My Mother during her two years at Howard University.

Mom Taught Me The Basics

Of all the people who’ve influenced me when it comes to Politics, number one of that list…was my Mother.

Malcolm Johnson
8 min readMar 14, 2018


You may have noticed, I’m kinda into politics.

But who’s to blame for my political drive? Who’s responsible for putting a massive chip on my left shoulder, and daring anyone to knock it off?

Given any and all intellectual heft I inherited, you might think my Father.

Dad is quite smart (don’t tell him I said that), and he is also a fervent Democrat. Now, I get a lot of things from my Father: my analytical mind, any and all ability to analyze complex systems, a fondness for Science and an understanding of Economics. Now, apparently any skill at Mathematics skips a generation (just ask him). And we do move in 100% political lockstep…although he would claim to be to the left of me.

But Politics? That was Mom’s thing.

As divided as we have become in our politics, as much as Americans tend to vote for the guy to make sure the other guy doesn’t win, a lot of politics is driven out of love.

Yes, love.

Love for a cause. Love for an idea. Love for a candidate.

We’ve all had candidates we’ve loved, win or lose.

For my Mom, I think of three Democrats. Two you’ve never heard of (they were Marylanders) and one you have.

The one you have heard of…was Robert F. Kennedy.

Oh, Lord. My Mom’s been gone for sixteen years, and I’m still afraid to say anything negative about Bobby. Say one ill word about f Robert F. Kennedy in her presence, and my Mother would fight you.

For real. The formerly sweet little old lady from College Park, Maryland would bawl up her fists and FIGHT-YOU!

She loved her some Jack. She always loved Teddy. When we had company in from out of town, and we brought them to Arlington to see the eternal flame, it wasn’t Jack’s grave we were visiting.

Robert F. Kennedy’s gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery.