Monday, February 11, 2008


I'm going to blog off topic today. Meaning, I'm gonna talk about something other than myself or children's publishing. I want to post my thoughts about the presidential race, as it relates to my son.

Over the past few months, my wife and I have morphed into political junkies. When the TV is turned on, we are watching news channels. We enjoy watching — and arguing along with — the political pundits. We are following the races closely. And my son has been watching, too.

Anyone who read my blog in the early days, knows that I tend to fall to the right. It's nothing I planned, so don't throw rocks at me. Conservative politics just make better sense to me. But with the introduction of Obama, I've jumped ship.

As we watch the debates, listen to speeches, follow the news coverage, my son asks many questions. "Why is Clinton and Obama always on TV? What's a Republican? What's a Democrat? Do I get to vote, too?" Although, of course, he's too young to vote, he's already made up his mind: "I'm voting for Hillary Clinton."

That's not a popular position in our home.

This Democratic race is historic. Just a few years ago, who'd have thought it possible? A woman? A Black man? Battling it out for the White House? And one of them is actually likely to win? Martin may have dreamed big, but I'll bet he ever imagined this.

I love this race! My son, my African-American son, can aspire to be President of the United States, if he so desires. No longer is this a far-fetched dream. I'm almost brought to tears when Obama gives a speech while my son quietly looks on and asks questions. But I'm also curious as to why he cannot see an African American as President. Why does he view Obama negatively, and Clinton positively? Surely, he doesn't understand the differences between their socialized healthcare proposals.

I think that both Clinton and Obama are serving as good role models for children — Clinton for girls, Obama for African Americans, or non-whites in general. But based upon my son's reactions to this political race, I wonder if African American children have a longer way to go in wrapping their minds around the concept of a non-white president.


Disco Mermaids said...

Love this post! I enjoy pointing Obama out to my son when he's on TV and telling him I want that man to be our next president. My son asks why, and I say because he's smart AND he's nice. Two things I want MY son to aspire to be.

;-) Robin

Malcolm said...

If Obama can lock up the nomination (which I think he will), America will hand him the biggest landslide since Reagan ’84 (an election I worked on as a young Republican).

President Obama will show an entire generation that the American Dream is more than just a fairy tale children are taught to keep them in line.

Chris Barton said...

Look at the bright side, Don -- you're managing to raise a boy who's not a sexist, which is no small feat in this culture.

(But do keep working on bringing him around to Obama...)

rindawriter said...

I took a political test to see where I was located without naming a candidate--and I'm LIBERAL!!! So I like people like FDR and JFK and Obama. Which I do. Which is interesting because my Dad always admired JFK and his father was a FDR man all the way through.

It is all tremendously very exciting!

Your son may possibly like Hilary because she has a reassuring sounding voice and demeanor like she is a good caretaker for someone small and not powerful. After all, he can't understand the politcal platforms, he is only deciphering mannerisms and tones of voices. Besides, you have to find out what he means by "likes," He may be awe-inspired by Obama but use the word "like" to mean someone approachable more on his level.