I have utterly failed as a conservative leaning dude, but I think I may have won as a parent. This morning, as I was taking my second grade son to school, I mentioned to him that I was going to vote after I dropped him off. He became very excited at this bit of news, which surprised me a little bit. This is sort of how our conversation went:
Son: Papa! We studied about the election in our class!
Me: Really buddy? Do you know who is running for President?
Son, proudly: Barack Obama and Mitt Romney! Who are you going to vote for?
Me: Well, who do you like in the election, son?
Son, thoughtfully: I would vote for Barack Obama.
Me, curiously: Why is that? What do you like about Obama?
Son, again thoughtfully: Well, he already has the job, and it seems kind of mean to try and take someone’s job.
My son’s pure happiness at the concept of voting took me back a bit. I didn’t want to tell him who I was voting for. Suddenly, I wanted to shield him from the ugly world of politics and the trouble that goes into such a choice.
Later that day, I picked my four year old daughter up at pre-school. She goes half a day, and today happens to be the day I get to pick her up for our lunch date. She hops in the car, practically giddy, and informs me that she has something to show me about the election in her backpack. I tell her I can’t wait.
When we arrive at the house, she pulls out a sheet with both candidates heads pictured above a questionnaire geared toward children. Things like, “What food do you like? What do you do for fun?” Each candidate had answered. My daughter asked me, “Papa, did you vote for the red guy or blue guy?”
Me: Who would you vote for, if you got to pick, baby girl?
Daughter: I’d vote for the blue guy.
Me: That’s President Obama. Why him?
Daughter: Wellll…he has a dog named Bo. I like dogs, so I think he should be President.
Me: That’s true. I like dogs too. But look, the red guy likes horses.
Daughter, brow furrowed in thought: Oh yeah. I like horses too! I will go for both of them, is that okay papa?
Me: Of course. You go for both of them.