Look, we live in Georgia, okay? People love them some John McCain here, and go out of their way to let Obama supporters know it. With a LOT of gigantic yard signs. And bumper stickers, too. And they tend to say a lot of ridiculous things about Barack Obama, obviously within earshot of their kids, because these little pint-sized, tart-mouthed Republicans have been climbing on the school bus and strutting into the classrooms, saying all kinds of foul things to black children—mine included. Just yesterday, my 9-year-old tells me, a kid in her class told her he “hopes Obama gets assassinated.”
I wish he was just engaging in some 9-year-old silliness and that his words were not the reflection of the views of his parents. But something tells me the ‘rents are probably sitting around the kitchen table, saying all kinds of foul things in front of their kids and letting the feelings their words ratchet up go unchecked. Don’t we have the responsibility to arm our children with thoughtful, intelligent, age-appropriate information so that they can learn how to parse ideas and express themselves in meaningful ways? I mean, anything less means we’re falling down on our jobs.
Luckily, my fourth grader, Mari, is quick witted—she’s got skills. She simply dismissed her classmate as an idiot and told him he should prepare himself to call Obama “Mr. President” come next week. (*I dab at my eyes, sniff, and smile proudly*) My nephews Miles and Cole recently had their own glorious moment on the school bus:
6th grade Republican girl: Why does your family support Obama, since he takes from the rich and gives to the poor?
My 4th grade nephew, Miles: That’s not true. But if it were, would that be a problem?
Republican girl: You should have a problem with it—you’re rich. How many poor people have a pool in their backyard?
Miles: We’re not rich—we’re middle class. And the rich are in a better position to help the poor.
Republican girl: Well, Obama won’t be a good president for the country.
Miles: It was a Republican president who caused the country to be poor and led us to war in Iraq.
Republican girl (obviously flustered): Yeah? Well Obama’s ears are so big that he could be an elephant and become a Republican.
Miles: Well McCain’s cheeks are so puffy that he doesn’t even need his private jet—he could just fly himself.
Cole, Miles’s 6-year-old brother, who couldn’t resist getting in on the action: “Look up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, no—it’s the same McCain!”
Mark my words on this one: Mari, Miles and Cole, and my other daughter, Lila, equally brilliant, are going to be runnin’ thangs one of these days—maybe even the United States of America.
Today is the last day that early voters can pull the lever in Georgia, as it is in many other states that allow early voting. No matter whose corner you’re in, no matter what party you support, no matter which candidate you prefer, please go vote. If not today, then most certainly on Nov. 4th. It’s your right. It’s your duty. It’s for our beautiful babies.