never took the time to learn English except more than a few words here and there. Until she met me. When she met me, she says, my blues eyes made her realize she needed to learn. (I have that effect on people) She did. In less than a year, we were having conversations in English. (I'm still learning Spanish and can barely follow a conversation in it)

Some of the Mexican men she works with gives her a hard time for marrying a gringo. She betrayed La Raza, they say. She smiles, her beautiful smile, and metaphorically gives them the bird. She's not one to take crap from anyone.

She has some strong views about the would-be-governors and how, whichever one gets into office today, will effect immigration. An issue that has caused her more stress than any other thing in her life. In a few years she will get the opportunity to apply for citizenship. When she does, she will use the right to vote with more vigor and passion than any one of us who was born here and has taken it for granted.

I disagree with how she thinks this election should go, but think she has earned the right to have her voice heard. Our political opinions may not always match up, but there is no opinion I value more, than my wife's.

So today, at the very least, her voice will be heard.

Mine will be heard in 2012. :)

Vote today. I dare you.

Views: 11

Tags: election, politics, voting

Comment by cathyray on November 2, 2010 at 8:01pm
Ahhhhh, I love a great love story.
Comment by cc on November 2, 2010 at 8:22pm
Granjero, thanks so much for telling this story so well. Brava to your wife and bravo to you for good give and take!
Comment by Granjero on November 3, 2010 at 6:16am
Thanks Ya'll.

Ramon, if I did have a message, it was more along the lines of I love and respect my wife more than the political climate.
Comment by JeSais on November 3, 2010 at 9:05am
that was beautiful, and made me teary too....
Comment by Ben Moffett on November 4, 2010 at 7:21pm
Yes, it's one of the best essays I've seen on DCF, obviously from the heart. Your relationship would make an interesting column, discussing the nuances of immigration, fences, border guards,the desert, etc.I worked at the Deming Headlight for a month about a decade ago as a vacation fill-in. While I was there a scattered human skeleton turned up between Deming and the border.It was guessed that the victim died of dehydration while making an illegal crossing. The small story made a back page-- too common. I'll bet there are many such stories that you and your wife have discussed that would be of great interest.
Comment by Granjero on November 10, 2010 at 1:38pm
Ben, I'm not sure, in fact I'm positive, that my knowledge of immigration and all that it entails, is limited to the emotional and relies very little on the nuances of the political side. I did read recently, that immigration law is second only to Tax law in its intricacies and complicated nature.

I did attend my sister-in-laws swearing in ceremony as an American citizen this past week. I'm of the opinion that if most Americans had to learn and go through what immigrants do, there would be a lot less Americans and those that were here would have a very real working knowledge of what this country is about and maybe appreciate what they have a bit more.
Comment by Ben Moffett on January 25, 2011 at 4:10pm
I'm sorry I waited three months to follow up on this, but perhaps I could redefine the nature of your story -- it might make a great screen play as a love story with lots of bickering and curse words in two languages, and wild passion.

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