Huffpost Politics
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Geri Spieler Headshot

Nostalgia for the Silly Season: Memories of a Radical Mother

Posted: Updated:

Ah for the years of presidential campaigns gone by.

Political pundits call the run-up to presidential elections the 'silly season.' The time when campaign rhetoric jumps to conclusions about what is going to happen, based on small pieces of information.

As Congress is in recess until September, Silly Season usually begins around August and lasts until Congress is back in session in September.

Now is when we see smear campaigns, outrageous name-calling, and baseless accusations. Every news story is exaggerated to the fullest with pointless matters of little substance.

For me, Silly Season brings back memories of my mother. She was a strong believer in policies that would support the middle class. Any remarks to the contrary set her off on a diatribe of invectives against the offender.

A particular memory of mine was during Richard Nixon campaigned for the White House in 1969. I can still see Mom stomp around our living room hollering back at the television. She was outraged at Nixon's talk of returning federal money and power to the states. She was sure this move would take away any safety net people would need to survive. She did not trust the states to take care of its citizens.

Today people might throw rocks at their flat screen TVs. Back then, outraged voters would throw their boxy television sets out the window.

Mom was a vocal constituent. A child of an Eastern European immigrant mother, Mom was hyperactively aware of how politics could change her life. She always kept a stack of pre-stamped postcards at the ready to fire off her outrage to government. This action peaked during the presidential campaigns.

My mother would be heard.

I am not old enough to be a Red Diaper Baby, someone who was raised in a Communist family or whose parents followed the political ideals of the Communist Party of the United States of America.

However, my mother was a strong believer in the ultra-left wing philosophies of politics. She settled for the Democratic Party as a compromise.

Her beliefs in being a Democrat were as strong as her beliefs in being Jewish. She was so upset when she found out my brother voted for Ronald Reagan I thought she was going to "sit Shiva" -- the Jewish act of mourning for someone who has died.

During the 1950s, my mother volunteered to be a "registrar of voters" and was assigned to visit each home in our local precinct to register as many people as possible. She had me tag along as a learning experience.

It turned out to be a learning experience in fraud. Mom would not register Republicans. When she asked the residents which party they belonged to and they said Republican, she'd apologize and said she was only allowed to register Democrats. Someone would be along to later register the Republicans.

If Mom were alive today, I know she would be in Pennsylvania right now to thwart the baseless accusation of voter election fraud in an attempt to elect Mitt Romney as president.

I can see Mom going door to door once again registering Democrats and telling Republicans someone will come along later.

Register To Vote