Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Raising Good Americans — by Sister Sara

Politics is the Steve and Sara Urquhart family sport. We talk politics, we debate politics, we question politics, we campaign, and we serve. My husband is a Republican and is currently the Rules Chair of the Utah House of Representatives.

Regardless of our party affiliation, my husband and I work hard to give our children all sides of an issue. Issues are complicated. The ones that are easy have already been dealt with easily. I want my children to be able to decide for themselves where they are politically and why.

I would love to see every family dive hard into at least one political campaign — preferably for someone they know well. As a Mayor’s wife once told me in the local grocery store, “Every family should have somebody run for office at some time. It gives each person respect for the process and the positions and keeps them from taking so much for granted."

At the end of the day, it's teaching your children about the process — not about the party — that's important. Once we were at a Republican breakfast rally and a kind, blue-haired lady in a stars-and-stripes sweater looked at my brood of children and cooed, “You are raising good Republicans.” I quickly answered back, “No, I’m raising good Americans.”

Note from Design Mom:
I think I've mentioned before, that in my family growing up, Dad was a Democrat and Mom was a Republican. Political discussions were lively and as children, we weren't pressured into being conservative or liberal, we could decide for ourselves. Among the now adult 8 siblings, we fall across the political spectrum and into both political parties — and we tend to cross the aisle as needed.

If you've wished you were more involved or knowledgeable politically, you may want to visit the newly launched (and party neutral) blog Politics for Moms, which aims to educate Mothers about the political process.


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Anonymous Jennie said...

How cool we have that in common; my mother was also a Republican and my father a Democrat. I have never belonged to a party but am very politically minded and quite libertarian. I'm also a photographer and a musician (and a typophile, decor fiend...general, all-around design lover).

It is so refreshing to see this on your blog as most other artistic people I come across are dismissive of what they think is "conservative". Art, beauty, youth, culture, and open-mindedness are not the property of any political ideology.

I'm new to your blog and it's already one of my favorites. Thank you!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 3:53:00 PM EST  
Blogger Barb said...

What a coincidence! I work for the Utah House republicans and know Rep. Urquhart. I also just happened to have starting reading this blog. Small world!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 3:58:00 PM EST  
Blogger Johanna said...

Love the sentiment that everyone should be actively part of a campaign, at least once. We just ran our county's campaign for Barack Obama, and having never done anything more than vote before, it was REALLY eye opening. Very educational, hard, and motivating. Great post!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 4:11:00 PM EST  
Blogger liz s said...

sara, you need to start a blog already. good posts

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 4:25:00 PM EST  
Blogger R-Eight said...

sara, start a blog . . .

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 4:55:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems SO good but a little daunting. How do you do it when you're already feeling busy with motherhood?

Is there a small, manageable way to be involved? Where do you begin if you haven't been politically active? Is there one publication you would recommend a family subscribe to?

BTW, Thanks for the politics for moms link.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 4:58:00 PM EST  
Blogger Mindi said...

politics are easy for me: i just do whatever sara says to do.
totally works for me, and i like it.

Thursday, February 28, 2008 at 1:15:00 AM EST  
Blogger Rachel said...

I find politics a little difficult to manage as well. I was so active and knew so much before I barely know anything! Really, being a parent is the best reason in the world to be involved and I hate that I'm not.

I hope my children will always view everything from all angles and never stop questioning everything around them. I will also be crushed if they grow up to be conservative thinking types..I'll just be honest there. They're free to be whatever they want, and I hope they'll be armed with all the information, compassion and cynicism that one needs to be what I consider to be a good and intelligent human being, whatever their political views be.

Thursday, February 28, 2008 at 2:15:00 AM EST  
Blogger heather said...

Thank you so much for posting this!!!

I especially liked what you said about teaching your children about the process not the party. I believe in teaching your children HOW to thing, not WHAT to think.

I must say that Sisters Week is one of the best ideas you ever had, Design Mom! The Y chromosomes in your family run rich with brilliant intelligence!

Thursday, February 28, 2008 at 2:47:00 AM EST  
Anonymous sara said...


First off, don't be overwhelmed or intimidated when it comes to politics. I graduated with a degree in Poli Sci and still have to re-teach myself what certain things mean each election cycle.

If you've never been involved, find something you feel passionate about (maybe it is the new lunchroom policy at the school or the streetlight issue in the neighborhood)and start asking questions. Figure it out. How can you change things and not just complain?

Mindi was making a joke but there is nothing wrong with her overall sentiment: if you are too busy to know all things political all the time (and what mother isn't) have a like-minded friend or two that you can call on voting day to get a sense of how they are voting. Sometimes that is your best research even when you have lots of time.


Creative, solution driven thinkers are going to do much more to help this country than kids who are taught to think like mommy and daddy. I want my kids to be among the former. Policy Issues (e.g., abortion, education)

Thursday, February 28, 2008 at 9:15:00 AM EST  
Blogger Dansie Family said...

what a fun post. i was raised very republican but married a much more liberal guy. i love it. we have some good discussions and have some lively disagreements. the liveliness only picks up when we talk politics with the extended fam. but it definitely opens my eyes to thinking about the issues not party lines.

Thursday, February 28, 2008 at 6:45:00 PM EST  
Blogger christel said...

I've been reading your blog for awhile now but this is the first time I've posted here.

Growing up my dad was always involved in political campaigns whether it was for the governor, mayor, our just a county council member. In any case, he never involved us kids and never talked about it on any level which probably explains my dislike for anything political.

With that said, my hubby and I try to talk to our 5 year old daughter about things that she would understand like who our president is now and who is running for president in the upcoming election. I think that as she gets older we'll get into a little further. I'm not political minded but I do follow some issues.

Friday, February 29, 2008 at 12:47:00 PM EST  

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