In my continuing efforts to be the meanest parent in the world, I forced my children to sit through two political speeches tonight. The youngest two sat in my lap and fidgeted while the older children slumped in their chairs and quietly mumbled complaints. The children were subjected to my shouts at the screen as if I was watching something as unimportant as a football game. Normally, it is my nature as a Southerner to make a huge deal about the things that are insignificant and quietly deal with the important things. Politics and parenting are the exceptions to that rule. My children know beyond the shadow of any doubt that I think politics are a very big deal that should be treated seriously and never taken for granted. I can’t tell them my children how to vote, but I will never stop telling them to read and watch and listen to the world around them. Voting is a privilege and I don’t want my children to sit back expecting the answers to be handed to them. They have to be seekers. Seekers and believers. I just hope there is a political interest gene. It’s late developing, but it has to be in there somewhere.