The 7-year-old political operative

The 7-year-old political operative


I remember my first political thought. I was seven years old and it was 1976. We were on the school bus, presumably taking us to 2nd grade, and for some reason we were talking the presidential election. Of course, most children that age are influenced by their parents’ choices, as overheard at home, but we made them our own. Since this was Massachusetts, more kids voiced support for Jimmy Carter than for Gerald Ford, but not me.

No, I had a clear preference that was not the Democratic presidential candidate. It’s not that I was a big Gerry Ford fan. My reasons were much more personal. I warned my classmates that if Carter was elected they would feel the difference in their lunch bags.

I was convinced that, as a peanut farmer, Jimmy Carter would see to it that peanut prices would go up and we’d all see less peanut butter in our PB&J sandwiches in the future.

Okay, so I was a muckraking ideologue back then. I’m much more subtle now.

Photo credit: Richard B. Russel Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia.

  • Great remembrance!  Little did I know how very aware you were then.  I knew you liked to read and to read all kinds of things but to actually know you had voiced an opinion like that, even then, is great.

  • I was six, and I was definitely for Gerald Ford. Although I didn’t have much reason for my politics, besides liking him, and not liking Carter as much as him.

    There always was something very solid about Gerald Ford, though. I still like him.