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Hi Garrison, I read the

October 15, 2004 |

Hi Garrison,

I read the first 4 chapters of HOMEGROWN DEMOCRAT on your website today and found it quite enjoyable which now confuses me. I have often thought of myself as a Republican but now I think I am just more of a moderate leaning toward the conservative. I want to raise my kids the way I was raised in Red Wing, MN and you in Anoka. Do you think this is possible in this day and age?


Dear Mike, Parents are forced to be brave in behalf of their kids. We'd do anything for them: you look down at that infant in the hospital nursery and you realize that you have now met someone you love more than you love yourself. You'd dive into shark-infested waters for that kid. And I admire the folks ---- most of them conservatives, but some of them radical progressives ---- who have home-schooled their kids and maybe moved out of a bad environment and into one that seems friendlier to childhood developement. People have made all sorts of sacrifices for their kids' benefit, knowing that one can't be sure about the effects on the kids, knowing that good intentions sometimes come back to bite us. But, yes, there are places in this country where families live much as you and I were brought up. It's too bad that in today's odd economy, so few people have the freedom to live where they wish or give their kids what they need. We're heading toward an economy in which people commonly work sixty-hour weeks at low wages just to make ends meet. You see engineers and programmers and teachers working the windows of McDonald's and stocking the shelves at WalMart. On $8 an hour, you can't think too much about parenting, you can barely put food on the table and clothes on their backs.

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