Dear A and B,
Today is Election Day. You don’t know what that is yet. (Really, you don’t know what anything is yet. That’s not your fault though.) You did sort of participate though–I completed my mail-in ballot last week. It’s not as exciting as entering a voting booth and pulling a lever or completing and scanning a ballot, but it still counts!
Election Day is an important day for Americans to participate in our democracy and make our voices heard. Politicians are our representatives in the government, which makes choices about our country. They work for us, so it’s very important for citizens to do their job and be part of the process.
You’re being born American, white, and middle/upper-middle class. This means that without even trying or doing anything, you already have an amazing amount of privilege. This will follow you for the rest of your life, when you’re in public, at school, and at work. It is vital that you understand this. Not everyone has the same privilege and it’s one of our biggest jobs as parents to make sure that you don’t ignore or take advantage of that, to raise you not to be entitled and self-absorbed. We want to help you develop into informed and thoughtful world (not just American) citizens. Don’t ever think that your voice doesn’t count, that all politicians are the same, and nothing’s really going to change anyway. I hope you’ll see that you can use your vote to help not just yourself, but your entire community, by having a say in how it’s built and run.
We’ve all been going through this endless campaigning for President for two years now, and pretty much everyone is sick and tired of it all. Most of us feel pretty strongly about one candidate or the other. By the time you can read this, you’ll probably know my/our political idealogies and who I voted for in 2012. The different candidates and their political parties have the very real abilities to change a lot of our collective lives and liberties. I’m never sure how elections will turn out–I don’t want to count my politicians before they hatch, so to speak–but I really hope things end up the way I want them to. (Mostly because I’m always right, as you’ll soon learn!) I believe it will help all of us, individually and collectively, have better lives and futures. And the future is what we’re all here for and need to remember and work for. There are so, so many problems that we’re facing right now–as a country and as a planet–that will only get worse for you as adults. I hope the political process isn’t as ugly as it’s gotten lately by the time you’re able to vote. But regardless, you need to vote and make your voice and choice heard and be a part of your own future.
Your Daddy loves current events and especially politics. He has a lot of opinions and knowledge about various candidates and policies and histories. For the next presidential election, you’ll still be very young, but I have an inkling that you’ll be the most politically informed four-year-olds in your class at preschool. We won’t be able to take you to the polling place with us (if we still live in Oregon), but we will certainly let you see us reading and talking about the issues together, and then completing and dropping off our ballots.
Rock your civic duty!