Not many parents ever imagined explaining pussy-grabbing to their kids because it was used by a presidential candidate. (More)

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Parents think about sex talks but hardly anyone would have guessed that a strange conversation would be triggered by a presidential race. Last Sunday morning the TV was on and my son was helping a couple of his kids get ready for church. The topic of the tape was being promoted for the talk shows. My son calmly reached for the remote and muted it. His kids are 10, 8 and 5. His response to me, “Not going there and especially not right before church.”

Normally, these kids would be allowed to watch the debates and ask questions. Once upon a time parents told their kids that America was a land of opportunity where anyone could grow up to be president. President Obama and Hillary Clinton have stretched the anyone to include everyone in an historical way. Candidate Trump has stretched the anyone to include the previously unimaginable.

The two oldest kids have gone canvassing with me in the past. I haven’t taken them out yet this year. I think it would be okay but given the rising rhetoric I wonder. In 2012 a voter was ready to launch into why Obama wasn’t his candidate and stopped at the sight of my then 6 year old granddaughter. I like the idea of taking them out with me. Nothing like getting the future activists engaged and seeing how the process works one conversation at a time. Their job is to carry the literature and after a few houses, to mention the website where voters could get more info. They get the close too, “Thanks for talking with us and remember that every vote counts.”

This year the oldest went to the caucuses with her mom. History was being made with Hillary’s candidacy. The kids in their neighborhood all have “I’m with her” t-shirts. They live in a Democratic bubble. They also live in a we’re not talking about some of this crap bubble. They are being taught at home and at school not to bully, to be kind, that sharing is caring, that giving to the less fortunate and to Haiti is a good thing and turning on the news would negate too many of those messages. They have enough kids of color and immigrants in their school and neighborhood and church that questions have already come up about deportation.

I am not sorry about the idea that the Republican Party is being eaten by the hate they are espousing. I hope something sane and values oriented emerges. I will never be a Republican, but a sensible and collaborative opposition would be good for our democracy. It’d also be good for our kids. Maybe we could once again teach them about government by watching debates and discussing policies and issues.

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