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Mom or Dad may need a timeout until Nov. 2

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This is a message for all the children of America. We grownups are under a lot of stress right now because of the coming presidential election, and a lot of us will be getting mad, saying things that aren't true, and calling each other bad names. So it would really help us a lot if you young folks could be on your best behavior for the next couple of months.

That may seem like a strange request, but certainly not surprising.

As many of you have learned by now, adults love to make up rules for kids and then turn right around and do all the things we told you not to do. Some people call it hypocrisy, and others may prefer the term "double standard," but let's not get bogged down in semantics.

My point is that our frustrating lack of self-control can be especially severe during national political campaigns.

"Watch your language" is a phrase that you've probably heard in school when a teacher catches someone using naughty words. "Show respect" is another behavior requirement in many classrooms. So I wouldn't blame any of you for being confused when you heard those news stories about Vice President Dick Cheney saying the "F" word during an exchange with Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

Why, you may ask, doesn't Congress have a timeout room? All I can tell you is that logic and politics are often incompatible.

Another thing we lecture you about is celebrating diversity and being inclusive. You're not supposed to make fun of other kids just because they wear different clothes or don't like your favorite movies.

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