Tag Archives: government

State of the Union: A Child’s View

25 Jan

Past her bedtime and above her school subject matter, Nia cuddled her teddy bear as she watched the State of the Union with us. The post below features her commentary. Please keep in mind she’s 8 years old, her daddy is passionate about government issues and her mommy should really not even be answering questions about it. Then again, maybe Nia will help me learn a thing or two.


How old is the president? He looks in his 30’s. You guys look like you’re in your 20’s. He looks like maybe 32 or 35.


He’s not afraid to talk in front of all those people? Every seat is filled. Is everyone there from Congress?


There’s the First Lady! Does the woman next to the First Lady know the camera is on her?


That guy (in the audience) is crooked smiling. Why?


Without teachers, who would teach you? That’s what he’s saying.


That man had a “D” next to his name.

Me: Do you know what that stands for?

Dem – dem – demo…

Me: Do you know what the “R” stands for?

Revolutionary War?

(We then told her the correct names.)


Andrew: There’s Senator Rockefeller. He’s from West Virginia.

Is he your friend?


I think Obama is a good president.

Andrew: Why?

Because he smiles when he talks.

(Andrew discussed why that is nice and may show that he’s a good person but there’s more involved with being a good president.)


Why isn’t that man smiling?

Me: Maybe he doesn’t agree with what President Obama is saying.

Maybe he’s a Republican. Not a – what’s it called? – a dem – dem – democracy? Dem something.

Me: Democrat.

I was close! I said democracy!


For a speaker, he’s not speaking at all.

 Me: You mean the Speaker of the House? Well, it doesn’t really work that way and it’s not his turn.


Me: (just curious about her response) Should a person who makes one million dollars give 30% of it away?

No. They should give 50%. Half.

Andrew: Should they be forced to give it or do it because they want to?

Because they want to.

Andrew: Why?

Because it’s the right thing to do.

Andrew: What if they chose not to give? Should they be forced to give?

No. They just aren’t nice people though.

Andrew: A Libertarian is born!

What does that mean?! I don’t know what that means! (Laughing.)


They are all clapping.

Me: That’s because he quoted Abraham Lincoln and people like Lincoln.

Everyone should.


That guy had an “I” by his name. What’s that mean?

Me: Independent Party. Democrat and Republican are the big ones and then there’s the Independent and Libertarian Parties. Daddy, and even mommy, consider ourselves Libertarian.

Is that what me and Nate are?

Me: That will be up to you, baby. When you grow up, you will decide that.

Can you be more than one Party?

Me: It’s all in what you believe. If you agree with different things from each then yes. Or you may believe with one Party more but like a person from a different one because you think he/she will make a good leader.

Can you be all of them?

Me: It’s fine to change your mind.


Interrupted 85 times? By who?

Me: The applause.

Oh. (Chuckle.) They must love Obama, huh?

Me: Some do, yes.


He kissed all the girls. He’s just kissing random girls!

Me: What do you think about that?

It’s how some people give peace, like we do in church.

(This made me cry.)


Could kids be there now?

Me: Probably. Would you want to be there?

Yes, to meet Barack Obama.

Grade A Citizen

1 Nov

I would fail if I was ever quizzed on that Late Show skit “Jaywalking.” I would fail if we were playing a trivia game and the win depended on my answer. I would fail if given a Third Grade test at age 33. Despite my admitted lack of government facts though, I’m happy to say my Third Grader would definitely pass for an outstanding citizen. Especially if it was based on her grade from her first test about the government and her written answer (that I will always cherish).

Nia earned a 97% on the test, missing a question about city council and another about which level of government can declare war. However, she knew what type of democracy was practiced in ancient Athens and which structure in Washington D.C., most shows the influence of Greek architecture as shown in the Parthenon. I also love that she now knows the name of the woman who fought to get women the right to vote. I can’t wait for her to become one of those educated voters. (And help refresh mom on some of the particulars.)

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