Years ago, “citizenship” was taught in elementary school. In the era of class-based standardized testing, such content has fallen by the wayside. Kids learn about elections from the media and random family commentary. The future of democracy depends on our children’s voting skills, and it is a skill that should be taught at home.
Here are six party-neutral traits to teach your children to use in evaluating our country’s leaders.
- Sacrificial Love of Country: Does the candidate have a record of military or public service?
- Even Temperament: Is the candidate able to disagree with another wihout engaging in personal attacks? If the candidate is a target of a personal attack, how does he or she respond?
- Representative of all Constituents: Does the candidate use language that unites or divides people?
- Wise: Is the candidate humble enough to consider others’ opinions, and smart enough to discern what is the best course?
- Communicator: Does the candidate use the leadership roles to engage with constituents as well as the international community? Does the candidate understand and use social media?
- Integrity: Does the candidate value commitment in his or her personal life? Has the candidate been consistent and honest in position statements? Does the candidate have a moral anchor such as a religious or civic affiliation?
Before going over these with your children, ask who they would vote for today, and why? Then model good citizenship by sharing your decision process and voting regularly.
Make the country great again
run by rich and white old men
Wall Street governs Washington
Can I get an Amen?
He raises up a gold baton
Cheers fill the stadium
The crowd moves on as one
Marching to the beat.
Reason tiredly watches
The suit and hairspray preen
Most popular marching on
To be prom’s king and queen.
Chanting past the crooked tree
The lush and fertile fields
Green grass flattens underfoot
Marching to the sea.
Diversity hurts you and me
Throw out those who disagree
Then bomb them ’till it’s only me
Who matters any more.
Roaring surf heard too late
Crowd crushes to the waves
Sighs fill the land of the free
At the home of their grave.
Written by Karen Grossman, copyright 2016, response to Palin’s endorsement of Donald Trump.
It’s no secret that a good fight is good entertainment. Somewhere along the line, however, fair competition became not enough for viewers. It’s no coincidence that NFL games are getting more violent and out of the referees’ control. We are desensitized by media saturated with violence. Now it is not enough to have a good debate of the issues, or a fair football game. Viewers want to see blood, and the networks are ready with the knife.
Forget about informing the voters about where various candidates stand on the issues important to Americans. I mean – who wants to watch that? These candidates are the stars of the show, let ’em play!
Last night’s debate was as sad, depressing and dysfunctional as the last episode of Honey Boo Boo. Candidates are devolving into caricatures of themselves: Simplistic assurances that we will keep out Muslims, throw out Mexicans, roadblock Hillary, and bomb, bomb, bomb away Arabs resonates with those who confuse dominance with leadership. Each debate gives Republican candidates another opportunity to destroy each other. The team is losing the game, it’s ugly, and I don’t know if I can watch.
What are New York values? Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz says Trump embodies “New York values,” and that the rest of the country knows what that means. Enlighten me – I am part of the rest of the country, and I don’t know what that means.
Don’t nominate a candidate who excludes female, Latin, and African-Americans issues from their stump speeches and platform. That didn’t work last time and it won’t work this time. That means if you nominate a divisive candidate, for example, you will ending up cheering and saying “So there! We showed you!” while you loose the general election, not to mention the respect of most of the country and international community.