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Linda, Richard & the pursuit of happiness
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At an early age Linda Silverman ran up against what Bernie Sanders’s most adherent supporters would call sexual discrimination.
Her parents — who were far from flush with money — told Linda that they could only afford to help send one of their two children to college. Her brother, who was five years older, got the nod mainly because it was a time when women weren’t expected to continue their education and were more likely to concentrate on raising families.
Linda read no malice into her parents’ decision. Nor did it stop her from going to college. It took her years but she put herself through college and did so without incurring debt. She did it without a government handout. She made it happen by good old-fashion perseverance and embracing the concept of delayed gratification.
Linda also enjoyed success in the business world.
What does this have to do with of the price of tea in China or more aptly next Tuesday’s election?
We as a nation seemed to be engaged in a full-time pity party about how bad the economy and our lot in life is and that the only way to make it better is for more government intervention into our lives or, more precisely, more handouts. People are angry at Washington, D.C. That’s a given thanks to how rules are contorted for special interest groups across the political spectrum at the expense of the little guy.
Linda, though, believes more government — that ultimately means individuals having less say over their lives — is not the answer. It is why Linda — along with her husband Richard — serve on the San Joaquin Republican Central Committee. Both are on Tuesday’s ballot for re-election from District 5 that mirrors SJ County Supervisor Bob Elliott’s district.
As central committee workers the Sivermans perform the proverbial grunt work that makes the system work ranging from voter registration to precinct walking. It’s not glamorous work but it’s the price they are willing to pay for delayed gratification — a government that one day is less intrusive and less expensive. It is a plus, as Richard points out, that you get a chance to chat with a lot of neat people in the process of knocking on doors.
It goes without saying Linda is smart enough — and wise enough — to understand that a “free” college education isn’t free and that it is human nature to value things that are free much less than things you  earn by making sacrifices to acquire.
Given the fact her father was a postal worker in Battle Creek, Michigan, and a registered Democrat and she had to pay her own way through college as well as experienced a period in American society where equal footing for a woman wasn’t something that was widely embraced, you’d think she’d be a registered Democrat based on the Twitter approach to sizing up the political parties and why people belong them.
Why many of us are Democrats and why many of us are Republicans are much deeper than sound bites, communication done in 140 characters or “movements” based on personality or born in the throes of frustration.
For Linda, part of it has to do with her uncle who — after retiring as a police detective — was elected to the Michigan legislature.
But a lot of it has to do with her values. She believes the Republican Party is more likely to enhance the opportunities for individuals to go for their dreams understanding the right to succeed brings with it the right to fail. You can’t have one without the other.
Richard says that is why the framers of the Constitution fought hard and long to pick the appropriate words when they were pouring the nation’s foundation.
The four words that sums it up for Richard are “the pursuit of happiness.”
That may sound ludicrous at first, but mull it over for a second or two. Americans are free to pursue happiness. It led to the western expansion. It triggered the Gold Rush and subsequently created California. It got us to the moon and back. And it led to smartphones and all sorts of trinkets and experiences.
The impulse of a massive government bureaucracy is to regulate and restrict. In Sivermans’ book, the less government intrusion, the more happiness.
Linda and Richard have cast their lot with the Republican Party believing it is the political organization most likely to produce candidates that share their view on Americans being free to pursue happiness 240 years after the concept was penned and signed by 56 men who knew by doing so they were essentially signing their death warrant.
The Silvermans value what they have as Americans.
And they want to make sure future generations will be free to pursue happiness as well.
It is why they are running for what most of us would consider a mundane post.
But as Linda can tell you it is the willingness to do the mundane task of working your way through college, working your way up the ladder on a job, or engaging in the political system ultimately produces delayed gratification that is anything but mundane.