Bob Grant Online
Bob Grant

The Chicago I Remember

November 2, 2011

People have asked me for as long as I can remember, “How come you’re a Republican?” I answer, “How come you’re a Democrat?” Being a Democrat in Chicago was like being a minnow in the water. Notice all those minnows swimming together never questioning where they are going or why. They all blend together because they are all alike. That’s the way it was in my Chicago neighborhood, growing up as a Republican and, worse, a Chicago White Sox fan. With most of the people I knew, including many relatives, there was something wrong with a person if he was not a Democrat and if he was not a Cubs fan. I never could fully understand why it should bother anybody if a person is registered in a different political party or roots for a different ball team. But, believe me, I took a lot of abuse and was called a lot of names because I was not just another fish in the pond.

Since most of the people who represented the local agencies and ward leaders were all Democrats, I assumed that there was only one party in Chicago. Of course, there were Republicans, but they were almost invisible. I was even asked by some of my school chums if I wasn’t afraid because my father put a picture of Thomas E. Dewey in the window instead of Franklin D. Roosevelt. I said, “What is there to be afraid of?” The answer, of course, was some people threatened to throw a brick through our apartment window where the picture was located. This was the political climate in the city where I was born and raised.This was indicative of the bully attitude that Democrats carried on after I left the University of Illinois and took a job at CBS in Chicago. The radio station was WBBM, and I was a news reporter-announcer. In those days, an announcer was expected to be familiar with all types of assignments. I did sports. I did variety shows. And, most of all, I did newscasts. Since I was reading news I spent a great deal of time on the third floor where the news division was centered. Many of the people who were involved with the writing and preparing of my newscasts were Northwestern graduates and were intelligent and devoted to radio journalism. The only problem was, they were all left wingers and couldn’t believe I was not one of them.

When the 1952 presidential campaign was underway that is when things began reminding me of those days years ago when other youngsters in the neighborhood couldn’t understand why I was a Republican. But, children being children, that is how silly it could be. There I was, nowhere near being old enough to vote, but smart alecks were concerned who I was going to support for president. At any rate, with the 1952 election coming up between General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Governor Adlai Stevenson, I knew that even though Stevenson was a nice man his philosophy would be too weak to stand up to Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union. I knew the hero of the war in Europe, Dwight Eisenhower just had to win the election . . . and he did — in a landslide! I was proud of having voted for the first time in a presidential election. I was proud that at last a Republican had won the election and it did my heart good to see all those angry Democrats, headed by Mayor of Chicago, Richard J. Daley, shocked beyond belief. The attitude was: “Hey, this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. We are Democrats! We are supposed to always win!”

And when you think about who is president today and where he and his gang are from, then maybe you can understand why I feel the way I do. Anybody but Obama! The Republicans must stick together and save us from what surely will be a destructive Barack Obama second term!

Bob Grant

Straight Ahead!


That slams the lid onthings for today

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