Sunday, November 13, 2016

Post Election Conversation

My mobile phone rang shortly after I arrived at work, it was my son, Miles, “Dad, can Evan and I stay home and watch the election today. I answered, “No, Miles. Today is a good day to go to school. People will be discussing the election and your teachers may have the election results on in their classrooms.” Miles replied with an unenthused, “Ok, Dad.”

Later in the day, I was in my office working on a letter of recommendation when Miles entered. He just finished soccer practice, he looked at me, and I returned his look. He had this weird/peculiar look on his face. We didn’t speak; we just acknowledged one another with a nod. He plopped down in a chair and I decided to break the ice with, “So, you’ve heard about the election?” He replied, “Yeah, I told you so!” I quizzically answered, “When?!” He replied, “Last year, when Trump first announced he was running, everyone thought it was a joke (Me, [his father] included), but Dad, I told you then he was going to win.” I said, “You’re right, I remember, how did you know?” He answered, “I had a feeling, but I‘m still a little surprised.” Miles then looked at me and asked, “What now?” I felt that this was such a loaded question. When Miles asked this I initially thought, “Where is he going with this?” He then asked, “Will we still return to the U.S. this summer like we always do?” I answered, “Yes, of course!” He seemed relieved by this. Miles and Evan love returning to the U.S. each summer to catch up with family, friends, and to attend camp.

He then shared what took place during his day, which was interesting to hear. He said that many of his classmates and their families are Trump supporters and they were happy with the election results. He then said at lunch he and his friend William were trying to explain the benefits of taxes (i.e. How they pay the salaries of police officers, firefighters, build and repair roads, schools etc.) to one of their tablemates at lunch and after their explanation the tablemate looked at them and exclaimed, “Whatever!” and walked away.

We then discussed how this is the biggest presidential upset in my lifetime and Miles said, “Like when Truman defeated Dewey.” I was shocked at this response for a couple of reasons; one, I had to remind Miles I was not alive when Truman upset Dewey. Two, when I asked Miles, “How do you know about the Truman/Dewey election?” He just shot me a look and said, “I know.”

Then, we discussed the ramifications of the election. In addition to Trump winning, the House and the Senate were now Republican led and Trump can appoint Supreme Court Justices and how this will affect future generations due to the laws that will be passed and/or repealed.

As our conversation was coming to a close, Miles said two things that I found interesting:

1. “Dad, other than Nixon, has any other president been impeached (I was really surprised by his question and it also made me laugh. I was thinking to myself, “Why is Miles making a connection between Trump and impeachment? Is this kid clairvoyant?)?” And, the answer to Miles’ question was yes, the husband of Trump’s opponent. An interesting coincidence.

2. “This is the first presidential election I remember and will never forget.”

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