A few days ago at a red light I was stuck behind someone with SO MANY BUMPER STICKERS. Not just a large quantity of bumper stickers, but somewhat offensive (to me at least) bumper stickers. Its like bumper stickers are the quickest way of letting people know you're an asshole without actually meeting you. Mission accomplished in this case...
The first sticker I noticed said "Pro-life" which incidentally, I do not find offensive. The second one I noticed said "Anti-welfare" which I actually do find offensive, because of its relationship with the first sticker. You cannot be gung-ho pro-life, but then stop giving a crap about that baby once it is born. It just doesn't make sense to me. Not everyone has the funds to raise a baby without help. Kids are expensive. They insist you feed and clothe them. And they also like it if you change their diaper periodically, and diapers are the most pricey thing you are going to buy for your kid to pee on.
Airing your political laundry on the back of your gas-guzzling vehicle is one thing. Being a total jerk about all things relating to your political views is another. If you want to compare the president to Hitler/Nazi Germany for taxing you, that is your opinion. Its an insane opinion, because you're not being rounded up and placed into concentration camps, but I digress. Opinions aren't facts, so you can go around forcing yours on people all you want, but it won't make a difference. I happen to really love chocolate chip cookies, but I do not have a bumper sticker stating that. I also do not go around insisting everyone agree with that opinion, forcing them to eat cookies and belittling them if they say they prefer peanut butter instead. Because everyone gets their own opinion.
Recently Alana came home from school saying how one of her classmates claims he hates the president. We paused to think about what to say. Everyone has something to say when it comes to the president, but regardless of what you think, you can't change it. I explained to her that her classmate's opinion was probably more reflective of his parent's opinion, and no matter who the president is, you should be respectful about it, because they are the one who was voted in, and complaining about it does no good. I happen to have voted for Obama twice, but that doesn't mean I always completely agree with everything he does. I am a democrat in a town of republicans, but I'm still entitled to my own political views, even if half of my Facebook friends incessantly post their conflicting ones.
Among the most important goals that I have for myself when parenting, raising children who do not grow up to be assholes is pretty high on my list. We teach our children to share when they are young, there is no reason for that to stop when they are adults. Teaching our kids to look down on people on welfare, who are not all drug addicts and lazy people, is teaching them that charity is pointless and we should never help anyone in need. After explaining to Alana why some people don't like the president, and why some people don't agree with welfare, we asked her a question. If you have a dozen cookies, do you keep them all for yourself? Or do you share them, because you have more than enough and some people don't have any? When she answered she would share them, that's when I knew I was raising a tiny socialist. If giving to people who need help, loving someone in spite of their differences, and not being an asshole are things that make my children small liberal "socialists" then I'm okay with that.
It is entirely possible that my kids will grow up to have similar political opinions to my own. I would prefer that outcome, but I want them to reach it on their own. I was always raised to be a tolerant, generous, and hardworking person who treats everyone the way that I want to be treated. I think a big part of who I am now is reflective of that. No one ever told me what to believe, because the goal here is someone who thinks for themselves. I don't know what exactly triggered me to become a liberal person in a town of conservatives, but I'm hoping for the same outcome with my own kids, even if it means they grow up and disagree with all of their Facebook friends.