I attended two events in the Sunnyside/Woodside community just yesterday, and naturally I ran into many who came to know me when I had a (D) as my party affiliation. The first occassion was the Woodside on the Move's annual fundraiser. I always like their gathering because it's normally in Donovan's Restuarant.
After chatting with some good friends, it came over me like a hot wind that I was speaking much more freely about politics and myself. The character of the conversations were also straight to the point. When I was a (D), I had to check inside myself that I was not going to offend someone, and while they never were, these parallel discussions went on all the time.
Being a (R) is kind of like walking alone in a sea of Big Democrats. As most of the room were of the (D) variety, their reaction to my abandoning them was, while muted, mixed with a tinge of 20/20 hindsight on their part. I keep thinking about all the supposed dreams the (D)'s had for me, or at least that is what I was told. I can't buy that because the gulf between some of the core things just makes it impossible to ignore. Well, I did find that some who always straddle the fence were suddenly talking to me with an honesty I must admit I hadn't seen in a long while. Good feelings there.
Then I went over to the United 40's Civic Association. During their meeting, they announced that I had been a (D) candidate last year, but am now part of the GOP. These are also people I had met before. A kind of a quietness hit the room, but the GOPers who were in attendance let it be known to me that they could not be happier. Even the (D)'s have to admit, with (R)'s outnumbered 6 to 1, we're about the only thing that keeps reminding them that we do have a democracy, because they of course have been in power her for over a half a century.
I am also feeling like I am understanding what the (D) are really pushing once I took off the blinders. Some of the ideas I hear for our community are more akin to a shell game or some kind of smoke & mirrors exercise. Maybe I'm just paying more attention, or maybe I don't have to sit quietly anymore and try to fit in the (D) crowd. I don't know.