Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Helping With Homework, The Next Level

It is an understatement to say that I enjoyed homework with my daughters. Heck, at times, I even learned a few new things, which is an automatic with “new” math, every parent learns something new with that. As much as I enjoyed helping both of them, I enjoyed watching them help each other more, especially being older, for them to be able to help each other with their strengths. By being involved with their education, I see the things my daughters have been taught, and I know what they are not being taught.

One subject that they are both good at, at least by their resulting grades, is history and government. I have always felt it is important to learn everything, good or bad, about what our country has gone through, or is currently going through. I do not believe that if there is something that I do not know, or do not believe occurred, that to teach my children those things I do not grasp or understand, is not indoctrinating my children. And it is important to understand that position I take.

The term “indoctrinate” is a political buzzword, helpful only in political campaigns. Indoctrinate is defined by Merriam-Webster as “teaching to fully accept only the ideas and opinions and beliefs of a particular group.” Does this sound familiar? Of course it does, it is exactly how our two party political system functions and today, these beliefs have led to a higher level of tribalism, or being loyal to those sharing those beliefs.

In any case, I do not want this post to be focused on tribalism and political controversies. This post is about the newer levels I am involved in, not only to help my daughters with their schoolwork, but to make sure that they are learning accurately.

During a recent visit with my daughters, we were out eating dinner, and as often happens while we are waiting for our food, homework assistance comes up for my younger daughter, the topic? Constitutional amendments. We are going over each one, by memory, both of us, while the information is fresh for her, our constitutional rights were occasionally a refresher for me. Our waitress came by our table, overheard our discussion, and then offered a compliment to us. “It’s nice to see a parent teaching their kids about the constitution.” I offered her in return, a “thank you, just doing what I have always done with my daughters.”

In reality, my contribution to my daughters’ educations, is complimentary, as the base of their knowledge of government and politics is built in school, or at least it should be. I must say, after watching school board meetings for the last two years, and hearing politicians spew false claims about what children are taught in school, it now falls on the parents to make sure children learn the truth of our nation’s history, what really happened.

Once our discussion finished on constitutional amendments, the attention turned to the upcoming mid term election tomorrow. My older daughter is going to vote tomorrow for her second time, her first time eligible was for the primary this past Spring. As a young adult, she has learned just how important her vote means, enough so, that she changed her voting address, so that she can vote while she is away at college. And she did this on her own to my surprise. I was going to help her just follow through the mail-in ballot process, like many other college students.

But making sure she was properly registered and able to vote, I reminded her the importance of learning that issues are more important than party. Each party wants voters of their respective parties to just hit the “straight ticket” button, regardless if you know anything about all of the candidates and what they stand for. This kind of voter has no idea if they are voting for a candidate who is against a personal issue to that voter or not, and that could result in a bad choice.

The economy and inflation are major concerns. But in reality, who cares besides the voter? Certainly not the politician, because no matter who wins, or has been in office, as long as lobbyists are in control, we are never going to have inflation under control. Corporate profits are responsible for 50+% of inflation right now. That’s PROFIT! at our expense. And it shows no signs of waning. Think the Republicans are concerned? Of course not. They are contemplating all of the punitive things they plan to do if their candidates get elected, none of those priorities involve the economy or inflation. Democrats do not get off on this topic either. They have their own agenda that they are looking at, and the economy is not their top project either.

That is why, I have told my daughter, she has to vote on the issues that personally affect her. Our leaders position on the economy and inflation are not going to be resolved with her vote. But issues such as reproductive rights, privacy when it comes to medical records, race and sex discrimination, and of course health issues concerning pre-existing conditions, all have the potential to be impacted over the next two years depending on who you elect. The overturning of Roe v Wade, while some want the sole focus to be on one aspect only of abortion, the ramifications and impacts on all of us are beginning to be felt regardless of which body parts we have. The question is, who does my daughter feel, will protect her rights, the same rights her parents and her grandparents have had, well, until this past year, and will she be a voter who will allow our country to go backwards in privacy and the belief that all are created equal.

Tomorrow is election day. And no matter how you chose or choose to vote, early voting, mail-in ballots, drop boxes, or in person, they are all legal methods an no one, NO ONE has the right to bully you or say your voting method is not valid. You have a right not to be intimidated at the poll by anyone claiming to be a “poll watcher,” other than those legitimate poll watchers actually doing their sworn jobs. If you feel your voting right is being infringed up, call the authorities, but make sure that you vote. And if you run into a situation, where you are prevented from casting your ballot, especially over a signature issue, ASK FOR A PROVISIONAL BALLOT! Make your vote count. And for Pete’s sake, give the election workers a break. Most are volunteers doing not only their civic duty, but something they feel a certain pride in being a part of.

And finally, if your candidates win? Accept it and move on. If your candidates lose? Accept it and move on. That is the way a democracy works.

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