Thursday, November 09, 2006

I Voted Today

The place where I vote is a Catholic church situated on the Ohio River. I have never really understood how they got such great real estate, and it is beautiful, but there it is on the mighty Ohio river, up high, yet right on the banks, away from flooding. It is a beautiful building, and for a country that believes in separating church from state, quite a statement to The Kid who is currently studying the US constitution in depth.

Voting Tuesday in Southern Ohio was rainy, so we weren’’t assaulted by the usual mob of campaigners, who by the way I am sick and tired of.

As we approached the Gothic structure, The Kid reminded me of The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom co-authored by founding fathers, Jefferson and Madison, where “No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever...”. I often wonder why he can’t remember his multiplication tables. I told him it was actually the bingo hall that was our destination, so it really wasn’t a religious worship place. The Kid continued, he wanted to know why the rest of us had to vote on gambling and slot machines but this place was allowed to have bingo...sigh... the trials of mentoring this sort of human being.

The Kid is in general very Liberal in his politics -- who wasn’t when they didn’t have any money to call their own? The Kid takes great delight in harassing his Grandfather and anyone else who speaks of anything conservative. A friend recently shared this story:


A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat and was for distribution of all wealth. She felt deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican which she expressed openly.

One day she was challenging her father on his beliefs and his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and more welfare programs. In the middle of her heartfelt diatribe based upon the lecture she had from her far left professors at her school, he stopped her and asked her point blank, how she was doing in school.

She answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain. That she had to study all the time, never had time to go out and party like other people she knew. She did not even have time for a boyfriend and did not really have many college friends because of spending all her time studying. Furthermore, that she was taking a more difficult curriculum.

Her father listened and then asked, "How is your friend Mary?"

She replied, "Mary is barely getting by,"

she continued, "all she has is barely a 2.0 GPA"

adding, "and all she takes are easy classes and she never studies."

But to explain further she continued emotionally,

"But Mary is so very popular on campus, college for her is a blast, she goes to all the parties all the time and very often does not even show up for classes because she is too hung over. "

Her father then asked his daughter, "Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct a 1.0 off your 4.0 GPA and give it to your friend who only had a 2.0."

He continued, "That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair equal distribution of GPA."

The daughter visibly shocked by the father's suggestion angrily fired back, "That would not be fair! I worked really hard for mine, I did without and Mary has done little or nothing, she played while I worked real hard!"

The father smile and said, "Welcome to the Republican Party."

The look on The Kid’s face was classic and the backpedalling was interesting.

But to get back to our adventure, in general I take The Kid with me when I vote so he can see what goes on and understand the process a little. This day, The Kid accompanied me because I was certain he would be able to figure out how to use the electronic voting machine even without reading the instructions. These kinds of things escape me and frustrate me to no end and that’s why we make such a great pair.

Later that day in TaeKwonDo, The Kid’s Master told me that she was so proud of him, she continued “it’s so cool to see kids excited about politics, he said he couldn’t wait until he was old enough to vote.”...If she only knew...