Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Kindergarten Electioneering

Election Day has always gotten maximum attention in our house, given that JR's dad is the consummate political junkie. So we discuss everything from the tiniest local election to the big, media-saturated ones. This year, we've had the extra excitement of living in a state where our primary actually mattered (usually, the playoffs are over and the finalist has been chosen before we get around to voting). Add that to the retirement (under shadow of indictment) of one of our all-time favorite criminals, make that state senators, and we couldn't wait to get to the polls this morning.

Of course, all of this has rubbed off on JR, and he's been quite interested in the question of who we were voting for. He had his own favorite, too, and I'm posting because I found his logic fascinating. JR prefers Hillary Clinton because "We've never had a girl president." I tried to explain that we've also never had an African-American president, but the issue of race makes no sense to JR. He doesn't see it. I explained that Obama was "black" and JR told me that no one has black skin. I then compared Obama to
his African-American classmates and he didn't see the comparison because each person has a different kind of skin. He did concede that Obama has hair like his friend who is of mixed race. But basically he couldn't imagine that it would be important to have a president with a certain kind of hair.

I love the fact that he lives in a world where the idea of "race" is incomprehensible and where he cannot understand how anyone could be treated differently because of the color of their skin or the type of hair they have. I hope and pray that he lives in that world for many, many years to come.

On the other hand, I'm also fascinated that in a world where race is a nonsensical distinction, the difference between boys and girls is still so clear. And secretly proud of the fact that my son wanted to vote for the girl, "because it would be a good change, Mommy."

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