All the election season nonsense (attack ads, misinformation, corporate political funding, etc.) has made me want to try to think back to a time when I was 100% oblivious to politics. This made me think back to how I perceived politics and current events when I was a kid.
My first childhood political memory is of the Gulf War era. I was in second grade, and I remember boys in my class running around the playground chanting, "Saddam Hussein is so insane, Saddam Hussein is so insane!" I didn't know who Saddam Hussein was. I didn't know where Iraq was. The name "Kuwait" wasn't even in my vocabulary. I didn't understand why we were in a war, but I was certain we were the good guys. And I had a crush on one of the boys doing the chanting, so I laughed with all the other kids and pretended I knew what was going on.
My second political memory is of the 1992 presidential election. I didn't know anything about Bush, Perot, or Clinton. President Bush sounded very serious when he talked, so I thought he was probably no fun at all. Clinton reminded me of a gameshow host, so I didn't think people should trust him. Perot seemed like a normal enough guy, so when our teacher had us make election season art projects, I colored a big American flag and wrote "Vote for Ross Perot!" at the bottom. I think one of my parents still has that.
My third political memory is of the 1996 election. I was in sixth grade, and the election results didn't come in until after my bedtime. When I woke up for school the next morning, my mom had written "Clinton won" and drawn a big sad face on the white board in the kitchen. Though I wouldn't have told my mom, I was secretly happy that Bob Dole lost because I thought he seemed really lame.
That was the extent of my political awareness before I turned eighteen. I would love to know how my readers' childhood political memories compare.