We Preached Nonpartisanship

“If you’re not voting, that’s as if you don’t want any voice in your own government.”


Hold a Conversation

In addition to the questions below, please see How to use the questions for reflection.

Clarifying Questions
  • What does the storyteller mean by “I like to see both sides?”
  • When she describes herself and others as active, what is she describing?
  • Why does she value voting?
Interpretation Questions
  • Why do you think this storyteller preached nonpartisanship?
  • She seems to harken back to a different time. Does that time still exist?
  • What were the conditions of that time?
Implication Questions
  • Where are we now?
  • Where should we go?

Transcript for We Preached Nonpartisanship

Well, I’ve always been interested in politics, and I like to see both sides. I’m not just straight Democrat. I see some good Republicans. I can’t say Trump is anything but a clown. To me, he’s a clown. I see I have agreements there.

I was very active. I was president of the League of Women Voters. And my right hand was a black woman principal of Froebel High School. So, I can show you pictures downstairs; the League of Women Voters was black and white.

The woman that was president of the Hammond League of Women Voters and I met. She – I can’t think of her name anymore – but the Hammond League was active too. So the two of us decided to have a candidates meeting for the candidates to talk, and we wanted both parties. We weren’t going to endorse either one. We packed! They were turned away. There were no seats. It was at Seaman Hall in downtown Gary. It’s recently been torn down.

We used to demonstrate the voting machine. The county used to let us bring the big, the big, old-fashioned voting machine to 5th and Broadway at the bank. And we would have it there for a week. They were more interesting than the ones now. I don’t like the way we vote now.

Her husband worked on the Post Tribune. And she was a – her husband had the local newspaper. And she was from the Gordon family, H. Gordon and Sons, the department store.

Lottie Meyerson, you might of heard of her, she was very active in Gary, too. Biracial. I’m not on that. Yeah, there I am.

We were all active people. Her husband had – that other paper was kind of, well, it was nonpartisan, too. But it was more Republican than Democratic as far as I was concerned. But it didn’t matter, you know, because we preached nonpartisanship.

I think if you’re a citizen at all, you should vote! If you’re not voting, that’s as if that you don’t want any voice in your own government. If you vote, you’ve voiced an opinion.

I have a good friend, and she knows it too. I said, “You have to vote!” And she said, “Well, I’ll think about it.” I said, “There’s no thinking about it. You have to vote. If you vote against me, okay. But vote!” I said, “If you don’t vote, don’t criticize.”