A Civics Lesson

I took my son Josh to the polling place to vote this morning on the way to school. He’s the cute kid in the picture with me at the top left of my blog.

We went into the voting machine together and i showed him how we move the lever over to start the process. Then we turned the little knobs to select who we wanted to vote for. We voted for John Kerry if you are curious.

The we had to select all the delegates we were going to vote for. I just selected all the Kerry delegates. Josh wanted to know why we were voting for all these people we’ve never heard of. I promised him I would point them out this summer on television when the Democratic convention is happening. I think he understood what the role of delegates is in the political process, but he asks a good question why we really need them.

Then he asked me if we could vote for Wes Clark instead. I told him I didn’t think Wes wanted us to do that and that he had thrown his support behind Kerry. Josh met Wes when we did a fundraiser at our house and liked him so he wasn’t so keen on the idea of voting for Kerry. But then he asked if he could turn the knob for Wes, then change his mind and turn the knob for Kerry. That sounded like a good idea to me, so that’s what we did. We acted out our own decision-making process in the voting booth. Then we pulled the lever back together to register our vote. It’s a heavy lever and it makes this great sound. I doubt they’ll be able to make an electronic machine that is as satisfying an experience. It was like I was shwoosing away Bush. At least that’s what it felt like to me at that moment.

It was fun. Then we walked to school and I talked to Josh about how important voting is and why he should always go to the polls on election day and exercise his right to vote. I think he got it. Which makes me happy.