I don’t know if this is a question about etiquette or ethics, but here goes. One of my earliest childhood memories is sitting on my mother’s lap in a rocking chair at my grandmother’s house watching Geraldine Ferraro’s acceptance speech during the 1984 Democratic Convention. My baby sister was asleep beside us, but she had woken me, age 5, to watch “history in the making:” the acceptance speech of the first woman vice presidential candidate.
Mind you, I’m not sure I actually remember watching “history in the making” or if it is the memory of having the story and the outcome of that election repeated to me every four years.
Recently I shared a similar experience with my six-year-old daughter. My husband (who had never voted Democratic before) and I took our two children to vote before dropping them off at school. There was a very long line with plenty of time to explain why we were waiting to vote.
As my parents had done with us, we picked each child up and showed her how to vote. When I was old enough my mother actually guided my little hand to lie on top of hers and we pushed the lever together.
My parents to this day have never asked any of we children if we voted and who we voted for, because it is assumed that every good American votes every two years. Not just in presidential elections. And nobody has to know who you voted for.
How do we teach children the importance of hope? Our children were disappointed that the candidate we had been talking about for the past year and whom “we voted” for, lost. Try explaining to a precocious six-year-old, the difference between Geraldine Ferraro losing the nomination because her husband hadn’t paid taxes and why Trump hasn’t disclosed his tax returns.
–Bitter in Brooklyn