My Daughter, the … Libertarian?


Out of our house that tends to lean right, there emerges a child who might just be able to reach across the aisle to represent the ideals of both Democrats and Republicans, a leader whose insight and compassion could spark a true bipartisan movement to get Washington to work for us for a change.

Or, she could endure ridicule from both sides and fail miserably to be heard.

Sometime during her second-grade year, Grace penned a document that might go down in history as a great American declaration. Or, one of her cats might cough up a cat-food-laced hairball on it, and it’ll never make it to her the “best of second grade” scrapbook her mom so lovingly makes.

The assignment: If you were President of the United States, what would you do?

“If I were the President of the United States,” Grace wrote, “I would try to make our nation the best place to live. I would feed the poor and make homes for the poor and make taxes lower!”

I heard the Libertarian party described on NPR as “socially aware and fiscally responsible.” I like that direction. I don’t want to spend money like I printed it, but I also don’t want to turn a blind eye to the human side of this nation, to tear members of families apart by deporting a parent, for instance.

So maybe Grace has found a middle ground.

Left-leaning liberties

photo credit: Democratic Donkey - Icon via photopin (license)
photo credit: Democratic Donkey – Icon via photopin (license)

At first, I saw blue in her words.

The first line was pure politician. “Make our nation the best place to live.” I’d stump for the kid. I could see her on a whistle stop tour with that one. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Nikki Haley could stand together behind a candidate like that, right?

But when Grace began the second leg of her campaign, things turned bluer. I could see Debbie smile and nod at the next portion, while Nikki shifted from one leg to the other.

“I would feed the poor and make homes for the poor,” Grace would say, maybe holding out her thumb against her bent index finger, a la Bill Clinton. When I read this part at the dinner table, Elise grumbled something about “no freebies” and “give them a job instead.”

(The NRA and GOP would love Elise.)

A sharp right hook

photo credit: Mitt Romney via photopin (license)
photo credit: Mitt Romney via photopin (license)

With four words, Grace would put a smile back on Nikki’s face.

“and make taxes lower!”

There’s fiscal responsibility. How in the world can you house and feed the poor, and lower taxes?

Even Elise, the curmudgeon Republican, could like that idea.

The site says Libertarians “advocate freedom in economic matters, so we’re in favor of lowering taxes, slashing bureaucratic regulation of business, and charitable – rather than government – welfare.” There we go. Could it work?

If we put tax dollars back in people’s pockets, and there were no tax loopholes around, would it make a sound?

Would they take the reins on projects that would build adequate housing for those in need, provide training for placement in better jobs than they’re currently qualified for, and ensure they have enough food to feed their families?

Could they at least alleviate this common stress when you’re down on your luck?

Could a party – and a candidate – really enact such change?

Maybe Grace can help. She seldom gripes about slights and lack of fairness, whether she competes on the soccer field or with her sisters for chicken wings. She rounded up her Littlest Petshop toys to give to a classmate who really likes them, and once gave one of her Webkinz to a visitor who had punched her in the belly 20 minutes before.


She’s a hard worker, and a giver.

Debbie and Nikki are smiling behind the podium, shaking hands, while the crowd hoists signs that say “Grace in 2016” and “Look For Grace At Your Polling Place.” But, Grace is nowhere to be found.

She’s probably snuck away to a soccer field to take barefoot shots on goal, or has wandered off to find bugs for her nature journal, or is in hot pursuit of a sister to pester.

You know, exercising all these liberties she’s lucky enough to have today.

There’ll be plenty of time for a campaign later. Third grade beckons.

Libertarian party? You’ve got some work to do in the meantime. But we’re listening.

libertarianism quote


  1. So much love for Grace shows in your words! Mind you I didn’t miss the point, the love for your daughter just resonates more in my heart.
    Attending college, I’ve found like me many of my peers support the ideas of Libiterians. I’m for helping those in need but also for limiting governments roles in our daily lives. Seems contradictory but it doesn’t have to be.
    Great post and when she does decide to jump on the trail! I want a spot on team Gace!

    1. I know I’m supposed to love her because she’s my kid, but I really do adore her, too, and the time we spend together. You know what it’s like.

      I’m happy to hear your peers recognize the good in these ideals. I don’t know how soon Libertarians can win offices, great and small, but it seems their vision for America brings in the good of both main parties and does a lot of good with them.

      Trust us to do what’s right and take care of each other – that’s not a bad thing, is it? What the two main parties do seems more contradictory than that, by far.

      You’re so in … maybe as a running mate?

  2. Gezabelle says:

    She is headed down the right path – you may want to introduce her to the Laffer curve and the works of economist Thomas Sowell. I think Thomas Sowell should write a children’s book… hmmm. I would email him the idea – but I think he still has that restraining order on me… I swear sit in a guys bushes one time and you are branded a stalker… sheesh.

    1. I’d love for Sowell to be part of her summer reading. Maybe should could meet with Thomas, and bring you along disguised as a playmate. Or have you tried that one already?

      1. Gezabelle says:

        No, that would be a new one… I like the idea.

        I’m childish and immature so it should be a fool proof plan.

      2. Now, if we could use only our power for good.

        You’d fit right in.

      3. Gezabelle says:

        Hmmm… using my power for …good?

        Wow that is a novel idea.

        I will definitely give that some thought – but not until after this weekend. I have a lot of bad already scheduled and I like to follow through.

