It's a very frustrating time for me--election time. I get sick listening to grown men and women call each other names and spend their campaign money telling us why the other guy is bad. What ever happened to telling people why you're right for the job and not why your opponent is bad because they are a (insert derogatory slam here.)
Children pick their own leaders. They learn by example. They spend their time with the people that make them feel good about themselves. Having our leaders give them permission to tear someone down is just negating what we as parents try to instill. It gives them the wrong message. It tells them that if someone doesn't like your ideas, it's okay to be mean to them instead of negotiating a solution.
My children are older, and they understand the process of an election. We can have discussions about what a candidate brings to the table. And isn't it funny, they don't care for the criticizing either? They are equally as disgusted with the candidates (regardless of what election it is.) I guess maybe I got my point across to them early enough, that no matter who you are, it's still not okay. But, then again, I would guess that the parents of the candidates probably told them that too. So at what age do we give up on our children and let them tear someone down to build themselves up? The answer is clearly never. They will always be my children and I their parent. They won't hear me do it, so I will forever hold them to that standard, even if they run for President of the United States or even PTA President.