Like a good portion of the population, I'm driven crazy by politics. I hate them, hate them, hate them. And that's in non-election years. Right now, I want to throw a hammer at the television half the time.
One of my earliest memories about politics came when I was a teen and two former sister missionaries who had served under my parents came to visit us. They had recently done internships in Washington, one in a Republican's office, the other in a Democrat's.
My parents asked them about their current political opinions. Now that they'd seen both sides of the aisle first-hand, what did they think?
I'll always remember what one of them said: "I hate both parties." She went on to explain how each side had some great things going for it, but they both had major blind spots as well. While one party valued X, it made things much worse for Y. Meanwhile, the other party might take great care of Y but tended to be completely damaging to Z and sometimes even X.
As an adult, I get that. Both parties have a lot to offer. Both have a lot of baggage that I think they could get rid of and be better. Neither party is one I really want representing me.
So what do I do? Which party to I support? Neither, really. I'm not blue, and I'm not red. I consider myself politically purple.
I finally have a child old enough to "get" politics and form his own opinion about them. It's been interesting to see him change sides, express disbelief or frustration over something a candidate has said, and ask Mom and Dad their opinion on matters.
Yesterday he reported watching part of the presidential debate in his U. S. History class. The result made me laugh and think of my own 13-year-old self listening to those former interns. Up to this point, my son had a definite favorite in the race, but following the debate, his bubble had burst a bit.
"McCain and Obama were just the same," he told me. "Half the time their answers had nothing to do with the questions!"
Yes, son. That's politics for you. Let's hear it for the purples among us.