Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Mockery of Public Service

It's grown to be a joke in our abode.

When there's too much sugar in their blood stream or too little time getting their wiggles out, the kids scream "What starts with D and ends with P?"  And while they laugh hysterically (which is still mind boggling because they've said it countless times), they make up names like "da poop" or "the dope" or "the don pawn."  But always, every time in a way that indicates that the person they are referring to is an idiot or a fool or at best, a silly man.

I contend with the comments for a bit and then, I say, "Okay, alright, enough is enough."

The truth is that I want desperately to provide my young, malleable children with a balanced perspective of this man who is running to earn the highest political office in the land...but I can't.  In fact, I'm thankful that we don't watch the news and that they don't have social media accounts to hear more extensive stories of what a buffoon, at best and a monster, at worst that this man really is.

In the beginning, I thought his tirades were a farce.  I imagined that his racist, sexist and in general, nonsensical commentary were simply a rouse--that truly no one in their right mind would pay homage to a man who has alienated nearly every population subset around him.

But then, I stood in amazement this morning driving the kids to school.  He's now won the primaries in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada (my husband's home state which I like to give him a rash about).  The last state, he scored over 20% points over Rubio and Cruz.  Dear God...this feels like a real deal.

And then I thought, why does this bother me so profusely?

It makes me extraordinarily sad that the notion of earning an opportunity to serve in public office has become either a ridiculously exclusive enterprise, to see how much money one can fund raise, or how obnoxiously offensive one can be in their views, with next to no evidence as to why they believe the way that they do.

I want nothing more than to proudly walk into a voting booth with all three of my children and discuss what an enormous privilege and extraordinary right this is to partake in as an American.  I want them to research candidates and to feel out their own perspectives, values and mindsets about issues that affect not only themselves but their fellow citizens.  I would love to hear that they would want to sacrifice their own time, talents and gifts to become public servants and that they would take that responsibility very seriously.

But the truth is that most of the time, if we walk into a voting booth, we're doing so with the expectation of selecting the lesser of two evils and that was not the intent behind the process.

So as this election cycle plays itself out, you can imagine who I will not be voting for and that I will be extensively researching Canadian citizenship if the people of our country fall into the devastating trap of voting for someone that seems unfathomable to represent us in anyway, shape or form. 

Until then, because I try to be a good mother, I won't let the children denigrate his name...too much.

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