Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Future Campaign Strategist?

Faith's creativity is amazing. While there is no mistaking that she lives in a household that leans to the right of center, Jenny and I have never really talked much politics with her. I certainly want her to grow up forming her own opinions and have no designs on indoctrinating her. Nonetheless she is very curious about things. She's obviously learned a little about the election process in the classroom and picked up on our preferences (from initially very minimal cues).

One day, she told me that if Obama were her teacher, he would be mean to her and the whole class. Shocked by her bold use of partisan spin, I told her that it just wasn't true. I said that he would probably be a nice teacher, but would do some things that you might not like very much.

Then last Saturday, while we were at Pizza Hut enjoying the meal that she earned for reading 100 minutes at home in the month of October, television coverage of 11th-hour campaigning droned in the background. Faith recognized the faces on the tube and pressed for specifics of what Obama would do if he were her teacher. Where to start? I explained that he might ask for a show of hands of all kids who brought their lunch money. He would ask for the same for those who didn't. Then he would take the lunch money from one group and give it to the other. Hold your fire Obama supporters! I know this is an oversimplification and possible exaggeration, but how do you explain opinions on tax policy to a first grader, even a smart one? Besides, the kids don't bring lunch money anymore; they have accounts (that Obama would siphon.) I tried to explain how we believe strongly in sharing and helping people through charity, but don't believe such is the role of our government. With part of her allowance, Faith helps us support a Kenyan girl who shares her exact birthday. Needless to say, I didn't even want to start on experience, integrity, or the host of other issues to consider when voting for President.

Faith shares our anxiety, perhaps to a greater degree at moments. Ever thoughtful and creative, her outlet was to write a book. I think most would find this a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a 6 year old, regardless of personal views. The use of punctuation, mood, and the way the plot builds shows her remarkable grasp of literary devices. Neither Jenny nor I are political activists, but Faith exhibits an aptitude for rallying the troops. Click the picture to view her book. (She wrote double sided and some images bled through.)

My own thoughts as I ponder the years ahead... Obama is a master of nuanced language and a paragon of the cult of personality. Disregard everything Rush Limbaugh or Chris Matthews says about him. His actions prior to campaigning and his remarkably brief voting record define the leftmost precipice of American politics, belying his meticulously constructed image of a unifying centrist. He is a product of the Chicago machine, arguably the most corrupt political organization in the United States. Though every candidate in a two-party system campaigns to the center to court the swing vote, none has bridged such a great a chasm to complete the illusion. Can we trust this man with the keys to the world's future? I hope I am dead wrong about him.

On the lighter side, you gotta love the ears. If she turns out too introspective to be a campaign strategist, Faith has a future as a political cartoonist.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fall Fun

I need to write more about some of the fun things we have done this fall, when I have a chance. Halloween was last night and we are going to try some fun stuff tomorrow, too, so my backlog is growing. Until I get caught up, here are several photo albums (click to view photos):