OPINION: My 10-year-old son has been trying to 'vote out' Trump for four years

Photo: Ten-year-old Tom has been campaigning for years
Photo: Ten-year-old Tom has been campaigning for years  

My son Tom has been trying to save our community from Donald Trump for four years now.

At 10-years-old, he's quite the junior activist. It's not that surprising – I have a degree in politics and his father has worked as a lobbyist for many years. We are a family that like to talk about social policy over dinner.

Tom's has thought all along that Trump's policies and rhetoric were divisive and unfair. But he has also made jokes about Trump's orange pallor, his ridiculous hair, and Melania's ongoing disdain for him. I see his grasp of politics as being age-appropriate. I don't correct him or tell him to be kind. 

Photo: Tom and his little sister posting flyers
Photo: Tom and his little sister posting flyers Photo: Supplied

It's only in the past year or so that Tom has really grasped that Trump has no authority over how we live our lives in Australia. 

That's why he spent three years, from the age of six, actively campaigning against Trump in our community. He created posters, and he even made a flyer that he asked me to make dozens of copies of, so he could deliver them to every house in our neighbourhood – roping his younger sister in to help with the job of hand-delivery.

"Vote Trump Out," he wrote in a child's messy scrawl. 

I was never going to be the one to tell him his efforts were futile and that they had no bearing on Trump or his electoral hopes. I loved his passion, and I think we need more children caring about how the world is governed, not less. 

I want my children to be baffled that someone like Trump could win a democratic vote and be given the honour of leading his nation. 

I want my children to be outraged when a man who boasts about abusing women, accuses entire nationalities of being sex offenders, stokes the flames of fear and "otherness" within his own community, and brazenly lies and bullies his way through life.

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I want them to stand up and say they think someone like this is wrong – whether he is the leader of the free world, or some kid in the playground.

I want them to speak up for social justice.

So I never told my son that his anti-Trump efforts were futile, but he slowly figured it out on his own, as he learned more about the world. But his stance on Trump never changed. 

Photo: Carolyn tate and her young son and daughtger.
Photo: Carolyn tate and her young son and daughtger.  Photo: Supplied

We watched and waited together for days along with the rest of the world as the election went on for days, refreshing news pages and speculating over the result. When the election finally fell to Joe Biden over the weekend, Tom was thrilled, and understandably enjoyed the schadenfreude. 

He thinks a post-Trump America will be a kinder, more compassionate place. He thinks there will be less guns, and he thinks there will be less racism.

"It will be much better for America, not having such a bad president," he tells me.

"Donald Trump did a lot of bad things – he's very sexist and racist."

Photo: Ten-year-old Tom has been campaigning for years

Photo: Ten-year-old Tom has been campaigning for years

I asked Tom what he hoped would happen to Trump now that he's lost the presidency. He says hopes Trump will be held accountable for his actions, and "that he'll get bankrupt and go to jail because of all the illegal things he did as president. 

"They can press charges now that he's out of office." 

Tom doesn't know much about Joe Biden, but he says he's hopeful he will help to heal America and the world.

"We definitely know he's going to be better than Trump," he says.

We're all feeling optimistic about that one.