Last night we planned the menu for Friday night's family get-together. Much like we do for big games, we decided to go with pizza for Friday night's first presidential debate. We thought we'd go with one large cheese and one large combo so as not to be partisan in our food selection.
I am a little blown away that my teenagers are into this at all. Both my 15-year-old Cameron and my 18-year-old Ashley are following the election, perhaps Ashley ever-so-slightly more so because she will vote for the first time this year. I am so proud of them, so pleased with their interest. We have interesting discussions about the candidates. I would say heated, but they're not, largely because I have always found more interest in a well-rounded discussion than in the hammering of an opinion.
I believe that there is something important about fostering a young person's interest in politics without beating them up about which team to root for. When I hear stories from them about how some of their relatives will pound Barack Obama, calling him everything but the anti-Christ, I feel even more strongly that it's important to let them come to their own conclusions. They may decide to vote for John McCain, but they don't have to hate Barack Obama to come to that conclusion (or vice versa.)
They ask me questions all the time. Which candidate is better? Which one is a better person? Which one is smarter? Which one will end the war? I answer them as best I can, and I try to answer fully - this is what this side believes, this is what that side believes . . . now what do you believe?
I'd be curious if any of you feel strongly that you should tell your kids how to vote. Are your kids even into this election like mine are? Am I missing something in the way I approach them on this issue? At least I'm confident about the food selection. Anything that keeps me out of the kitchen and in the family room where the action is will be good.