      4. You’re a good villain.

      5. Gezabelle says:


        That is my evil laugh 🙂

  3. Oh God, I thought that said Librarian…

    1. Well, she did quote Thoreau today, so you never know … she could be both.

  4. laurie27wsmith says:

    Children have a wonderful way of seeing right through the bull and getting to the heart of the problem. If the money spent in one year in the world on armaments was channelled away from killing, it would mean an end to poverty. I’m aware that the causes of poverty are more complex than a simple lack of money, there are a slew of other issues involved. However the simplicity of a child’s view is refreshing, they don’t think about the graft and corruption of politics and parties. They just see it how it is. Well done Grace.

    1. So maybe the idea of a boy king isn’t so wacky after all. You’re right though, the answers seem so simple in politics, if only politics weren’t involved.

      When I read your comment to her just now, she smiled.

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        Boy kings aren’t a bad idea at all, though they never seemed to survive for too long. Tell Grace it is good to see a child with a social conscience, big smile right back. 🙂

      2. Maybe they ought to try a girl queen out.

        I think my next question to have to answer for her will be, “what is a social conscience”?

      3. laurie27wsmith says:

        That’s why you’re the coachdaddyblogger 🙂

      4. Reporting for duty.

  5. My best friend is a libertarian and he tells me all about it all of the time. I’m a Republican and would LOVE some tax cuts!

    1. They might be onto something, because they recognize we right-wing geniuses and our love for lower taxes, and take some of our perceived mean edge off (I’d never want to take it off completely or for real).

      I’d rather put that extra bit in my paycheck toward philanthropy I believe in, wouldn’t you? Forget freebies and wind energy.

  6. Oh, I would totally vote for Grace over all the clowns running the show right now. And I’m not pointing out specific clowns, but they are everywhere and have been. Grace 2016!!!

    1. It’s getting harder and harder to pick the lesser evil all the time. They’re on both sides of the aisle. We need to get this kid on the ticket in ’16.

  7. Krystal says:

    Grace has my vote for sure! Libertarians are aiming for the right things, now getting them to work is the true test of their words and the public. Great post!

    1. We’re building momentum, and I tweeted this post to the Libertarian party. I’d love to see their ideas tried out, that’s for sure.

      Thanks Krystal!

  8. dishofdailylife says:

    I’d vote for her. I was definitely smiling reading this. My daughter can (and will) argue politics like nobody’s business. She had her whole class going on about the whole “don’t give a man a fish, teach a man to fish” concept. She has her opinions and she can back them up. She certainly doesn’t get it from me, because I am not quick on my feet like that at all.

    1. Look out, Dems, GOP and Tea Partiers! Glad you smiled at this. Your kid might want to get in on this – and she has the right ideas, too, if you ask me.

      I worry my older kids have too much of a hardline when it comes to politics, and I wonder, where do they get that?

      Your kid might be one who gets us on the right track, you know.

  9. Rorybore says:

    OMG!!! She’s Canadian!!! 🙂
    I don’t know that much about American Politics – I tried to educate myself during the last election, but it got very confusing. Something about red, blue…and then there were elephants, or ties…or elephants wearing ties, I don’t know. I decided to just watch that movie with Michael Douglas, The American President instead. I love that movie. Is he a red or blue elephant in that??

    1. The last thing we want is for Grace to run into the problems about citizenship when she runs for Canadian Prime Minister, like Obama did with his birth certificate!

      American politics are very confusing. We do have red and blue, but in the case of Libertarians, there should be a shade of purple. There’s jackasses and elephants, and then there are mascots for each party.

      Michael Douglas was definitely a Democrat (blue donkey) in “The American President,” and Harrison Ford decidedly Republican (red elephant) in “Air Force One.”

      I’d vote for Harrison Ford as president. Especially if Chewbacca was vice president.

  10. triciaraisinghumans says:

    She’s got my vote! Love how you support her and how your family engages in this kind of conversation. Smart little girls you’re raising!

    1. Polls show Grace with a 3 point lead in 37 states. Seven more are too close to call. FOX News has her losing in all 50, but what can we say about that?

      There’s a time when a dad just needs to lead, and others when he should stand aside and follow. They’re capable of much more than I can imagine.

  11. I think she has a future in politics. Maybe she is someone who can finally bridge the gap. Lord knows we could use it in both our countries to get a few more good things done that aren’t completely partisan.

    1. You might be right, friend. I hope that we’re headed toward that trend, anyway, of finding bipartisan solutions. Maybe it starts by acknowledging the other party has some good ideas – but that’s a big step.

  12. Lisa Newlin says:

    My husband and I are Libertarians, so obviously I think the party is brilliant. I don’t always agree with everything they tout (like totally legal drugs), but for the most part, I’m a hands off government kind of gal. I will pay my taxes, but only what is fair and reasonable. I believe in helping others, but not enabling.

    Grace is a smart girl who seems to have things figured out. At such an early age, it’s impressive. 🙂

    1. I’m more convinced they have the right idea, after researching it for this post. The hands-off government got my attention, and trusting us to do what’s best with our tax dollars. As Michelle said in a comment earlier, teach a man to fish, rather than give him fish to eat.

      I’m going to learn from this kid, I think. Heck, I already am!

  13. I would totally vote for Grace. How could you go wrong with that platform? Does she need a vice president?

    1. Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? I just hope the IRS doesn’t delay her non-profits in Ohio, you know? I think the Grace/Jen ticket could go places.

      “Garlic Parmesan wings on every grill … “

  14. Joyce says:

    Great ideas from the mouth of a babe. To enact this, she might want to get her education at Fantasy University.

    1. This is also the kid who yesterday asked me, “if I peel off this sticker, could I steal this?” It was a $1.09 carpenter’s pencil sharpener.

  15. If I am still alive when she runs for office, she’s got my vote!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      We need to send you a campaign button!

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