Whenever The Powers That Be made up the rules of civil discourse, they determined that three topics should never be discussed in polite conversation: religion, politics, and money.
But, we all know that part of the fun of being a mom is that you get to make the rules.
So, from time to time on this blog, I’ve thrown caution and the rules of civil discourse to the wind. I’ve talked a bit about religion. I’ve talked about money, and, so this week, I figure, what the hey-howdy-hey, let’s finish off the Forbidden Three and talk about politics.
It’s been almost a week now since Election Day. Most of the gloating and the hand-wringing on both sides of the aisle has settled. Facebookers are back to posting pictures of their kids instead of political punditry. And, you know what they say, “As Facebook goes, so goes the nation.” Or something like that.
While I’m glad that it’s back to life-as-usual for the most part, there is something in me that I expect will never be the same. As I watched the results streaming in on election night, I felt surges of hope and worry. I wasn’t thinking about the personal merits of one candidate or the other. I wasn’t even thinking about their stances on this policy or that policy. My mind was centered squarely on my son and his future. It made me think of not only this election but politics in general in a whole new way.
A few years ago, I was more than a little consumed by politics. My journalism degree is from a school deeply rooted in political action and, not coincidentally, located just outside of Washington DC. While there, I was determined that my life path would take me into political journalism where I would Make A Difference.
But then life happened. My goals changed, and for the past four years, I have given little thought to the state of our nation’s political affairs. But, as every mom (or mom-to-be) knows, a little mister or miss has a way of making you care about all sorts of things you didn’t care about before.
And so, I feel my paradigm is shifting once again. This election mattered most not because of the impact it will have on my life over the next four years, but because of the far-reaching effects it will have on Jacob's future and those of his children.
Long before becoming a mom, when I heard parents discussing politics, their conversation always focused on their “children’s futures.” At the time, their rhetoric didn’t register with me. Honestly, as a fresh-out-of-college student, I was more concerned about my own future. But, now that I’m a mom, I know that there is nothing more important to a parent than the well-being of their child.
Though all of us moms obviously don’t agree on exactly what policies promote that long-term well-being, we know that the influence we have on our children in our homes and what we teach them about civic responsibility and the heritage of our country will have a greater impact on them than any law that any politician will ever make in Washington.
As a result, I am newly determined to Make A Difference and for my voice to be heard, if only to my audience of one. And, I hope that you will join me. Whether our little ones are 8 days, 8 months or 18 years old, as moms it is our job to stand by our principles, pray for our leaders, and raise up responsible citizens.
I hope in the aftermath of the “you win some” (in this case, the Democrats) and “you lose some” (the Republicans) events of last Tuesday, that is something that we can all agree on.