From the mouths of babes. (Political dance remix.)
Yesterday I picked up my 6 year old early from after-school daycare, and we ran errands about town. We went into the county seat and I walked her into a county administration building. She asked me about the forest of yard signs hammered into the grass median in the street out front, safely greater than 50 feet from the front door.
"Why are all those signs here?" she asked.
"Foolish optimism," I responded.
"What's that?" she asked.
"It means that someone thinks that they can get me to vote for their candidate by putting up a little pasteboard sign immediately in front of the polling place," I said.
"What's a polling place?" She asked.
"This is," I answered as we walked inside. "It's where people go to vote."
"So we're going to vote?" she asked, unhappily eyeing the line that we were joining.
"I am. You're too young, and will be for 11 and a half years, yet," I said.
"Are you going to vote for Barack Obama?" she asked.
"We don't talk about that right here," I answered. "This is not the place."
She started to ask me why, but caught my stern look, and closed her mouth again. I took her in, brandished my voter registration card, signed the Early Voter roll, and chose to vote via electronic ballot. (We could choose paper or electronic voting, with most voters choosing paper.)
As we passed the sign forest again on our return to the car, I explained to my daughter that I had not voted for Obama, but had cast a vote for John McCain. (I figured that I would discuss the concept of "Lesser of two evils" to her some other time.) She asked me why, and I explained why. She chewed on that for awhile, as we got into the car and buckled up. As we were entering traffic, she asked me: "If you're voting for that other guy, how come I've never heard of him like I've heard of Barack Obama? I see him on the news and other shows on TV. I never heard of that other guy."
"That's a good question, kiddo," I said.