It’s occurred to me in advanced middle age that I am also something of an unwitting cusper. I’ve lived my entire life in sort of a cusp – in a sort of cultural, political and psychological point of transition – without being fully aware until now of how this has deeply affected my views of life, faith and the passing scene.
For starters, I was born in the cusp of the 1960’s in the northwestern corner of Alabama — culturally and politically speaking, a part of the upper South — though I have spent most of my adult life working as a news and public affairs specialist at a university in the the upper portion of the southern part of the state, which is far more associated with the culture and politics of the Deep South. Even today among some Alabamians, this constitutes a critical distinction.
Adding an extra layer of irony to all of this, I was raised a Republican in northwest Alabama, which arguably remains one of the most committed Democratic enclaves of Alabama. My strong GOP family connection is not entirely surprising, considering that my family tree is a much Southern unionist (tory) as it is Confederate.
Adding the final layer of complexity to this picture: I am at this point in my life a Republican in name only — an Eisenhower moderate — in a state that has become deep-dyed red Republican, a theologically liberal Protestant in a region that remains largely, if not implacably, conservative evangelical. I tend to think of myself as a Red Tory in the Disraeli conservative tradition – a progressive conservative, in other words.
In all honesty, I feel fortunate to have inherited such an eclectic temperament and background, because they have equipped me in middle age with what I consider to be a rather unique perspective, one that I feel compelled to share occasionally with readers.
Have a nice day.