I’ve been trying to get this post together all morning. Day 3 of a borderline migraine isn’t helping to speed things up. I’ll be posting about some acting things next week – but today is about politics. I try not to get too political … even though I tend to have strong feelings about things.
If I had to classify myself, I am a Democrat. That doesn’t mean that a Republican wouldn’t get my vote though. In the end, I’m voting for whoever I think would do the best job. The first time I was ever truly excited about a presidential election was 2004. Kerry/Edwards. I really believed they would bring amazing changes. I supported their campaign by buying signs I put up at our first house and I wore the buttons around. True story. I wore the freaking buttons. And it was the first time I found myself wondering how I could be more involved in a campaign.
But we all know how that turned out in the end.
I haven’t felt compelled to support anyone else’s campaign in sign and button form since.
This current presidential election is scaring the hell out of me, and I don’t think I have ever felt like that before. I’m not in love with any of the candidates. I know who I’m leaning toward, but I don’t say much to my kids about it.
We have sort of a routine each morning. At 7am the boys all filter into our room and hop in bed and watch the start of The Today Show with us. Depending on the news that morning, sometimes it gets quickly changed to cartoons – but most days we all watch a bit together. I hadn’t realized that they were forming their own opinions about the election until they started talking about it.
A few days ago, a Trump sign went up (in a tree) a couple houses down from us. My kids were outraged. And I found it awesome. They told me why they thought he was an awful choice and that all the kids at elementary school are talking about the election and no one likes him. Hilarious.
This morning we pulled out of our driveway and there it was. Another giant Trump sign – high up in the tree – right next door to us. I may have loudly uttered something inappropriate. My kids started yelling. I suddenly found myself in the position of having the kind of talk with them I didn’t think we would have at this age. They were so mad there was another Trump sign. While I agree, we had a long talk on the way to school about how the great thing about our country is that we are all free to make our own choices.
I had an 8 year old tell me that was not correct because he is not free to play video games at any time. Because of course.
We talked about how we may not feel the same about someone else’s choice, but we still need to get along. Everyone gets to make their own choice. We need to respect someone else’s decision – as much as it pains me to stare at that Trump sign. I don’t ever want to see them outside yelling about how they feel about someone else’s choice.
They asked me if I would vote for Hillary since I’m a girl and she’s a girl. Nope – that’s not how someone gets my vote. We talked about how it doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman or what your skin color is … it’s about who you think will do the best job. Period.
One of the boys told me if they didn’t like who was running for President in the end … they just wouldn’t vote at all. We talked about how that isn’t right either. How it’s so important to use your vote, even when you don’t like the choices. You still need to pick who you think will do the best job out of everyone. That’s hard to explain to a kid. And that maybe next time around you have to think about what else you can do to help change things if you aren’t happy.
We need to be involved or nothing will ever change.
It continues to surprise me Trump has gained the traction he has. Years ago? I loved him. On TV. The Apprentice was one of my favorite shows and I thought he was awesome. Trump as President though? That’s entirely different. I don’t know how we as a nation have gotten to where we are right this very minute. In 2016. Where Trump and Cruz are the front runners.
But that’s the reality.
And maybe it’s time to start working harder to help change things.
The boys may be too young to do much now, but I’m so proud that at the ages they are at, it’s already a topic on the playground at recess.