Sunday, November 13, 2011

52 Weeks to Personal Genealogy Politics

Week #46 – Politics

Week 46. Politics. What are your childhood memories of politics? Were your parents active in politics? What political events and elections do you remember from your youth?

I think the first election I remember was the 1956 Presidential election between Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson and the new NBC newscasters covering the election, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley. After that every Presidential election they covered we always watched Huntley-Brinkley. The 1960 election was real interesting as we had Henry Jackson from Washington running for President, so it was kind of a letdown when John Kennedy won the nomination and eventually the election. The first time I voted in a Presidential election was for Richard Nixon in 1972, don't remember who he ran against, but since Nixon had started a draft lottery, which I won and did not have to go into the military, so he got my vote.
Washington had a blanket primary when I started voting, it had been championed by the grange in the 1930s and it allowed voters in the primaries to vote for anyone they wanted, you did not have to register as a Republican or a Democrat, you could vote for a Republican for one office and a Democrat for the next office and the top vote getter from each party went on to the November election. I am not sure when the Republican and Democratic parties got together and sued the voters of the State of Washington, but they won at the Supreme Court arguing that the voters of Washington State were not voting properly and so our blanket primary was thrown out. Once again the grange went to work and found a primary called the top two, I think it was from Louisiana and the Supreme Court had approved it, so we adopted that and guess what happened, another lawsuit by the Republican and Democratic parties against the voters of Washington State, well this time voters won, so now we vote for the top two candidates for any office and can vote for Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, etc., just like when we had the blanket primaries except the top two do not necessarily have to be the top vote getter from each party. Actually most races do end up with a Republican and a Democrat in the November election, but a few races have either two Republicans or two Democrats on the ballot in November. Guess what? The parties are mad, but since the Supreme Court approved it they have not figured out how to have Republicans picking Republican candidates, and Democrats picking Democratic candidates.

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