Michele Bachmann Ex-Democrat
In pursuit of the truth – www.cinopsbegone.com – Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Marcus Bachmann, Michelle’s husband of 33 years, immediately knew that she was different. In the spring of 1976, when they were both sophomores at Winona State University in Southeastern Minnesota, he spotted her across the playground at an elementary school near campus, where they supervised recess and youth sports. They were both (barely) paying their way through school and jumped at the chance to make a few dollars. [Article by Robert Costa, National Review, July 18th]
“Every day, we walked from the elementary school to the college,” Marcus tells me. On those strolls, they opened up to each other. “Michele was interested in intellectual philosophical, and political conversations,” he says. The summer after she graduated from high school in Anoka, Minn., she had worked on a kibbutz in Israel, and she fascinated him with her stories.
The pair became fast friends, and soon the relationship blossomed beyond the schoolyard. That summer they worked on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign. Both were pleased that Walter Mondale, Minnesota’s favorite son, was chosen to the Georgia Democrat’s vice-presidential nominee. “By the time we were dating,” she says, “He told me that it’d cost $100, and I said ‘No way,’ since I would not put 24 cents in a soda machine. But we went, and we danced at an inaugural ball.”
For Bachmann, the experience was a thrill, especially seeing the Capitol dome for the first time, a sight that moved her to tears. But that was her last dance with democratic politics. By the spring of 1978, their senior year, she and Marcus were planning a post-graduation fall wedding. Their affection for Carter was evaporating. They talked about how he was aimless in foreign policy and a blubbering mess on social policy, his supposed strength.
A key moment in their political development came that spring when they both attended a campus screening of the Francis Schaefer film How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture. “The message encouraged our beliefs that life is precious.” Marcus tells me, reflecting on how the evangelical thinker influenced them.
Michele agrees. From that moment, her pro-life and family values began to crystallize into a firm political worldview. After years of seeing politics as partisan scraps, Bachmann began to notice a difference between the Democrats she grew up with in Waterloo and the monolithic Left running Jimmy Carter’s Washington.
The final straw came on a train ride back home one evening in the late Seventies. Bachmann was reading Gore Vidal’s Burr, a historical novel. When she realized that passage after passage was mocking the founding fathers, she threw the book down, disgusted with how the liberal writer described her heroes.
“I was offended,” she says. “When I grew up in a Democratic family, we were respectful of the founders, we were very patriotic, we loved the country, and we were reasonable fair-minded Democrats, like many of them are. I put the book down, looked out the window, and thought that this is not what I recall growing up. I thought I must not be a Democrat; I must really be a Republican. A couple years later, in 1980, both Bachmanns back Ronald Reagan [who also was an ex-Democrat]…
George H. Kubeck