Too Busy for Politics
Is being a parent a good excuse for being clueless about politics?
Two days ago, my husband asked if I thought the sexual harassment accusations against Herman Cain have ended his campaign. I gave him a blank stare. "Oh, you haven't seen the news in a while?" he asked. "Women are accusing Herman Cain of sexual harassment."
I wanted to agree that it had been a few days since I'd checked current events. But my shameful next words were, "Who's Herman Cain?"
The truth is: I don't remember the last time I turned on the TV or my computer to check out what's going on in the world. In preparation for voting yesterday, I spent an hour reading articles here on Patch and on local candidates' websites. That's the full extent of my effort in months.
I used to be politically active. I marched down the streets of DC in several protests/demonstrations, got into heated discussions with friends and strangers alike, worked for nonprofits and even spent a summer going door-to-door raising money for an environmental organization.
Now I'm the woman I used to pity, the person who's too engrossed with her own life to care. But, I see that woman a little differently now. For the past six weeks, I've been focused on caring for the new human being I brought into the world. My days have been filled with onesies and diapers. When I have free time, I use it to sleep or catch up with friends. I simply don't have time for politics.
This attitude is dangerous. Can parents afford to stop caring about ineffective congresses, the plummeting economy, or disappearing human rights? If anything, we should be more vigilant about ensuring this country is a good one for our children.
I write this as I take a break from folding laundry. An old episode of Frasier is on television and my baby is waking from his nap. There is no way I'm spending anymore time thinking about Herman Cain or his doomed bid for presidency, or yesterday's local races for that matter. Maybe I'm misguided, even by my own standards, but I'm more concerned that I'm running out of baby wipes. There's only so much I can handle.