The dangers of politically-minded children

I was never interested in politics when I was younger. I was busy calculating how many black pieces of clothing I could rock at once without turning into a literal black hole, perfecting heavy cat’s eye liner — never did nail that one down — and listening to music consisting mostly of lengthy guitar riffs and suburban guys screaming about their feelings.

Look, I was busy. Emoting.

Then the kids came along, and I decided everything might not suck and I should attend to handing down a future that didn’t come out of the pages of “1984.”

Well, whoops. Sorry about that, people of the future. Then again, the Ministry of Truth has probably already corrected this column, so carry on.

Anyway, the most interesting thing that has come out of my interest is the children’s reactions. They have become news and history junkies.

They beg to stay up late to watch political debates, conventions and speeches. I let them stay up until almost midnight to watch the election returns. If they aren’t allowed to stay up and watch, the Professor is sure to record it on the DVR. He gets up early on the weekend to watch the news magazine programs.

Sass was so interested in President Obama’s farewell speech, she couldn’t keep quiet, ruining her nearly perfect record of not speaking that day. (She and her American Sign Language class were behaving as if they were deaf-mute that day so they could experience the frustration of those who run into a communications barrier. It was a relief not to hear about this or that revolution for a 12-hour period.)

They have become voracious readers of scholarly histories and sociological texts, in which I mean they read actual textbooks for enjoyment. Sass’ Christmas wishlist looked like the reading list for an advanced sociology college course. I’ve always heard karma will give you a child who is just like you so you understand what your parents went through. This is a lie. Karma gives you a child who is smarter and more perceptive than you and lets you know it.

The downside to this is when other children at school venture to share their opinions, the children think they can have political discussions with them. This is bad, because Sass is a passionate idealogue and the Professor is, in the parlance of kids these days, “savage.” I am given to understand this means he is merciless and lacks compassion. Or perhaps, coldly clinical. I am not 100 percent certain, because I am old. I haven’t seen proof of this savagery, although I’m assured it exists.

Honestly, I’m surprised the school hasn’t called me yet to tell me that they’ve made another child cry, likely out of sheer frustration.

Their enthusiasm inspired the Long Suffering Husband to register to vote, despite my mother advising him against it.

“You’ll be called for jury duty,” Grandmama said.

You know what came in the mail the other day? A summons for jury duty.

(Wallace-Minger, The Weirton Daily Times community editor, is a Weirton resident and can be contacted at swallace@pafocus.com)


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