Growing up as the daughter of a political dissident behind the iron curtain, it would have been just about impossible for me to have not become aware of ‘politics’ from a young age…
And, aware I of politics I did become! On both the macro and the micro scale.
When I was of kindergarten age, the parents of other kids feared letting their children play with me: what if someone saw it and noted in their dossier that from an early age, the child had consorted with political undesirables? It may seem preposterous or paranoid to most people living in our society, but, back then and there, even a small notation like that could prevent a student from being accepted to the school of their choice…
I also started to notice political cartoons in the only newspaper available – the party rag. Rather, I noticed a change in tone, or tenor, or whatever the roper term is, in the political cartoons. First, they were contemptuous cartoons depicting a buck-toothed smiling guy. The others were not contemptuous – even though they were meant as a ridicule, even I could see that the woman they depicted struck true fear into the political people in charge.
The one openly disrespected and ridiculed was Jimmy Carter.
The one clearly feared was Margaret Thatcher.
And that was when I began to admire her!