“Show me a young Conservative and I'll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I'll show you someone with no brains.”― Winston Churchill
What are your thoughts on Churchill's quote? I know that I get less Liberal each year and I see it around me as well. My grandfather (remember him?) was a Democrat (if you can believe it!) when my grandmother was alive. At least she was a Democrat and I am pretty sure that he did what she wanted him to do, but that was over a decade ago. He was still a bit cranky then (that's his game), but he didn't spend his days watching Hannity and Beck, so there was room for reasoning then. Having children made a difference because now I want policies that won't enable my children to slack off and be rewarded for mediocrity. I suppose THAT makes me conservative. I also believe that people who truly need help should get it. THAT makes me a Democrat.
My friend, Tom Jones (not the lounge singer, though that would be *insert lilty voice here* awesome!) is a staunch Republican (I think mostly because he likes to fight--no--banter--with others about politics) as were most of our friends in Virginia--and Montana come to think of it--and he always told me that the fact that I'm an Independent means that I'm too weak to make a decision. He was [kind of] joking, so don't get riled up over that. Also, he may be right.
I feel like it is the teacher in me. Teachers are constantly asked to see every part of a situation and English teachers spend their days reading and analyzing behavior. Sometimes it is the behavior of the students and sometimes it is the behavior of the characters in the reading, but looking at all points of view is required to make a final assertion. That is how I treat most things that I do and it is definitely how I approach politics. Of course, if I feel like someone is being bullied, I sometimes get cloudy vision and pull for that person to win--pulling for the underdog--how very Democratic of me, right?
So my friend posted this the other day (about her son who is...six?):
My son wants to earn some money to buy a toy. I gave him a small job to start the process. He said, "This job doesn't feel very lucky." I told him, "You are very lucky if you have a paying job. That's a good thing." He said, "Why can't you just give me the money without the job." I told him he sounded like a democrat. He said, "Don't call me that hateful word!" lol (sorry dem friends. too funny not to share)
Funny, right? It reminded me of a conversation I had with my son when he was four:
"Mommy, why do you have to pay the doctor EVERY time you go?"
"Well, because when someone does a service of some kind for you and it is their job, then you need to pay them."
"I think that people shouldn't have to pay the doctor--I think the doctor should always make sick people feel better because that's what doctor's do."
"You should run for office."
And this one we had shortly thereafter:
"Mommy, I want to marry YOU."
"Well, that is very nice, but you can't marry me."
"But I want to--why can't I?"
"Because moms can't marry their children. It doesn't end well."
"Who says? I should be able to marry you if I want to marry you."
"Well, I don't want to marry you, so we don't need to fight about it."
"Why don't you want to marry me?
"I'm already married--trust me--it's enough for me."
"Then I want to marry (his friend--we'll call him Eliot) Eliot. Can I marry Eliot?"
"Hmmm...in some states."
"What about here [Montana]?"
"Nope. And not in Virginia [where we used to live] either."
"Why not? I don't want anyone telling me who I can marry!"
"Luckily we don't have to make this decision today then."
Regardless of your political agenda, isn't it funny to look at "hot topics" through a child's eyes? Do you have similar chats with your children? Do you try to avoid politics altogether or are you hoping to raise a little Alex P. Keaton (PLEASE know the reference...!)? Will you guide your children, but ultimately let them make their political decisions on their own, or will you school them on your politics and let them know that there is no other choice?
My friend (you know--the one whose child I exploited above) is fantastic (AND a Republican--who'da thunk it, right?!) and although her child is headed in what she deems to be the right direction, I know she isn't brainwashing him into taking on her beliefs. I say that because I actually do have friends who are practically brainwashing their children and I'd like to know if this is commonplace and what your thoughts are on it. I'd also like to know if anyone else's children force them into political conversations on a regular basis...because mine does it daily and quite honestly, I don't have it in me anymore!
Maybe Churchill's quote is right--I have complained about losing pieces of my brain each time I delivered a baby (I believe they were holding onto my brain and that is why it hurt so much. Delivering a person is bad enough, but trying to expel part of your own brain--horrible!)...and I did have way too much heart when I was younger. If only I could find a balance. I'll work on that