Time Machine Series:
Exploring Past, Present & Future
With a father who worked for two state governors and a U.S. Representative, politics seeped into my groundwater. I was used to hanging around campaign headquarters, walking parade routes throwing candy, passing out bumper stickers, and wearing our candidate’s colors and slogan. By high school, I had quickly found my way to Student Council, and by my senior year, I was class president. I continued on with student government in college, and shot out to Washington, D.C. as a summer intern in 1998. The same year as the Monica Lewinsky scandal. It was the same year I lost interest in politics as a possible career. It wasn’t the scandal that triggered it so much as it was the grind of political life. There would never be a break for the body, nor the soul.
My sons don’t know much about politics. The closest they’ve come was flashes of the presidential debates last year, and how much their Dad was wrecked on November 9, 2016. I’ve since signed up for nearly every progressive action committee newsletter, made contact with my U.S. Representative, and amped up my political presence on social media. I’m not out marching, but I am part of the quiet section of the Resistance, working in the wings, trying to move ahead, teach, and lead by example. My constituents: the two young men in training. Each day with my sons is a lesson in politics, but not the art or science of government, or winning and holding control. I’m focused on the lesser known definition of politics: “the total complex of relations between people living in society.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, definition 5.a.) Society and living within it is indeed complex, and I endeavor to be the first man to teach my sons how to do so.
Though I didn’t run for office during those tumultuous years in the 20-teens, I’m happy to say I did my part. I made the calls, stood up, voted again. It all changed for the better, as it always does. In the process, my sons saw how passionate I was, how the actions of one, can affect so many. It warms me just a bit to see that they are so involved now, that the political bug is still in the family. My boys have such a better grasp on this wild new environment than my wife and I. There are so many bigger and better political parties now, it makes the days of the two-party system seem so boring. And Election Day now on a Monday, a national holiday. Finally, something to really celebrate.