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    Entries in election (2)


    on involving my kids in politics

    A photo of my son -- a photo (and a kid, obviously) of which I am very proud -- did some laps around the internet last week. On more than one occasion it, my parenting, and my motives were questioned, and that took me by surprise, as George was participating in an activity I would never think twice of. What was he doing?

    Standing on the steps of our county's courthouse, at a rally in support of Referendum 74 (WHICH PASSED THANK YOU WASHINGTON), which affords all Washingtonians their right to marry whomever they damn well please.

    I was accused of indoctrinating him, of forcing my beliefs on him, and using him for political gain. Those accusations made me sad not because they spoke to me in any real way; they were absurd. I was disappointed to read them, because they meant that people are not engaging their kids in political discourse. To the hand-wringers, a child at a rally is a prop, not a participant, and that speaks volumes of the state of our nation. 

    George wasn't plunked down on the steps of the courthouse for a photo-op, and he wasn't naive to the cause for which we were rallying support. We've talked at length this fall about the presidential candidates, the ballot measures that most concern us, and what we, as citizens, can do to make sure our voices are heard and people get a fair shake. So many people he loves -- we love -- are affected by the homophobia that plagues our country, and if anyone feels injustice to the core, it's a toddler. What better time to introduce the concept of privilege (and shedding it) than in these formative years? We are developing a habit of participation, of informing ourselves and thoughtfully considering those around us. If that's indoctrination, well, there are certainly worse dogmata.

    That brings me to the other troubling part of the complaints: the assertion that I should give my kids "all the information" and "let them decide." This is a proposition only humored by liberals, and I'm here to say: NO EFFING WAY. Civil rights are not something about which we should even be voting. Were my children to grow up racist, I wouldn't shrug my shoulders and say hey, to each his own! The devoutly religious, the homophobic: they don't (usually) suggest to one another that there might be another way, so what's with the liberal guilt around the only things that are, without question, just and true? I have no problem telling my kids, or anyone else, that some things are right and some things are wrong and my family will not participate in bigotry. For the record, I also often choose what George eats for lunch, when he goes to bed, and whether or not he can oppress his sister despite not detailing every edible thing in the house, the necessary bodily functions that occur during sleep, or what will happen when Zelda is big enough to fight back. 

    I was proud to watch the debates with my children, proud to hear what George had to say about Obama and Romney, and thrilled when he could rejoice with me in the victories we won. It's never too early to have these conversations, and never too late, either. In a country where apathy is rampant, involvement is one cure. 




    Proud of Washington State tonight.