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I used to believe the way they counted up votes was by counting the signs people used to put on their yards
When I was little and used to watch the world news, I thought that Peter Jennings was the President.
I thought that Mount Rushmore was an act of God, and that was how we chose our presidents. . . who resembled the mountain.
I am 52 now (2007) so I grew up in the cold war. For many years, I believed that the nuclear holocaust was at hand, so much so that I would hear thunder and think it was a nuclear attack. I suppose the constant news on the subject was a contributor. I finally outgrew it.
My parents told me when I was little that we were going voting, I miss heard and thought they said boating. I was gravely disappointed when I figured out I miss heard.
In 1986, when I was 5 there were summit talks ("Gipfeltreffen" in German) between Reagan and Gorbatchev in Reykjavík, Iceland. I understood that it was an island far off and just pictured the two heads of government climbing up that high mountain (like I knew in the Alps) with a palm tree on it to have a very serious conversation on top of it. I thought it was useful because everyone could run down the other way if they didn't like each other. It took me a while to understand that such talks didn't need to be on islands nor mountains.
In 5th grade, my class took a tour of the state capital building. When I got home, I excitedly told my parents that I saw the room where they execute people. I was so proud; I mean, how cool is it to see where they execute people? I was horribly embarrassed when they corrected me and told me that the "Executive Office" has nothing to do with executing people.
The (current) Iraq war started when I was about 8. I wrote a letter to the PM of Australia, advising him "stop being friends" with George Bush because I thought he was a bad influence, and was worried Australia would join the invasion.
I seriously believed that he would take my advice!
I had a belief that if you dialed 1234567890 on your home telephone, that you would call the President of the United States.
i used to think huge sattelite poles that were as tall as bulidlings was were the president wold sit and have his meetings.
I used to believe that the state seal (you know, the picture on the state flag) was an actual animal seal! I believed that every state had an animal seal at the state capitol! I believed this until I was in 7th grade.
I belived that in order to be President you had to run a race and I'd alaways want to see the race but no one would Know what I was talking about.
This is not my belief. This is one of my frends. He thought that when a Preadent dies, They go to The United Stats of Heven. He also thougt that Gorge Bush was dead. I said "He not dead. He still at the White House. Im going their soon."
He took it the wrong way and said "You Going To DIE?
I once wrote to John Major and asked if he would be my penpal. I really believed he had nothing better to do! I thought it could be a nice hobby for him.
When someone mentioned the word 'politician', I always pictured people who worked in washington D.C. who always wore red white and blue dress suits, and red white and blue tophats. I always believed that politicians carried a little american flag with them too.
When I was young, I was driving in the car with my father, and they were talking about politics on the radio. The words "Democrat" and "Republicans" kept coming up, and I asked my dad what the difference was. His response was, "Well, last year they elected a Democrat. In a few years they'll get sick of him and elect a Republican. Then the same thing will happen and they'll elect a Democrat again." This was my understanding of the U.S. political system until around my senior year in high school, when I discovered that it was a bit more complex than that. As my knowledge of politics grew, however, I came to realize that my dad had pretty much summed things up pretty accurately.
I grew up in West-Berlin, when is still was in the middle of Communist territory. Passing the border by car to transit through East-Germany (for a holiday, typically) took hours and the controls were harsh, with dogs and seaches and lots of paperwork and lots of questions.
I thought the reason was fighting highway robbery and always felt uneasy when we were visiting countries like Denmark of Switzerland where you wouldn't be harrassed for hours when entering. I thought they were irresponsible and dangerous places!
I always thought that the president was the richest man in the world.
I haven't seen this variation on the Watergate theme yet:
Like a lot of the others here who were around six or seven years old during Watergate, I had a very literal interpretation about some kind of "Water Gate" that was broken, clogged or overflowing in some way. I put that together with all the "bugs" I kept hearing about and thought that if you turned on a sink faucet bugs would come pouring out. I only remember being afraid of the faucets for a day or two (it was probably only an hour, lol!) before my parents straightened it all out for me but I I still think about it every time I hear the word Watergate.
When I was four, I got into an argument with my uncle. He said that the vice president was Spiro Agnew. I said it was Uncle Sam.