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Kevin Buck: A tale of core conservative values

Posted: October 26, 2009 6:22 p.m.
Updated: October 27, 2009 4:55 a.m.
I freely choose to put my political opinions out among the public, so I accept I will elicit a fair share of protest for holding said opinions.

In the course of my life, I have been vilified as un-American, a traitor, communist, Nazi, socialist, unthinking and other extreme labels meant chiefly to denigrate my opinions, and at times, me personally.

But my dad always said a person is judged by the company he keeps, and in that regard I must admit some of my best friends are conservative Republicans.

Really, and we can be in the same room with each other without rancor, ill will and often without politics. One person close to me has lived what I consider a conservative life.

He was born in Venezuela and moved to the United States when he was three years old. He still holds Venezuelan citizenship.

He grew up in Orange County, California, the home of the John Birch Society. His congressman was John Schmitz, a far-right wingnut at a time when the Republican Party still had moderates and liberals in elected office and in its leadership.

This guy lived in the same home from three years old until he left for college. His mother still lives there and all three of his children grew up visiting the same house, their grandparents' home.

At the time of his father's death, his parents had been married for almost 53 years. He has been married for 34 years. He met his wife in February 1975 and they were married the following November. I guess there is such a thing as love at first sight. They moved to Santa Clarita in 1982, because he and his wife wanted a quiet, rural place to raise their children.

He still works for the same company he joined in 1983 and he and his wife still live in the same home, having successfully raised their family there.

All three of their children were born at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital; all three went to the same elementary school, the same junior high and the same high school. A generation born, raised and educated in the Santa Clarita Valley. They are now out in the world, representing our community and we should all be very proud. The oldest is a schoolteacher in San Diego. Now in her fourth year of teaching, she has already been recognized as one of the best sixth-grade teachers in her district.

The penultimate child is a born capitalist. She knew what she wanted to do with her life and in her first job out of college, is doing it.
She is very good at what she does. It is being noticed by lots of people and she is making a comfortable living at it - the trifecta.

Their son is a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps. Not much needs to be added to that sentence.

There is much to say for a simple, safe middle-class life. Same job, same wife, same house, three grown children and a conservative, mainstream life. In fact the only thing that mars this conservative ideal is that I have never voted for a Republican in my life, and identify myself as a liberal Democrat. This is what bothers me so much about the anger, hatred and virulent emotions evident in the partisan right wing protests ginned up by conservative talk radio, Fox News and Astroturf conservative populist organizations.

Democrats are just as American as any Republican (and vice versa). Neither side's political views really affect the way we live our everyday lives, and we all want the same things, we just believe in different paths.

I have many respectful, interesting, yet ultimately fruitless dialogues with conservatives as far to the right, as I am to the left. I learn a lot but they will never change my mind, nor me theirs, I am afraid.

Politics is cyclical and the Republican Party may rise again, but until then, majority rules but does not tyrannize. So rest easy Republican true believers, and we welcome debates focused on policy and common paths to the future. That is what has kept our country strong and growing, and will for generations to come.

Kevin Buck is a Santa Clarita resident. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. "Democratic Voices" runs Tuesday in The Signal and rotates among several SCV Democrats.


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