In school, kids are taught to respect people, especially people like the president of the United States, whoever is occupying the office.
Bo asked me: “Mom, why are commercials saying bad things about President Barack Obama?”
“It’s complicated, son, but a lot of people think they know what’s best for 319 million folks. We are all different; that’s what makes the world go round. But remember this: Always be a nice person.”
I attempted to inform him on the difference between Democrats and Republicans.
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His big blue eyes looked lost. He didn’t know what I was talking about. I’m not sure I even knew what I was talking about. Come on, Scholastic, help me out.
I figured all he needs to know at his age is what a president actually does. My grade school days were slowly coming back to me. Ah, yes, the president has two main jobs: chief executive and commander in chief.
“The president is the only one who can decide to use nuclear weapons.”
My son’s eyes got wide, real wide.
“Well, uh, yes.”
Maybe I should leave the political lessons for the teachers.
“My friend at school doesn’t like Barack Obama, but I think it’s because of his mom.”
I never really remember my parents trying to sway my political stance when I was growing up. Maybe this was a good thing. Knowing how to form your own opinion is a sweet skill.
I don’t remember them making a big deal about it. I’m not even sure my mother has ever voted. She doesn’t think it would make a difference.
Not everyone has that “I’m just like my mother” moment. I take voting seriously. Bo has been with me to the voting booth on more than one occasion.
I remind him that it’s important to read up on each candidate. When he asks, I let him know which one I voted for.
Too many times politics turns into ugly heated arguments. One thing is for sure, you should never bring up politics at a bar or on Facebook. You’ll get defriended.
Someday our son will choose which political party he sides with. We aren’t going to disown him if he thinks differently from his dad or me. I will love him the same: Democrat, Republican, gay, straight, single, divorced, married, kids, no kids. You get the point.
Like I keep telling him, I really just want him to be a nice person.