Back in Jr high I had a crush on a girl named Mary Beth Tessi.
She was not only beautiful girl (oh what eyes!) and as Italian as her name implied but brilliant. As far as I was concerned time stopped when she entered a room. Alas for the dreams of a 13 year old she married someone else, a very fine and devout fellow and like myself has been married over 30 years. Both are very lucky to have each other but I must confess 40+ years later I still melt a bit on the rare occasions I see her.
Oddly enough while I rarely see her the person I DO still see regularly is her mother who I never knew in my youth. She’s in her late 70’s early 80’s is very devout and I admire her greatly. While considerably younger than my mother (who would be 96 if alive today) they were friendly and despite my balding head and occasionally gray beard she invariably slips me a five dollar bill and tells me to buy myself and DaWife some ice cream when she sees me.
I constantly run into her at Church or Catholic events or in adoration but there was one time she really threw me off.
It was about five years ago during the primaries, I had run into her at Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the subject of the primaries and election came up in passing and she expressed her hope that Hillary would be able to win.
I was Gobsmacked. There could not be a candidate more antithetical to the values of a devout Catholic than Hillary but as I spoke to her a bit on it I suddenly realized something.
Mrs. Tessi came of age at a time when the most powerful Catholic from Massachusetts was John McCormick a devout Catholic. Her daughter Mary Beth was born during the term of John F Kennedy the 1st Catholic President of the United States and her 2nd when Bobby was still alive. During her 40’s the biggest name in the Democrat party nationally and in the state was Tip O’Neill as Catholic as you can get. Furthermore Hillary had stayed married to a cheating husband a very Catholic thing.
She wasn’t a person who followed politics and when she thinks of the Democrat party she still thought of it as the party of McCormick, O’Neill & Kennedy and I certainly wasn’t going to able to shatter that illusion, in a few minutes when my own mother didn’t figure it out Jan 2010 two years before she died.
And that brings us to SuperTuesday and Joe Biden.
If you look at the exit polls there was a huge divide when it comes to age on the Democrat side. Among the worst groups for Bernie Sanders were Democrat voters over the age of 65 (15% for Bernie). For Joe Biden this was among the best groups for him (48%). Meanwhile the best group for Bernie were people age 18-29 (58%) and 2nd were those from 30-44 (41%). Those age brackets were Biden’s worst (30-44 23%, 18-29 17%).
This is very significant, because one of the things I’ve observed in life is that what you were taught in school tends to stick with you.
The age groups who voted for Joe Biden were born at a time when Democrats and Republicans alike were cold warriors and taught in school that still extolled Capitalism and discussed the Horrors of communism. If you were born in 1975, the low end of the 45-65 you were being taught American History while Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and St. John Paul II were bringing down the Evil Empire of the Soviets. If you were born in 1965 you were taught the evils of communism and if you were born in 1955 or before odds are you had a family member who fought against the communists in Korea. It’s worth noting btw that voters age 45-65 AND 65 or older do didn’t vote for Biden went for Mike Bloomberg the vocal pro-capitalist in the race.
For the last two weeks when it became likely that Bernie Sanders could be the Democrat nominee those voters who were taught the evils of communism and socialism were confronted by an MSM who fearful of what an unrepentant communist at the top of the Democrat ticket would do to races at the bottom for the 1st time did not sugar coat Bernie Sanders love of Communism and history of backing folks like Fidel. They finally saw Bernie Sanders for what he was not because the media and party which knew all along, finally found it in their interest to tell them.
And so remembering the lessons of their youth they turned out and voted against their cold war adversary. For those who decided that they just couldn’t vote for a human gaffe machine who couldn’t tell his sister from his wife ended up voting for Mike Bloomberg the unrepentant Capitalist in the race. It’s no coincidence that among the groups that Bloomberg did best with were the 45-65 & 65 and up age groups while voters who were in school in time to hear Socialism and Communism glorified (ages 30-44 & 18-29) loathed him.
It’s fair to say that for now Barack Obama’s efforts to push Mayor Pete and Senator Amy out of the race might have saved Joe Biden’s political life. It’s even fair to say that Joe Biden’s political life was saved by Black voters who remember him as Obama’s right hand man.
But I think that Joe Biden campaign lives another day because the Mrs. Tessi Democrats remembered the lessons of their youth and voted to save their party against an evil they still recognized.
Alas in four years there will likely not be enough of them to do so again.