Growing up, there was one friend that I made back in first grade who mom was skeptical of from the start. It wasn't because he was disrespectful or nasty to parents (he was polite) or that he was a bully that beat kids up on the playground (he didn't). But there were things that didn't sit right with mom.
Looking back, I can see why. He taught me all the great four letter words (in second grade), he taught me how a lighter and a can of Lysol can make a wicked blowtorch, how a magnifying glass angled just right could burn leaves (and other stuff). Or getting me to ride my bike to the local McDonalds (across some pretty big roads) when I was in third grade and to climb the walls to the roof of the local elementary school (in fourth grade), which had the local police come looking for us. And of course, the last straw was when he took some clay and wrote "the F-word" on my basement wall (in fourth grade).
And while I don't know how he turned out (he didn't flunk out of school or anything like that), or whether he is a Democrat or republican, I see many of the same traits in the wingnuts and republicans now that are similar to those that are displayed by the kids that mom wouldn't let you play with.
Look at the traits. If you are a mom (or a dad), think of the friends that your kids had who you didn't want them playing with. The ones who were a bad influence, who would get your son or daughter in trouble.
You know, things like lying. It doesn't matter if it is lying about staying out late, or going to a friend's house when their parents aren't home. Or if the lie is about, say, sending a country to war based on known lies.
Or things like purposely not following the law. It doesn't matter if you are riding your bike without a helmet, breaking into schools, posting graffiti. Or if you are violating international law by encouraging and promoting torture.
And parents hate it when their children are being put in harm's way. Regardless of whether you are playing in the street, playing with fireworks unsupervised (or at all) or swimming unsupervised. Or if you put your country and people at risk for terror attacks by illegal and immoral invasions and occupations.
"Do unto others..." is how the golden rule starts. So bullying is something that parents don't want their kids learning. And kids who are bullies aren't the type of people that parents want their kids hanging around with.
We can't forget not beating up other kids, kicking dogs or other violence towards animals. Regardless of whether you are blowing up frogs with firecrackers, or blowing up entire cities with illegal and banned chemical weapons, this is not someone that you would want your kids to associate with.
And if your child does get him or herself into trouble, you would want them to at least be mature enough to fight their own battles. You know, as opposed to calling for others to do their dirty work while they sit back and cheer on those who are fighting their battles on their behalf.
Parents also preach tolerance of others, despite the fact that others may not be as fortunate, may be of a different race, religion, sexual orientation or whatever else makes them "different". Not things like using racial epitaphs or discriminating against others who you may perceive to be "not like you".
Parents also like to know that their children's friends' parents are looking out for them. I know that when I was younger, my parents didn't want me playing at someone's house if their parents weren't home, or if they were not trustworthy people. And I am sure that if they were sexual predators or were known to protect sexual predators, well there would be no way in hell that they would want me anywhere near that friend's house.
Parents want their kids to be secure. And while childhood is a difficult period, and we all must deal with uncertainties and insecurities of our own, it is the bullies who are generally the most insecure. Whether it is insecure of their place with other kids, with their grades or anything else, it certainly becomes something that, for whatever reason, these kids can't get past it and carry it through to later in life.
These are the people that are in charge of our country. The kids that mom wouldn't let you play with when you were growing up.
Let's get as many people as we know to take mom's advice on November 7.