Out of the Mouths of (Political) Babes
Parenting is hard. Good parenting, even harder. But there are moments during the decades we commit to our children that we see real return on that investment. This past week, while discussing the election and events in Benghazi with my 10 year old daughter, I have experienced countless numbers of those moments. She is finally getting it.
If you’ve read any of my work before, you already know that I take seriously my responsibility to raise thinking, active, contributing citizens of this world. I have no trouble towing my kids around to political functions or rallies with me. My daughter, in particular, has worked on several campaigns already in her short 10 years. By the time she was 6, she had traveled to three states for political purposes and attended half a dozen FairTax rallies (even making up a fun chant to say while waving her sign: “We don’t want the income tax! We want the FairTax!”).
She’s informed on the issues. She begs to watch the debates. She wants to go with me to vote…no, she wants to vote! So this year, feeling the most engaged she has been yet and still frustrated that she hadn’t found a way to turn that passion into power, she took it upon herself to begin talking with her peers about politics. And then she wielded the power of the pen and wrote about it.
The most rewarding part about reading this for me as a mother was that she did it entirely on her own initiative. When she finished the first draft, she wanted to revise (an additional reward for this mother, who is also an English teacher). Then she asked me if I would help her find a place to publish it. I suggested the school newspaper, but she said her target audience was parents, so I decided to take advantage of this forum and share it with you.
I’m sure you could find all kinds of flaws in this mini-essay (she is only in the 5th grade), but the message should be one that resonates with all of us. Our children are interested in more than just sports, video games and fashion. They do care about their future, they are willing to work hard, and they are fully capable of articulating their thoughts in conversations with their peers. All we need to do is consistently teach messages of individual liberty and responsibility, and in doing so, we are taking critical steps to help ensure the future of this great nation.
That’s very well written for a 5th grader (although a little hyperbolic for my tastes). You should be very proud.
One thing I would mention to your daughter is that Romney is fine with class sizes ballooning well past the point where you as a teacher/parent and your daughter as a student should be comfortable. I know you probably spend time at home going over your daughter’s work with her, but most students don’t have the benefit of an at-home teacher. I would suggest that part of the expectation of getting people back to work and working, or simply breaking a cycle of poverty, is that they do have access to a quality education and that seems to be something that Mr. Romney has given very little thought to.
Anyhow, while I don’t agree with your daughter’s logic, her essay was very clear and mature. Thank you for sharing!