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Home > Family & Lifecycles > At 8, politics so simple

At 8, politics so simple
Ideal ticket: Bush-Lieberman?

Staff Writer
November 6, 2000

As the last bits of the campaign blitz hit our airwaves, newspapers and lives, I have pretty much decided whom I'll vote for this time around. I must admit that I have changed my mind a few times, weighing the political history, integrity, plans and promises, and general intelligence of the candidates. Sadly, no one whom I would really want to choose as our next president is running. Ultimately, I will probably vote for the candidate I feel will cause the least harm to our country in the next four years.

I spoke to some friends in Europe recently who had the opportunity to watch the debates. I was excited to get the opinion of people not swallowed in the campaign nonsense-to maybe see a perspective I had missed.

I was saddened, but not surprised to learn that they were flabbergasted at the seeming lack of intelligence, not only of the candidates, but of Americans in general. The drivel, as they called it, falling out of their mouths during the debates was only outdone by commercial breaks. How an entire country could take things so casually was beyond them.

I hung up the phone even more bewildered and undecided. Not so, my son Vajih. He has his mind made up. I'm not sure if he realizes that he must be 18, not eight, years old to cast a ballot in this close election because I'm fairly certain he expects to be voting in the polls tomorrow.

As soon as he found out that vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman was Jewish, he had decided his vote. Wearing his Lieberman 2000 leather kipah (that he got from Zipple, of course) he proudly sports his own electoral preference. "Joe! Joe! Joe!" he chants watching campaign coverage. Lieberman is a definite winner around these parts.

Upon inquiry, however, a fairly frightening reality is uncovered. Vajih knows nothing about medicare, even less about the Social Security system. Tax rebates, corporate sponsorship, political and media endorsements go zipping right past his head. Terms like, Roe vs. Wade, affirmative action, gun control and campaign financing are not in his vocabulary.

But none of this matters. Joe Lieberman all the way, as his biggest supporter lives under my roof. I can't help but wonder how many other households are facing a similar challenge-but instead of third graders who know nothing of the issues at hand, there are adults who can, and will, cast a ballot tomorrow.

I shake off the fright of that prospect and decide to ask my son why he wants Gore to be the next president. I expect his answers will, at the very least, bring a touch more humor to this entire fiasco.

"Gore for President? No way! I want Bush to be the next president! I bet Gore knew about Monica Lewinsky and didn't tell on President Clinton, even though it was wrong. I don't want him to be the next president!"

I was surprised at his sudden shift of party alliance, although I was quite impressed with the deeply considered reasoning for an eight-year-old. He may not be so clueless after all.

Vajih went on, "I will vote for Bush for president and Joe Lieberman for vice president!"

So much for his having any touch of political knowledge after all. It's a really good thing that he won't be voting. There are enough clueless adults who will do his job for him.

©, 2000. May not be reproduced without written permission.

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