Raising Responsible Citizens

My son has always been with me whenever I voted, and we discussed how it was important to always participate in the political process, to know and research the candidates and issues. As he got older, Arizona had the Permanent Early Voter List and when I would get the ballot, we would research the candidates, including the local City Council people and the propositions together, so we were informed and would discuss the issues. I asked him for his opinions and never told him that he was wrong, but would ask questions about the opposite side of the issue. Even if he was already on the side that matched what I was going to vote.

My son was so sad when he couldn’t vote for Obama the first time in 2008, but he registered to vote as soon as he was 18, has voted in every election since, and last year, attended his first political rally for Bernie Sanders. As we were leaving, I asked him for his thoughts. He stated that the best way he could describe Sander’s speech was to quote Spock “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one”, that’s what Bernie Sanders wants to do.

Considering my son is a logic-driven Star Trek fan, and I joke that he is half-Vulcan, it was a huge compliment to Bernie Sanders.

When we got our permanent early voter ballots for Arizona’s “presidential preference election” he already had his filled out for Bernie Sanders and as soon as I got home, he handed me mine, and once I filled out mine, we put them in the blue mailbox that night. 

We have been paying attention to the clips from debates, and some of the stump speeches from all candidates on both sides, and we are both bothered by all candidates on the Republican side. Not just those running for president, but also those running for the House and Senate, and state legislatures. Those must change soon, and term limits must be put in place for House and Senate congressmen. Until there are term limits in Congress, we will continue to see obstructionism, backdoor deals that only help the richest people and corporations, banks and CEOs, not average citizens and certainly not anyone living near the poverty line.

I am so happy to see young people like my son, and others, who are paying attention and getting involved, it is their future that I worry about.

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