I have been seeing a lot of posts from parents who have kids following politics showing their 7-9 year olds following this election intensely.
The year is 2020. Go back 40 years.
The year is 1980. I was 8 years old.
John Anderson, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter.
I’d done a book report on Jimmy Carter already with Peanut Farming.
I knew Ronald Reagan was an ex-actor and I felt like he was pretending to be John Wayne but not very well.
But it was John Anderson that fascinated me.
There was no internet and my family wasn’t into politics. But I’d watch whatever I could the few times he was on. They called him a “Dark Horse” and while I heard them talk ABOUT him more than actually him talking, I did hear him talk a few times and I rooted for him.
He lost and in successful elections, I was confused why every election didn’t have at least 3 candidates.
This year I voted for Joe Biden. But in a normal election cycle, if I saw a significant third party emerge and it was one I was agreeable to, I’d vote 3rd party again. I want ranked-choice voting to be honest.
But the point of this is: 8 year old old Kenny is validated by all of these picture of kids making maps of the election, or staring at the TV, and hearing about their intense interest in the election and the personalities involved and the issues each represent.
I’m validated because many times through the years, I was told, “NO 8 YEAR OLD FOLLOWS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS OR IF THEY DO THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON”.
But I knew better. These parents know better. These kids know better. And 8 year old me is validated.