I just went to the Democratic National Committee website and clicked around to verify a rumor I heard. Supposedly an article for young adults on “how to talk to your relatives about politics at the holiday dinner table” was posted there before Thanksgiving. I didn’t find the article and I’m thinking now that clicking around on the website was probably not such a good idea. If I show up on some Democrat distribution list because of my research – understand – don’t judge.
Our daughter, now approaching forty, is a liberal converted to a faithful follower of Glen Beck and conservative ideals. Marrying our son’s best friend in the military seven years ago probably nurtured that natural conversion. The old saying goes, “you can’t be a conservative when you’re young and have a heart – and you can’t be a liberal when you’re older and have a brain.” If I’m honest I have to admit the old adage “like mother, like daughter” also holds true here.
The other day my daughter asked me, “Mom, how can we educate young people BEFORE they start voting?” I think she may have been reflecting on her own early voting record. My daughter’s concerns about “young people” were validated for me during a conversation with my college age niece over the Thanksgiving holiday. She reports that at the large state university (Hook ‘em Horns) she attends she has to listen to liberal lectures and regurgitate the liberal ideas to make a grade. The light bulbs goes off on making “free college” available to everyone. If this is going on in “Texas” . . .
So here goes my advice on discussing the future of our country with the young people we love . . . over holiday dinner. Remember that their life is different than our life at their age. Many are exiting college with large student loans. Finding full time work that meets their expectations may be difficult. Buying a home may be out of reach or undesired. Delaying marriage, choosing to remain single, having children inside or outside of marriage – or not - all seem to be available choices. Corporate retirement plans and social security do not.
Up to this point their iPhones may have been ordered “off” during dinner. They will welcome your invitation to “Google” the “national debt”. Show your radical alignment with them by pulling out your iPhone and follow their lead – go to the sites they choose. The amount of the “stated” debt, the public debt “not stated” and the debt burden for every citizen could lead to an interesting discussion. Do we “pay off the debt,” “grow the economy” or is some other solution found?
After researching the current state of the national economy together, ask who they think YOU should vote for to help their future and why? Given the facts and their healthy skepticism you may find you have more in common than you think. At least you will discover what sites they are going to for information and get a clearer idea of the issues from their perspective – we all tend to get stuck in the rut of our own news sources.
They may roll their eyes, but send them home with a gift wrapped copy of The Constitution of the United States with the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation - Introduction by R.B. Bernstein (Barnes & Noble, 2002) and a gift certificate for “The Republican Dream Team of 2016” (www.republicandreamteamof2016.com). By merging old and new ideas we may find the solution to our country’s future – together.
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