The Impact of the 2012 Election on my Children

GOP Elephant and Dem Donkey fighting in a boxing ring
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Tuesday evening, we gathered around the television as a family. We popped some popcorn, added the all-important M&Ms (because popcorn isn’t complete without M&Ms), and watched the news folk do their thing as they reported on the election returns. My prediction was right. Some of my candidates won. Some of them lost. That’s part of life in a democratic republic.

“I hope the Libertarians win tonight,” one of our offspring announced.

“Why’s that?” I asked.

“Because I’m a Libertarian,” replied the offspring.

Like you know what a Libertarian is, I thought. You aren’t even old enough to drive. And you definitely aren’t old enough to care about the differences between Republicans and Democrats. And there’s no way you know how Libertarians fit into that mix.

“Oh really?” I replied. “Do you know what a Libertarian is?” I mean…neither Christy nor I claim affiliation with the Libertarians. So this announcement was a little surprising.

“Yeah. They believe people and the states should have most of the power and make the decisions. Not the Federal government.”

Interesting. Not a bad definition. Especially for a young’un. I realize there’s much more to libertarianism than that. At the same time, I was pretty impressed. After all, when I was the same age as said offspring, I was more concerned about riding my bike, playing Nintendo, and exploring Stockwell Woods with my friends. I didn’t know diddleyĀ about politics. And I’m not sure how many adults could explain things so well.

Said offspring explained a few things said offspring liked about certain candidates. Said offspring also talked about the the candidates’ negatives. Then the conversation ended with this:

“The main reason I want the Libertarian to win is because he didn’t have any negative ads.”

Maybe there’s hope. Maybe this current generation of future voters will become so disgusted with the negative campaigning that it will encourage a Third and maybe a Fourth or Fifth legitimate party to gain prominence. Maybe losing a generation will encourage the Republican and Democratic establishments to give up on the tactic that has short-term benefits, but is causing so much long-term damage.

Maybe the future is much, much brighter than anyone in either of the establishment parties can even imagine.

That’s my dream, anyway. And it’s my prayer. Maybe it’s yours, too.

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Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

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Most of what I heard on campus was, “I don’t want this candidate to win because of this viewpoint.” Rarely did I hear any conversations where a person was legitimately for a particular candidate and/or viewpoint.


A little late to the party (no pun intended), but I stumbled on your post after searching for images to go with a post about the effect on the U.S. of the dominant parties’ lock on our electoral system.

Also with said child, and with you. If we don’t stop enabling this party nonsense we will continue our downward spiralā€¦and I fear we don’t know how to stop :/