I woke up early this morning to discover that YES, my friend Brian Mast had won the primary. I breathed a sigh of relief and then realized that now the work REALLY begins.
(The picture above is of my and my kiddos out encouraging others on the day of the primary to vote for Brian. It was raining, but we had a blast!)
Parents, I don’t care what side of the political fence you fall on, I implore you to engage your children in the political process. Give them a civics lesson and explain the brilliance of our political system to them. Read the Declaration of Independence (taxes is #17 on a list of wrongdoing by the king…not at all near the top of offenses!) and the Constitution. Make sure your children know who the local and major candidates are and can speak intelligibly about them. Play the devil’s advocate and ask them to defend their beliefs. Take an afternoon and visit a local candidate’s office, find political forums, and have your children come armed with questions and get your kid to stand up and ask! You can tell an AWFUL LOT about a candidate and how they answer or ignore the younger people and children in a crowd.
Our children must be taught that they have a part to play in the leadership of our nation, even if the only part they ever play is voting. They need to understand from an early age that our nation’s political players work for our citizens. This is a government OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, AND FOR THE PEOPLE, and our youngest citizens are just as valuable, just as powerful, just as precious as any other member of society. Teaching them to use their voices begins as early as possible.
Yesterday marked a moment for me. When Daly Kay was tiny and Ryli and Bliss were toddlers and Kemper was still in my belly, we went to protest the election results of 2000 at the Palm Beach County Election Headquarters. Hot and sweaty, for hours we held our signs and day after day we would return to hopefully make some difference. Every presidential election we held parties and she would map out delegates and representatives, count members of the electoral college and stipulate and ponder and pray, sitting there with her laptop and yell and jump for joy and get angry about results. And now, my girl was helping a candidate with his election and we were campaigning together for him!
All I really hoped for were kids that would care and participate in their right to partake in the leadership of this country. And in the process, David and I raised women who were more than just marginally interested…now they are grown adults who have invested.
I know moms and dads, we are all busy just trying to make a living, getting the kids from school to sports to tutoring. We don’t always have a clear understanding of the political process ourselves. But this election season, let’s make an effort to educate ourselves and our children. The very fate of our nation rests on our shoulders to inform and educate our children about the brilliance of our political system. And who knows? By informing and educating your child, you might accidentally raise the future President of the United States!
In case you have forgotten about how exactly an electoral college works, and why it is so brilliant, here is a short 2 minute video you can share with your family.