So today after dinner, while the boys were upstairs playing, I noodled around the Interwebs and somehow decided to watch Obama's famous "Yes, we can" speech in New Hampshire. The YouTube video I watched was about 13 minutes long, and not one minute into it, Alan came into the living room and snuggled up to me. I am sure he was just waiting for the opportunity to ask for a Transformers video, and was going to begin squirming around soon enough.
But something strange happened. Alan watched the speech with me, attentive, and seemingly mesmerized. After a little while he said, "This guy is good, who is he?" I suppressed my laughter and said to him, "Well, Daddy and I hope that he is going to be the next president of the United States." Alan nodded, and continued to watch with me. Mind you, this is the kid who has ADHD and doesn't like to sit still even for a Transformers movie. Sitting still and paying attention doesn't come easily to him.
After some minutes, he started asking questions, and answering the political questions of a child of six is really hard. I carefully explained about the current president, and about the war, and about how America is so divided and people are afraid. It was, of course, a very simplified version of what we think, and fear, and I tried to make it all as non-threatening as possible. I wanted him to get the positive message much more than the grim reality of the current political situation.
Alan listened to my answers, and then listened to the part in the speech about schools, and then he said, "I sure wish he was mayor of Fladungen, then he could make the school here also better!" (The school here, according to Alan, isn't wonderful because he has to wait for September to start first grade - patience also doesn't come easily to him.)
After the speech was over, I decided to take it one step further and showed him the DipDive video (which has, on YouTube, close to 8 million views, btw). And towards the end, I heard my son quietly whisper with the chorus, "Yes, we can, yes, we can..."
I told him not to forget Obama's name, because Obama has already changed America, even if he doesn't get elected as president. Alan nodded gravely.
And then he asked for a Transformer video.
Politics 101. The change has already begun.