Everything my son will ever need to know about politics, he learned on Tuesday.
He was in one of those moods where he asks hundreds of questions. Who am I kidding? He’s always in one of those moods. This time, the questions were about politics.
Who was the best president ever?
Who was the best president in your lifetime?
Who was the worst president ever?
Who was the worst president in your lifetime?
I answered every one of those questions with complete honesty and a thorough explanation. If the NSA was listening in on our conversation, they’ll be paying me a visit pretty soon. It’s been nice knowing you. I’ll tell Dinesh D’Souza you said hello.
We were on our way to vote. Well, me. Not him. Kids his age only get to vote in Chicago. This isn’t Chicago.
When we walked in to vote, I saw an old friend and we made small talk. I walked over to get my voting card and met the folks in charge of making sure that people only vote once. Like I said, this isn’t Chicago.
My son stood perfectly still as I cast my votes. He was fascinated by the computer screen and the names I put a big X next to. He was even more fascinated by the names I wrote-in. That’s always been a philosophy of mine. I never vote for someone I know nothing about and I never vote for the lesser of two evils. To put it another way, I vote for a lot of write-in candidates.
My son was a statue. I don’t think that he even blinked. I could overhear the workers commenting on how well-behaved he was. I was proud. When we walked out, a man handed me a sticker. It had a peach on it and said something about me being a Georgia voter. And then the man handed my son the same sticker, even though he didn’t vote. The man said that any kid as well behaved as him deserves a sticker.
On the way out, my son asked me why I wrote in so many names. He wanted to know what would happen if Thomas Jefferson and Gregg Allman really did get elected to public office. I told him that they didn’t have a chance to win but that it’s better to vote for someone who can’t win than it is to vote for someone who will win and do all of the wrong things.
Later that night we went to a party. It was for a friend who was running for office. He’s one of the good guys. The kind with a name that you are proud to put an X by.
The results for his race were coming in slow and the hour was growing late. The kids were sleepy. When we got home, we listened to the radio while we were getting ready for bed. Finally, the news broke.
Our friend won.
My kids cheered.
And then we prayed for our friend.
Everything my son needs to know about politics, he learned on Tuesday.
He learned that sometimes your only option is one that was never given to you in the first place.
He learned that sometimes the good guys really do win in politics.
And he learned that no matter how good or bad the elected official is, whether we like him or oppose him, we pray for him.
Even if he’s from Chicago.