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President Obama can rest easy after he received a ringing endorsement from girl of the moment Honey Boo Boo on Jimmy Kimmel last night. Ah, lucky Mr. President. And yet, how much does the endorsement of a 7-year-old reality star really help the President? Let's be serious: It doesn't.
And what about Alana Thompson, AKA Honey Boo Boo, herself? How much does her conviction really mean? How much does ANY child's endorsement of a political candidate really matter?
In three words: Not at all. Sure, as parents, we all want our kids to be involved in the political process and many truly are. When I was little, I canvassed for Mondale, I went to rallies in support of my dad's candidates, and I once called Reagan a "pig" when I was 3. But I didn't really know anything then. See below:
Because I was raised so strongly Democratic, I always said I wouldn't raise my own kids with such a biased political outlook. But then you grow up and you examine the issues yourself and you realize, at least in my case, my parents gave me a great gift.
Without my mom and dad, I wouldn't have the political passion I still have today. They may have "brainwashed" me, but they made me care. And in the end, I agree with my dad on some things and I disagree with him on some others. I have my own mind.
I try with my kids not to editorialize too much. They know their dad and I will both vote for Obama. They will also come with us when we vote on election day and generally be a part of the whole process. But I don't tell them who to support.
The fact is, if you have political conviction, it's almost impossible NOT to pass that on to your kids. If it's part of who you are, why wouldn't you want to? Our right to vote and our expression of that and even our political passions are all our power in this country. They make us who we are.
For me, it's the same as passing on a love of country or of patriotism. I would be sad to have apathetic kids. So, sure, it means very little to have 6-year-old's endorsement. But, as a mom, I admire kids who can talk politics. Some day, that passion will be about more than parroting some grownup's beliefs.
Do you teach your kids about politics?