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October 20, 2004

The Five Year Old Vote


Athena and I just got home from me picking her up from school when the phone rang; Athena picked it up and then handed to me with a puzzled look on her face. It was a recorded political message. I didn't bother to hear who it was from; I just hung it up. Athena wanted to know what it was about.

"There's an election this year, and people want to tell me how to vote," I said.

"Oh," Athena said. "You know, I want Kerry to win."

"Oh, really?" I said. "And why is that?"

"Because he has a 'c' in his name, and so do I," Athena said. (she's referring to the "c" in her last name, incidentally).

"Well, okay," I said. "But you know, Kerry spells his name with a 'k,' not a 'c.'"

Athena looked stunned for a minute and then thought furiously. "Well, there's no 'b' in my name, so I don't care," she said. "I still want Kerry to win." Clearly the pledges of allegiance go to the closest phonemic candidate.

This is a cute exchange no matter what, but here's the thing: Neither Krissy or I talk politics to Athena or around Athena, and I know she doesn't know how I'm going to vote because I haven't told her (I just checked to make sure she didn't know). So I asked her how she knew who was running for president.

"I read it in the newspaper," she said.

Athena Scalzi in '36, ladies and gentlemen. Get on the bandwagon now, while there's still time.

Posted by john at October 20, 2004 03:21 PM

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Jon Hansen | October 20, 2004 03:38 PM

I'll vote for her, but God save her from the fate of running for public office (shudder).

Tripp | October 20, 2004 04:34 PM

My Daughter will be the first female President of the US. Athena can start as her VP.

Kristy | October 20, 2004 04:36 PM

Show a few more of those knee-weakeningly adorable photos to the public and who cares what her platform is?

Brennan | October 20, 2004 05:09 PM

As it happens, it was a year ago today that you were promoting Athena as Galactc Overlord. Now it looks like you're willing to settle for chief executive of one nation on a backwater planet. Lowering your expectations already?

John Scalzi | October 20, 2004 05:31 PM

Well, you gotta start somewhere.

Dawn B. | October 20, 2004 06:16 PM

Why don't you talk politics around her? Out of curiosity more than anything else? My parents did a little when I was younger (8 years old, first Bush up for election) but not much. I did walk with them to watch them cast their votes, though, which I think had a big impression on me. I believe that when I have kids [famous last words, I know] I'll want to talk some politics around them so they are informed and see it as an interesting adult activity.

Kafkaesquí | October 20, 2004 06:30 PM

She reads the newspaper? Then at the very least she's one up on the current resident of the White House.

Guy Matthews | October 20, 2004 06:46 PM

oo oo oo, can I be campaign manager? :)

sylvia | October 20, 2004 09:16 PM

You were 8 when the first Bush was up for election?


Anyway, I saw this, and thought of you. Apologies if you've been passed this url 17 times already.


sylvia | October 20, 2004 09:32 PM

Two different "you"'s there ... I will learn to backreference correctly one day.


Hancock | October 20, 2004 10:58 PM

I'm already penciling her in.

On a slightly different tangent John I was wondering if you had heard or been involved in the Guardian's "Operation Clark County"? If you are not familiar with it the Guardian newsgroup from the UK obtained the voter list of Clark County, Ohio and then made available all the names of the registered Independents to the Guardian's readers and encouraged them to write to the Ohioans to urge them to vote (preferably for Kerry).

They got back some responses widely ranging in tone as you can imagine. You can Google “Operation Clark County” if you want more. I just remembered a previous article about the omnipresent Political advertisers hounding your neck of the woods and wanted you to know it isn’t just Republicans and Democrats anymore.

John Scalzi | October 20, 2004 11:29 PM

I heard about it. I don't think it was particularly wise of the Guardian to it, as a joke or not. I have not been a target of it, because i live in Darke county, among other things.

Detritus | October 21, 2004 01:09 AM

but, if she saw Kerry's name in the newspaper, why did she think it had a C in it? i smell a coverup!

John Scalzi | October 21, 2004 07:11 AM

I believe she may have simply misremembered. If Bush can misremember whether he said he wasn't concerned about Osama, I think a five-year-old can misremember a name spelling.

mythago | October 21, 2004 12:22 PM

I'll have to let my sprogs know that their triumverate is in peril.

Dawn B. | October 21, 2004 03:48 PM

No, no, mythago. Athena can be the Pres, the Littlest Paladin can head the Secret Service and The Queen can be her ally in Britian.

Not sure about your Kid Peligrio [sp], though.

mythago | October 22, 2004 12:15 AM

Sargeant-at-Arms. Duh.

Jim | October 23, 2004 09:42 AM

Okay, Athena in '36... but I am pledged to my grandson for '40.

Ouch... it just struck me that I'll be 97 years old in 2040. Even I will have to recognize that 97 is a bit past middle age.... Ah, well, the geezer vote will be increasingly important so all the candidates will be pandering to me.

Charla (Just Ice) | October 25, 2004 04:35 AM

I will assume that she is a "Military BRAT" and is referring to Air Force Kid as AFK. Whomever you are...you are doing a FANTASTIC job with her. Remember she is a CHILD and only wants to have FUN! I'll be thinkin' of her and her PINK hooded sweatshirt. I will also say a Prayer for you. CHEERS!

Steve Brady | October 25, 2004 06:20 PM

John, you'll have to destroy all of those pictures of her about to murder a cat.

Which is too bad, because they're hilarious B)

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