Yesterday was also Michigan's Republican primary, and the giant flat-screen tv in the McD's dining room was tuned to CNN. The girls were paying no attention until they saw a map of Michigan appear, at which point they were all "hey! That's us! What is up with that?"
This is how I ended up explaining democracy (the Cliff notes version) over a Filet-o'-Fish.
|I should have just shown them "America Rocks" instead.|
Mimi: Well, I hope whoever the next president is, he's a nice guy.
After I explained that the next president might still be Barack Obama (knock wood) or could be someone from the other political party, but we don't know who yet, she said: "Well, they should MAKE UP THEIR MINDS. WHAT IS TAKING SO LONG?"
Boo: "OH! Elections! We talked about elections at school. We are going to vote for president too! So I will tell you who is going to be president, Mom. It's Obama."
Mimi: But what about all those other people?
Me: What other people?
Mimi: You know. The other people. The ones who sit at the tables and go [banging hand on table] BOOM! Like that. You know. The GOVERNMENT.
Boo: Raise your hand if you want Obama to be president.
Mimi: Those are the guys [off shot of Romney and Santorum] that think that you shouldn't get to marry whoever you want to, right?
Boo: But you CAN, right Mom? Right? Girls can marry girls and boys can marry boys and girls can marry boys.
Mimi: But you don't HAVE TO GET MARRIED IF YOU DON'T WANT TO. RIGHT?
Boo: Why isn't there a GIRL president?
I explained that there hasn't yet been a women elected president, but that no doubt someday there will be. And even threw in the old "You could be president, you know!"
Mimi: But, Mom, YOU should be president. You can tell people what to do.
We also had a great discussion of what politicians do, and why some people like one "guy" over another to be president, which boiled down to me telling them that a lot of it is complicated grown-up stuff, but what they should know is that some people believe certain things are good choices and some people believe OTHER things are good choices. That completely confused them, because in their world there are multiple choices, but if something IS a good choice, it is obviously good. They might not MAKE the good choice, but they don't try to argue it wasn't good in the first place. And there's really no question about what is and isn't a bad choice.
I was trying very hard not to demonize, and to be fairly neutral and not all "REPUBLICANS WANT WOMEN TO STAY HOME BAREFOOT AND PREGNANT. DON'T EVER BE A REPUBLICAN. OR DATE ONE. DO YOU WANT TO BREAK YOUR MOTHER'S HEART?" However. Is it wrong that I hope there was some poor ultra-Republican soul in an Ypsilanti-area McDonald's last night APPALLED at how I'm indoctrinating my children?