I come from a liberal family, so why am I Republican? I saw first hand that welfare and handouts don't work. I have a brother that committed suicide at the age of 20, another died of a drug overdose at the age of 33, and the only living brother has been in and out of the state pen 3 times. Every so often, I do an internet search to see if the last living brother is still alive, or, perhaps, arrested and in jail again. I have not seen him since my youngest brother's funeral in 1983. He was locked up when my second brother died of a drug overdose in 1992.
Growing up, my parents bailed my brothers out continuously. They bailed them out by paying off their debt, getting them out of jail and even taking care of their children! My oldest brother made a good living as a rough neck on oil rigs, but spent his money on drugs, which left him with very little money to care for his wife and children. My parents bought food, clothing, diapers and other essentials for his children. At one point when I was in high school, the family moved in with us. I have first hand experience with drug abusers and alcoholics. Enabling them does not help them turn their lives around. Hitting rock bottom and being forced to face the consequences of their actions might help them turn their lives around.
Growing up in my house was interesting, to say the least. My brothers getting caught with drugs or kicked out of school was not a rare occasion. In fact, my two youngest brothers got kicked out of public and private schools to the point that no school in California would accept them. My parents sent them to Hanna Boys Center until we moved to Louisiana. They got a fresh start in Louisiana, but did not put it to good use. Once we moved, I was left alone with my abusive brothers while my parents worked.
On weekends, my parents had wild parties (or they went out). This one game they played was called the 15 minute game. They would all drink a shot of tequila every 15 minutes. While swimming and horsing around in our backyard. Teenage children of their friends would get drunk, and all the parents would laugh. I remember thinking it was warped. Of course, one of my earliest memories of my oldest brother's drug use was when I was in Kindergarten or first grade-- we were living in California. He came in the house and was really "messed up". As became the usual response when I'd ask a question, my mom told me, "He has the flu." My brother had the flu a lot.
I rarely invited friends over to my house. One time I did, and my friend woke in the middle of the night. She went to use the bathroom and my father was drunk on the floor next to the toilet. Of course, there were many kids from school who were not allowed to associate with me because of the things my brothers did and were arrested for. I can't blame the parents, because I would never allow my children to associate with any members of a family like that. I started working when I was 15 and could drive. I ran track and cross-country. These activities kept me away from the house quite a bit. I joined the Army National Guard the summer I turned 18.
Looking back, I know that God protected me. My oldest brother loved to chase me down and kick me with his steel toes boots, so I learned to run fast! One memory of my middle brother I have is a time when he chased me up the stairs. I locked myself in the bathroom and he punched a hole through the door trying to get to me. I was told by my parents that it was my fault. My youngest brother molested me as a child and he also liked to rig up torture devices. Once such device was a dart gun he attached nails to. He would threaten to shoot me if I refused to follow orders. Again, my parents never really did anything about the nails being shot, or the holes in the walls. As always, it was my fault for being so mouthy. I fully admit I have a mouth on me. Absolutely.
I believe that had I been born into a family like mine in ANY other country other than America, I would still be trapped. I joined the Army National Guard and the ARNG helped pay my tuition to a state college. I also received academic and athletic scholarships. Working full time most of my college years, I succeeded and became who I am today. Only in America can one work hard and break the chains of the family curse. Two of my brothers received their GEDs, I am the only child in my family to graduate high school, and the only person in my family to graduate from a 4 year college. Considering the chaos at home, it is truly a miracle that I graduated from high school.
Having two children with chronic illnesses, many people cannot believe that I am Republican and oppose Obamacare. As I just wrote for a GOP press release: "Having two kids with chronic illnesses, Obama’s policies have had a negative impact on our family. We work harder to earn more money, but we never see it because we’ve experienced the highest increase in premiums, deductibles, medication co-pays and out of pocket maximums in 7 years! If the Supreme Court declares the mandate or all of Obamacare unconstitutional, the already enforced changes will continue to negatively impact families like ours for years to come. If Obama is elected for 4 more years, I believe he will continue to push his unconstitutional healthcare agenda and create even larger problems for families with sick children."
This is the digested version of why I am Republican. I am blessed to be American. Only in America could I have been given the opportunity to succeed and work my way out of my childhood hell.