The state where I live has never really been noticed much on the election front.
It has gotten some limelight on the political side in recent years as a result of some controversial (and fairly awful) political moves that have royally failed… but in general, it gets ignored.
So, it got really weird when all of the sudden, we had three different presidential candidates in town on the same weekend.
Honestly, I can’t say that I ever have even seen one of them make a stop in town before, even when we are the largest city in the state.
And now suddenly, three are here, and two of them are holding big events on a Saturday in the building where I work.
I’ve never been so glad to not be working on a certain day. lol
But, after my initial impulse to run far far away… I almost wanted to go.
Not because I think either of the two will win…
But, partially, because that day I had a couple of kiddos friends over after a pre-planned sleepover.
She has always gone to a very racially diverse school…. so has always had friends of all colors.
So on this particular occasion, I had my kiddo, and an African American girl, and a girl whose parents are from mexico and speak extremely limited English, and a blond girl who has lived with us occasionally for short spells due to gaps between her family’s housing.
One of the candidates who was here was one who has a very old mindset about relations with different races, religions, and classes and has made himself look pretty bad because of it.
And that ended up being the reason that I chose not to take them. I didn’t really want to subject them to that sort of environment. (They wanted to go, but I think more just for the circus aspect)
But, it wasn’t that I wanted to bring these girls for them to learn anything at all about the political process (this really is not the election for that).
When I really thought about it.,.. the reason that I wanted to go, and that I wanted to bring them… was just to remember.
Not to remember the time that they got to see a presidential candidate.. (or maybe even a future president, though I really hope not..)
But to remember years from now… and be able to compare the way things are that time in a favorable way.
My mother is old enough that she remembers the de-segregation of schools in this state…. to have been an older child during the major conflicts it caused… the have clear memories of the awkwardness of the first years during her junior high spell.
She knows exactly how far the world has come when she goes to by daughter’s school programs, and the skintone that got my younger brother and I teased a bit for being some of the darkest in our almost entirely white school is now one of the lightest in the room that has people from all over the world represented.
And, I sort of realized… that maybe I have more hope for the world than I think.
You know, most of the time if you asked me, my guesses towards the future lean pretty bleak.
But in realizing that I wanted to let them see to let them remember… I realized that it meant that I was expecting a future to be better from now. I expected a future in which this sort of political mess is something that’s only a distant memory of a time much worse than their current day.
I ended up not braving the chaos, and I’m glad for that decision, as unfortunately, most of the conflicts that I’ve heard about from the event were cases of people making themselves look bad and being "case in point" examples rather than proving the politician to be as crazy as he is. (Behavior that would have been ignorant for anyone, but with clear symbolism marking them as an intentional act in a particular ideological direction actually hurting their cause much much more than helping it)
But lets just hope there’s a day that this is all just a rough memory.. for all of us.