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Right or wrong? Left or right?

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I think it’s important to talk to your kid about current events. First of all, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear their opinions and thoughts on a variety of topics. And occasionally you might actually agree with them. At the very least, it’s a great chance to tell them why their opinions are wrong. In our house, current events and politics are an almost daily topic of discussion. Last night I decided to give my son a pop quiz on his rudimentary knowledge of our state and federal “political system.? Try this with your own kid or any adult for that matter and see how well they do. •Alex – who’s the President of the United States?? •George Washington.? •Very funny. Today’s President.? •George Bush.? •Vice President?? •Dick Cheney.? Okay • so far he’s outperformed close to 45% of the population. “Secretary of Defense?? •Donald Rumsfeld.? Now he•s outperformed probably 70% of the population. “Secretary of State?? •Ummmmmm. . .? •Connnn . . “ “Condoleezza Rice!? Bingo! •Very good son! Now tell me who our state representatives are.? •Josh Penry and some guy who has a weird last name I can’t pronounce.? •That would be Bernie Buescher. Okay, name one of our United States Senator?? •Ummmmmmm….? •Wayne . . . .? •Groetsky!? Hey • I’ll bet he’s still in the 90th percentile. I went on to ask him the differences between the platforms of Republicans and Democrats and he discussed their stances on abortion, taxes, the war in Iraq, welfare, the role of government in general and a couple other topics. Wow! The kid’s been paying attention. I also asked him how he thought the government handled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, his thoughts on nuclear proliferation in Iran and border control. In each case I was delighted to hear his responses and smiled to myself that he’s on the right (wing) track. My point is that you ought to talk to your kids about this stuff. You want them to understand the issues. Someday they’ll be voting on important topics like whether or not to cut off your social security benefits. It’s our job as parents to teach our kids how to think through issues and develop informed opinions.

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