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Whatever happened to Betsy Herring?

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Betsy Herring

Chances are you don’t recognize that name. Neither did I until today. I usually don’t do Democrats, but I’m going to make a brief exception this time.

I can honestly tell you that I would have been less surprised to learn that Massachusetts Senator and Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren was born on Mars than I was to find out she actually came from Oklahoma. I had just seen her as a typical East Coast Ivy League liberal.

There have been other strong women born in the 46th state who made a name for themselves far beyond where they grew up. The most memorable one, I think, was U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick who served during Ronald Reagan’s first term. Interestingly, her political route was from Socialist to Democrat to Republican rather than from Republican to Democrat. She was one smart and influential lady.

But there was a generational difference as she was born during the Roaring 20’s. Elizabeth Ann Herring is a baby boomer like yours truly. Perhaps that’s why the contrast between her political development and my own seems so striking to me.

She married at 19 and then pursued her education and political career mostly back east. I was only 6 years old when we moved out west to Oregon. I was back in Oklahoma a couple times briefly between ages 11 and 13.

I’m interested in what it was that motivated the candidate now known as Liz to embrace far left politics. Either she is a hard left ideologue or an opportunist. Both, in my book, would disqualify her from becoming President and Commander-in-Chief.

We are both of the same vintage and both come from working-class Oklahoma families. The Vietnam War is probably what drastically altered the course of my life. After spending teenage years in Southern California, my military service took me overseas and interrupted my pursuit of higher education.

I’m purposely not saying much about my own background because it isn’t the issue and you have no reason to care. But what was it during the education and career of Elizabeth Warren that changed her life trajectory so drastically?

I did a little research but it’s fascinating to consider what her own immediate family and childhood friends think now about her so-called progressive views compared to her former ones. If I were in their position, I suppose I would be harping at her to reconsider.

I guess the way I found out that she was originally from Oklahoma was when I heard that she claimed to be of Cherokee ancestry. I knew the Cherokee homelands were in the southeast and that they were forcibly relocated over the Trail of Tears to Indian Territory.

I was surprised that she had never spent more time finding out about her alleged Native American heritage. I went so far as to obtain a citizenship card from the tribe to which I belong. A majority of my classmates during the brief time I was back in Oklahoma during 6th and 7th grades all said they were part Indian.

I will interject here that I am not thrilled about conservatives using mischaracterizations of indigenous people to refute and ridicule Elizabeth Warren’s claims. I would ask that they simply respect Native American culture and focus their criticism upon the candidate herself.

This curiosity about how a girl from Oklahoma could become a powerful woman from Massachusetts, along with recent indications that she may soon be the front-runner for the Democrat nomination, are what led me to look at her more closely. I also live in a deep blue state. A Republican has a far better chance of getting elected in Massachusetts than here in Hawaii.

But I’ve always been one to buck the trends. As an Okie kid in the smoggy urban jungle of West Los Angeles, I took every opportunity to reinforce and reemphasize my identity because I already knew who I was before I got there. So, Liz Warren, at what point did you begin identifying more with the progressive politics of New England than the red-state mentality of your native Oklahoma?

I have not lived in Northeastern Oklahoma Green Country since 1962. I am long overdue for a visit with my cousins there. Unlike Ms. Warren, I do not have siblings who still live there. But there’s a lot more than just a taste for the fried okra my mom used to fix that gives Oklahoma a very special place in my heart even now.

Hawaii is my home and will continue to be. Despite the Democrat one-party machine that controls virtually all elected offices in the 50th state, there is hope for an infusion of common sense conservatism.

Then I see how Elizabeth Warren has become part and parcel of the blue state mentality in Massachusetts. She is being swept along by the tide rather than swimming against it. It comes down to whether this was due to political expediency or a true change of heart.

I would recommend she engage in some serious introspection and articulate the origin of her political views, especially those of a social nature which contravene the family values of the majority of Oklahomans with whom she grew up. I have also brought up the same issue regarding U.S Congresswoman and Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii who has likewise done a 180° turn.

When did the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman become negotiable as a campaign issue? Did you experience an epiphany that revealed a new truth? Or did blue state politics override your good judgment and common sense?

So, Betsy… errrr, Liz … you’ve got some explaining to do. Better SOONER than later!

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