An Election Dad Memory

Because — at the time of this writing, at least — we are still counting ballots in my district, and it’s close. This election is not yet over for me.

The first presidential election of which I have memory is the 1988 Bush versus Dukakis campaign. We’d done a simulated campaign (i.e., each been assigned a candidate to campaign for) and mock election at school, so I knew candidate names and party affiliations, if not the finer points of policy and platform.

As I’d voted at school — almost entirely on the basis of what my friends were doing, mind you — when I got home, I wanted to know how my parents had voted. I asked my mom.

“I don’t have to tell you, you know,” was her first response. “It’s a secret ballot.”

“Oh.” I was seven. The idea of secrets that would actually be kept was unfamiliar to me.

“I’ll tell you if you tell me,” she relented.

I told her.

“I voted for Bush,” she confided.

Then my dad came home. My first question? “Who’d you vote for?”

“Yeah, who?” Mom added.

He sighed and shook his head. “I tried,” he said, “but I just couldn’t get on that Republican side.”

Story of my life, Dad. Story of my life.

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One comment on “An Election Dad Memory
  1. It’s funny, but that is very close to the same memory of my introduction to elections and politics. I remember that one of my friends had a sign that read “Bush is in the bushes.” We were in the third grade. I voted republican, he voted democrat. Some things never change. Thanks for the memory.

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