The political pressure placed on children might need to be essential


I miss kindergarten. 

I miss how easy the workload was. I miss the openness of everyone becoming friends. I miss the feeling of constant relief. I miss the innocence of the child I once was. I never understood all of the terrible things happening around me. I never understood the struggles some people face every day. 

I never understood the emotions surrounding politics, yet I was entangled in the web of constant arguments. 

To this day, I still remember my introduction to politics. 

I was in kindergarten in the fall of 2008—the presidential election year. Barack Obama was running against John McCain and a few others. I didn’t understand the fundamentals of the election, but that did not stop me from voicing my opinion. As my mom was driving me to school one day, I asked her to vote for Obama. 

I was five years old at this point. 

I was a small, five-year-old child begging her parents to vote for a certain candidate to run our country. I knew nothing of the other candidates, yet I was determined to watch Obama win. 

When the election results came out, I was ecstatic that he won. I felt important for believing in the winning side. It was a small victory, but it was one of my first victories. 

When I look back on those few months in kindergarten, however, I question all of the morals I followed. 

Why was I so involved in something I didn’t understand?  Well, it’s simple when you think about it.

Our country is built on a foundation of principles that entirely surround dividing the people, and we are reaching a point where children are joining that divide. 

I am very ambivalent about children’s involvement in politics. 

For one, they shouldn’t have to worry about such a major decision. I have seen fights break out simply because of a difference in political opinions. I fear children will get roped into those arguments and fall apart because of it. 

However, maybe children are the one thing that can save our political system. 

My belief in Obama’s campaign at the age of five was not random. I saw the two major parties running. I saw all of the options and believed Obama was the best one.

He believed in equality: something that children are not blinded by. Children see the good in everyone and only see the bad when they are taught to look for it. 

I felt important for believing in the winning side. It was a small victory, but it was one of my first victories. 

It’s why their opinions are the most important. They have not been corrupted by the systematic racism or discrimination of a person based on their sexuality. To children, one person is equal to every other person around them. 

It is those beliefs that children need to teach to adults rather than the other way around. 

Though the pressure of politics is unfair to place on children, their innocence may hold the only hope our country has.