Miss Clara Harmolean "Diddle" Rowe was one of the finest individuals I have ever known. She lived in Ruston all of her life, never married, was a life-long member of Temple Baptist Church, and was the City of Ruston's Treasurer for many years.
Until the day she died in 1995, Diddle was a Yellow Dog Democrat. Wikipedia defines that as being someone from the Southern United States who votes solely for democratic candidates.
Supposedly the term became popular during Lincoln's presidency when someone declared, "I'd vote for a yellow dog before I'd vote for a Republican."
Diddle was born in 1906. In the South, back in her day, you couldn't swing a dead cat and not hit a Democrat. Even when I was a kid, as far as I know, we only had one Republican in town. The joke was that my maternal grandfather and Dubach Town Marshal, Doc Colvin, would frisk that lone member of The Grand Ole Party whenever he caught him out in the open.
But then came the late 1970's when Republican Ronald Reagan came along and folks in the South started to switch their political affiliations.
Shortly after Reagan was elected President in 1980, I asked Diddle what she thought of the new chief executive. I was really expecting some type of good-Lord-now-our-country-is-really-ruined kind of comment.
Instead Diddle said, "Well, I didn't vote for him. But he's MY President NOW...and I SURE hope he's a good one!"
So now let's fast forward to the end of 2012. President Obama has won a second term. My home state is now considered to be primarily red in color. Here Republicans are pretty common and no longer frisked on sight.
It pains me to say that, in the minds of the American public, Congress is just slightly more popular than sex offenders and the legislative body we once deemed august is now more au jus and some of the more obstinate members of Congress need to be sent home to their constituents with a note saying that they were not working and playing well with others.
But okay, even though a lot of the folks in our state didn't vote for our current chief executive, I'd still like him to know this: Mr. President, you're OUR President NOW. Lead us!
The economy and the decisions made in Washington have left us feeling helpless battered and bruised. But out here in the heartland, in God's country, our spirits will rise again when we see things getting done - when we see our economy improving, more people working, and our deficits shrinking.
Mr. President: From this day forward, I'm going to stop thinking of you as THEIR president. From now on, you'll be MY president. And just like Diddle said 32 years ago, I hope you're a good one!