Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Now, THAT Was Awful!

I just scanned my Facebook "News Feed" and saw a video that someone posted that bothered me enough to write a blog post about it.  I thought about posting it here as a reference, but my "better angels" got in the way and said not to, because I don't want to promote it.

The video consisted of a cute six year-old listing "Ten Reasons Not to Vote for Obama," which co-starred his even younger siblings, and included such profundities as "he lets bad people into our country" and "he'll make us wait longer to see the doctor."

The content is the same sort of drivel that both sides spew at the not-so-informed level.  What really got me, though, is that six year-olds don't have political opinions.

If you're running, and you want to show them in your ads because your family is part of who you are, I think that's different -- there's nothing inherently manipulative there.  Even if you're Tim Cahill, and you want to gather all your daughters in your Quincy kitchen to say how wonderful Daddy is, I still think that's okay (they're expressing a concept that they at least understand).

However, coaching people who don't understand what they're saying to recite lines advocating for a particular political cause is, frankly, disgusting.  A guy running for Congress in Rhode Island did this in 2010, and it bothered me then, too...the "point" supposedly was that even a five year-old understands economics, but that the President doesn't [the problem is, a five year-old doesn't understand economics].

Just to clarify the point, this is totally distinct from having your five- or six-year old prodigy appear on Letterman.  If that kid is banging out Beethoven's 5th, or she's rattling off all the world capitals, those are talents from within that are being expressed.  

You can form your own opinions about child actors, dancers, performers, even beauty pageant participants...as for me, I try to keep a very wide latitude of tolerance and non-judgement, the same that I would ask for in return.

I just feel that using not-yet-politically sentient kids as mouthpieces to express political opinions crosses a line of acceptability.  Once these children become politically conscious, what if they disagree with those statements?  What if those kids become Democrats who support ObamaCare?

I don't plan to vote for President Obama this fall.  For what it's worth, I won't be voting for Mitt Romney, either.  That's not the point.  The point is just that that particular video made my skin crawl.

No comments: