Sunday morning my 6-year-old grandson graciously offered to go outside to get the paper for his father. He came back into the house very disturbed and informed us that "the 'presidential' signs were cut up and in the road." Sure enough, the signs themselves were cut into shreds and the stakes broken.
After some investigation, we learned that most of the signs for Democratic Party candidates (both local and national) had been destroyed in the Valley.
My grandson has been learning about the democratic process by watching our involvement, and occasionally overhearing our discussion with others. Important to his education has been the emphasis on how we get to choose our leaders, have differing opinions from each other, and that all the opinions are honored. We make it clear that we think our choices are the "right" ones while teaching him the importance of allowing others their "right" choices as well ... no matter how wrong we believe them to be.
It would seem that he now has learned something else; that some in Juneau (of all places) do not believe others have the right to their opinion or choices. He has seen firsthand that some just might think our process should be changed to allow only one voice. Of course, if that were the case, the choice would depend only on who was in charge. We tried to counter the visual and emotional lesson he learned (seeing the pieces of our "choices" scattered in the road and driveway) with the reality that his best friend's father was on his way to Iraq to fight for our right to choose. The sad thing is, however, that children his age learn more from what they see in adult modeling than our words. I assured him that if it had been Republican signs destroyed, I would have helped to replace them, even though I disagree strongly with their candidate.
Hopefully, the community will show its outrage - especially honorable and liberty-loving Republicans - so that our children will know that Juneau does believe in the democratic process and our American right to choose.
E. Sue Zahnd
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