Earlier in the week, Chris read about Mitt Romney coming to a park that is located a few blocks from where we live. When she told me about it, I asked Jupiter if he would like to go to the park where we would see a guy who wants to be the President of the United States. I am thinking now that maybe he was concentrating on the “go to the park” part of that query, but for whatever reason, he said he would like to go. So yesterday we did.
The platform that Romney was going to be standing on to talk to his supporters was assembled just a few yards from the playground that Jupiter often likes to play at, so it was a convenient way to let Jupiter loose to wear himself out a bit while at the same time giving him a glimpse of the political process. It is arguable how much a three year old could retain about politics, if anything at all, but he seemed interested in figuring out what a President of the United States was and why there was all this commotion about this particular guy wanting to have that job.
Personally, I think it is good to get kids to experience real life whenever real life comes up, even if they do not fully understand it. I explained as much as I could to Jupiter in as elementary terms as I could. I do think he retained some of it. Tsunami just slept through my explanation, so we know what kind of student he is going to be.
I was also interested in what exactly goes on at these campaign rallies. I have seen plenty of clips and commentary from news pundits, but never experienced an event for myself. I found this to be the perfect opportunity to explore my own personal curiosity.
On our way to the park, we saw some picketers. I was busy driving, but noticed that they had a message on their pink T-shirts that said something about, “We will remember when we go vote.” I think it was a women’s rights protest, but I was too focused on driving to know that for certain. Perhaps they need a more concise message for their shirt if they want to gain the allegiance of drivers by.
The normal parking lots that we use to get to the park were blocked off by Kirkwood Police and Romney Security and those spots seemed to be filled mostly with gas guzzling big black SUVs. Having to walk a little more from my parking spot never bothers me. I like the extra exercise and we found a place to park that was still pretty close anyhow since there were not a lot of Romney supporters in a St. Louis suburb on a Tuesday at 11:30 AM. That said, the park was relatively crowded. It was easily the busiest I have seen it since moving here. Although since we have mostly lived here when it has been colder, that is not saying much.
There were police officers who were at various points of the perimeter of the park. I do not know what their purpose there was, but every time I attempted to engage with them in polite conversation, they would say something quietly into their walkie talkies and eyeball me suspiciously. That was a little strange, I guess.
Once we got to the playground there were several parents, who were wearing Mitt Romney stickers on their polo shirts and carrying around those cheap handheld American flags that you can get for two bucks on Amazon, while waiting to get a glimpse of their hopeful next President of the United States. I took a few pictures of Romney as he passed us by, which seemed to make the security folks even more suspicious of me.
There were also other people who were there with their kids for just another day in the park. Maybe, like me, they were curious about all the commotion resulting from Mitt Romney’s visit.
Romney was supposed to take to his platform for his “town hall” at 11:30, but he was too busy hanging out and chatting with his friends (as I witnessed from the playground) for the first 15 minutes and did not start talking until about 11:45 instead. I personally take punctuality very seriously and someone hoping to be in the most powerful position in the country does not impress by showing up 15 minutes late just because he was chatting up his friends at a picnic table.
When he did start talking, the first pressing issue that he cleared up was how most of the people there pronounce the name of the state Missouri. Some Missourian pronounce it like “Missoura”, but the overwhelming consensus was that that is the wrong way to pronounce it. Next he started talking like a politician who is campaigning to run for President of the Untied States of America. He blamed everything wrong with America on the opposite (yet, to me, nearly indistinguishable) party of the two party system we have here in the US of A. In this case he insisted that everything republicans do is good and everything democrats do is bad. Democrat candidates do the same thing in reverse. The goal here is never to be honest with voters, but to try to deceive them into support so that the candidate may get more votes.
He pretty much said the things you might expect him to. I am not a political pundit. Heck, I do not even believe that state government (a government which tells you how you have to live under the threat of violence if you do not conform) is anything more than a modern form of slavery, so I will leave out my thoughts on the specifics of his speech. At least for this post.
After he got done with his speech (which I guess is what he meant by “town hall”) he started to walk back towards one of his big black SUVs, but stopped to great many of his supporters along the way. I though I might get a picture of Jupiter with him, but he was taking too long and Jupiter was growing impatient, so we left before he got anywhere near us.
I am glad that we went. The whole experience was very insightful and there was a lot of enthusiasm from people there. It was good to let Jupiter experience that. Who knows, maybe he will be a republican one day and will be able to tell all his republican friends that he was in the presence of the great Mitt Romney back when he was a lowly primary candidate in the 2012 GOP race. One thing I was disappointed about though is that I am no closer now, than I was before seeing Mitt Romney, to getting ahold of a pair of those much desired magic underwear.