Do you remember when you were young and thought the best job in the world might be President or Prime Minister? There was always something impressive about “running the country”. I was taught to look up to our country’s leaders.
I’m following the state of politics in the US and the UK right now and I’m pretty appalled.
How can I teach my daughter to look up to people who shout, threaten, and some case physically attack each other? Of course, you can say it’s always been like this. As a boy I didn’t know about the miners’ strikes in the UK, the end of the Cold War, the poll tax riots, or the backstabbing of fellow politicians. When I was young I looked up to politicians, the police, teachers. But they’re just people like anyone else; I know now that I can’t expect them to be perfect. Politicians are just the same. Quite frankly, if I came across anyone behaving too perfectly, I would be suspicious.
The big thing I’m trying to reconcile right now, as a parent, is how can I encourage my daughter to look up role models in politics, knowing that I have so little respect for some of these people.
When someone like Donald Trump can be in the top two candidates for the most powerful job on Earth. It shouldn’t come down to this. When the UK referendum hinges on the argument about how many migrants we let in, and then when I see a picture of a two year old drowned on a beach in Italy.
There have always been people abusing the system. I’m sure it’s always been like this. Hasn’t it?
Politics is just one area where I struggle as a millennial dad. We’re more connected than ever before and bad news is all around us. I need to show my daughter examples of people to look up to but the older (and more cynical) I become the harder I find it.
No one is perfect. Me included. And that’s a lesson that every child needs to learn at some point. I just hope I can point my daughter to people with good qualities and they will inspire her. I have no stake in the upcoming US elections, but the shockwaves of whoever wins will reverberate around the world. While both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have made mistakes, I hope the one who is willing to learn from them the most will win on November 8.
Sorry if it’s a little too early to do politics on my new blog. I haven’t quite worked out the etiquette yet!