I don't tend to speak publicly about my political affiliations. There are lots of reasons for that. Some of it is related to Matt's job. Some of it is related to my views vs. the general views of some of the communities I'm a part of. For better or worse, I'm not interested in inviting hostility into my workplace or relationships with my neighbors because of differing political views. I have been quite anxious leading up to this election, more than any past I can recall. But today I woke up feeling excited because I. Love. Democracy.
I know there are lots of things wrong in our political system, but I refuse to be cynical about this process we have a right to participate in. I do my best to pay attention to the issues and I am proud to vote in even our small, local elections. I try to impress upon our children the importance of exercising the right to vote.
This year, the nature of the election has necessitated lots of extra discussion about respect in our house. And, I will admit, there have been times when I have found it a challenge to speak respectfully about all the candidates. Who knows what my children will hear when they go back to school tomorrow. Over and over again I have repeated that, in our house, we will speak with respect about our president and we will treat everyone with respect, regardless of who they voted for.
Harper has commented a couple of times that she doesn't, "like," this candidate or that candidate. This year I have challenged her on that - why does she think she does or does not like someone? She might not care for a public persona, but does she know what policies the candidates stand for? Has she thought about how the result of her hypothetical vote would impact her daily life? She sort of blows me off when I try to talk to her seriously about this election, as almost-twelve-year-olds are wont to do, but I hope that some of my message is sinking in.
Here's the truth - I would never vote for someone based solely on his/her gender or race. But I'm so incredibly moved that there is a woman as a major party candidate, when 100 years ago women didn't even have the right to vote. The fact that people are showing up at the graves of suffragettes to celebrate the right to vote makes me heart humanity.