Or he’s not. I don’t care. He is still my son. And he is 18. And I am his mother. And if you have a problem with anything mentioned above, I don’t want to know you.

I have gone back and forth on whether I wanted to post something more in-depth about my sweet boy and his choice of political party. Or more specifically, the reactions to it. I figure if I’m still irked by it a few days later, I may as well go ahead and post my thoughts.

Here are the facts that lead up to my rant:

  1. My son is 18 and goes to a church preschool to vote.
  2. He has loved Fox News since developing the ability and attention span to sit still long enough to watch it.
  3. November is voting time and its main focus is electing your chosen party.
  4. My son’s school had the kids vote, do a little parade, and then change out the current party in power.
  5. His best friend is a little democrat
  6. He has an older sister
  7. He spends most of his time with me.
  8. I am a liberal.
  9. I am his mother, not you.

So a few weeks before November, my son decides he wants to be part of the GOP, along with his best friend George. He had voted democrat a couple of years ago.  I was hesitant to make the change, not because it was a cross party situation, but because 18 year olds have a tendency to change their minds. After requesting a couple of more times, I said sure and placed the order. He flipped out when he was registered republican. It was perfect.

Then as we got closer to the actual day, he stared to hem and haw about it. After some discussion it comes out that he is afraid people will laugh at him. I pointed out that some people will because it is a mean and cruel party. He insists their laughter would be of the ‘making fun’ kind. I blow it off. Seriously, who would make fun of a child’s political party?

And then the big day arrives. We head to the polling place. We drop by a preschool and head over to the polling place. My son doesn’t want to get out of the car. He’s afraid of what people will say and do to him. I convince him to go inside. He halts at the door. He’s visibly nervous. I chalk it up to him being a bit of a worrier in general. Seriously, WHO WOULD MAKE FUN OF A CHILD VOTING? So he walks in. And there were several friends of mine that knew what he was voting that smiled and waved and gave him high-fives. We walk down the hall to where his voting booth was.

And that’s where things went wrong. Two mothers went wide-eyed and made faces as if they smelled decomp. And I realize that my son is seeing the same thing I am. So I say, “Doesn’t he look great as a republican?” And Mom A says in disgust, “Did he ask to be that?!” I say that he sure did as November is the time of year that you can be whatever political party that you want to be. They continue with their nosy, probing questions as to how that was an option and didn’t I try to talk him out of it. Mom B mostly just stood there in shock  and dismay.

And then Mom C approaches. She had been in the main room, saw us walk in, and followed us down the voting polls to let me know her thoughts. And they were that I should never have ‘allowed’ this and thank God it wasn’t next year when it would be a presidential election since I would have had to put my foot down and ‘forbidden’ it. To which I calmly replied that I would do no such thing and couldn’t imagine what she was talking about. She continued on and on about how mean children could be and how he would be ridiculed.

My response to that: The only people that seem to have a problem with it is the liberals.

If you think that me allowing my son to be a republican for elections is somehow going to ‘make’ him rich, white and evil then you are an idiot. Firstly, what a ridiculous concept. Secondly, if my son is republican, OK. I will love him no less. Thirdly, I am not worried that your son will grow up to be Bill Clinton so back off.

If my grandfather had voted republican, no one would have thought twice about it. No one.

But it also was heartbreaking to me that my sweet, kind-hearted 18 year old was right to be worried. He knew that there were people like A, B, and C. And he, at 18, was concerned about how they would perceive him and what would happen to him.

Just as it was heartbreaking to those senators that have lost their seats recently due to not voting. IT IS NOT OK TO NOT VOTE. Even if you wrap it up in a bow and call it ‘concern.’  Those women were trying to bully me out of my vote. And my son’s vote. MY son. VOTE.

It is obvious that I neither abuse nor neglect my children. They are not perfect, but they are learning how to navigate this big, and sometimes cruel, world. I hate that my son had to learn this lesson while standing in front of allegedly Christian women. I hate that those women thought those thoughts, and worse felt comfortable saying them out loud. I hate that ‘red’ is still called a GOP color and that my baby has to be so brave if he wants to be republican for elections.

And all I hope for my kids, and yours, and those of Moms ABC, are that they are happy. If a set of red white and blue tights and an elephant mask is what makes my baby happy one night, then so be it. If he wants to cut health care, or ban gay marriage, or start wars with oil rich nations, then ok. My job as his mother is not to stifle that man that he will be, but to help him along his way. Mine is not to dictate what is ‘normal’ and what is not, but to help him become a good American.

I hope I am doing that.

Last 5 posts by Brian Jones

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  1. Masaki says:

    Ashley, if you are not registered to vote go voutlneer at the candidates office you would have voted for. They need the help and while your vote may not be counted, you can have a direct impact with more than one candidate depending on how much time you can commit.

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