Sunday, April 14, 2013

My Wonderful Family. An Insider's Look

The other day I was involved in a discussion on voting and the tendencies of certain groups to vote in blocs. Specifically someone was making repeated references to a statistic claiming that 90% of blacks voted Democratic, in his words "blindly," "devotedly," and "lovingly." I know, right? Just a tad racist. He's otherwise a reasonably intelligent guy from what I know from our posting history.

So we started talking about kinds of blocs and why you can't assume all or most members of that bloc act in tandem, especially at the voting booth.

I decided to challenge his theory. I offered to provide information about my family to see if he could determine how, or if, we would vote "as a bloc." He declined the challenge, which kind of  showed his inability to believably defend his statistics and assumptions.

But, anyway, I have an incredible family! With vast and varied experiences, which we share with each other! We try our best to stay connected -thank you Facebook- and get together regularly, in celebrations with now four generations of family! Amazing, right?

So though he declined the challenge, I realized I wanted to share the incredibleness of my family! So I'm doing it here. The info is not all encompassing, just the usual stuff considered by political organizations when determining their campaign strategies targeted toward certain voters. We were, after all, talking politics when this little project came to mind. Here's the info I came up with, just from memory. I'm sure there are inaccuracies, but I suck at math and with so many people, especially young adults whose lives are in flux, I hope I've gotten it right. My apologies if I didn't. If anybody has corrections, feel free to let me know. And dammit! Get those changes in for the directory! Yes, for those of you readers who aren't familiar with us, the family is close enough and large enough to justify publishing an actual directory of contact information!

I come from a large extended family on my mother's side. Her mother's ancestry was full Irish and her father's was full English.  My father's side was mixed from the UK and Ireland, so I'll focus on just the maternal side.

My mom's family had seven kids. They married and produced our generation of thirty-five kids. We have multiplied and brought forth another sixty-nine, say fifty of whom are old enough to vote. They in turn have added two old enough to vote and twelve more who are toddlers. So, if my math is correct, that is a total of 125 people.  Subtracting the deceased because, even though we are predominantly Boston area based Irish Catholic, our dead don't vote, and given that we really do only vote once each, and subtracting minors, that means that we have a voting bloc of eighty-eight people. There are a few that might not vote but I think nearly all do. So let's be conservative and say it's an eighty person bloc, all of whom are white with an English/Irish Roman Catholic background passed on from the couple who started this incredible group!

So, the make-up of this voting bloc is thus, according to my maybe-not-so-accurate but well intended attempt to describe it:

My Episcopalian grandfather converted to Catholicism to marry my grandmother. My generation is predominantly Catholic with a few Episcopalians and agnostics. The next generation is fairly mixed and adds a couple of atheists and a Jew, also a marriage-related conversion. So let's take out religion, except to leave in Christian-like values.

 All but seven are college educated, a few with two-year degrees, eleven with at least one advanced degree. So, well educated. 

Economic- with such a varied range of ages and careers, predominantly somewhere in what is considered a broad range of working middle class, with exceptions.

One has spent his entire career in the military, another served during Vietnam, one served in Iraq and two returned home from deployments within the last year and intend to continue their military careers, both in Army Special Forces. 

There are firefighters and police officers, teachers, artists,  doctors, lawyers, construction workers, a cook, and for some reason a humanities major like I am can't fathom, a goodly number of MBAs in finance and insurance. I don't do the numbers game. Correction, I CAN'T do the numbers game. So, heavy on the sciences and maths, and white collars,  light on the arts and blue collars. 

All white Americans except two adopted from different countries, so not American by birth, but at 12 (Vietnam) and 14 (Russia), they don't vote anyway. 

No comments: