Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Favorite Son Saga: Our Choice for President

Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton

So, The Favorite Son and I watched the first presidential debate last night featuring the two “major” party candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. TFS even wanted to make popcorn, which we did.

Like a lot of things, we made the popcorn the old-fashioned way on the stove in an iron pot with oil and salt.

If you've paid attention, you already know I am not a fan of either of the dominant political parties in the United States and I have either been registered to either a third-party or as an independent for at least 18 years. During the debate, however, TFS tried to get me to commit, “Who are you leaning toward, Dad?”

“Someone who isn’t on the stage,” I answered.

About half of the way through the debate, The Second Beautiful Daughter came home from studying with a friend after her swim meet. The first thing she asked, excitedly, was, “Is that popcorn?”

After she brought a bowl into the family room and sat down, she asked me, “If Joe Biden had gotten the nomination, would you vote for him?”

My response was a scoffing and genuine, “No.”

TFS asked, “Dad, can I put up a _________ sign in our front yard?” Clearly, he's made his decision.

I answered, “I’ll think about it. It’s ten o’clock, Boss, and the debate’s not over until ten-thirty. You can stay up and watch the rest if you don’t give me a hassle about getting up in the morning.”

TFS said, “Thanks, Dad.”

He was asleep on the love seat five minutes later.

This morning, when The Second Beautiful Daughter came down for breakfast before she drove herself and her brother to school, I said to her, “Your brother knows who he wants as our next president. Who do you like?”

“I don’t know,” she said wearily. “I try to listen to people and make sense of it, but I don’t know.”

“Don’t listen to other people,” I counseled. “Politics are a lot like religion. Which religion is the best?” I asked rhetorically. “People believe what they believe and you’re not going to change them.”

George Bush and Hillary Clinton: What's the difference?
“It took me a lot of time to figure out what I believed. From what I’ve seen, Republicans tend to say that you can have more economic freedom, but want to regulate your personal life like concerning abortion or marriage. Democrats tend to say that you can do what you want with your body, but take more of your money and spend it the way they want to. In practice, when either a Democrat or a Republican gets into office, there doesn’t seem to be much difference in what they actually do.

“I want to make my own economic decisions and I want to make my own social decisions. As long as my beliefs and decisions don’t prevent anyone else from pursuing their own happiness, no one should care what I do and I want government to stay out of the way.

“I want good roads, though,” The Second Beautiful Daughter said.

“Yeah, there’s a role for government,” I said, “A common defense, sure. Roads? Probably. Should the government buy people cell phones, though?”

The Second Beautiful Daughter finished the blueberry pancake I made for her and left with her brother for school.

"Good luck on your science test, Boss," I called as I heard the door close.