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.