Friday, November 14, 2008

Children in Politics

I don't know what to think about this:

Or rather, I think several things simultaneously:

- It's cute and fun to see small children enthusiastically support political causes for which I have sympathy.

- Has anyone really been persuaded to a particular position on an issue by people waving signs? Or perhaps its about motivating the base to go to the polls. That makes sense if you live in an area, as do these children, where there is more of your base than your opponents' base.

- I'm uncomfortable with using children as proxies in political advocacy. It's dishonest. Not as dishonest in this case as when busloads of children showed up in D.C. to rally for legislation that allegedly affected them, as we saw during the Clinton Administration; this was a front for adult agendas. But still: it's representing the children as having a considered opinion on an issue that they most probably lack. (Then again, in the case of Florida's Amendment 2, the issue really is simple enough for an eight-year-old when considered under a religious paradigm.)

- I don't really want to communicate to my own kids that the essence of politics is waving signs at street corners. I rather want to teach them: First gain knowledge. Second, pursue understanding. Then, and only then, should they advocate. I believe too many people get this exactly backward: we start with our position, we then master a set of arguments in favor of that position, and rarely if ever get around to learning any facts that drive those arguments.

- [New] Did you check out the Mom that posted the video? Now that's the secret of a winning political campaign: having hot babes on your team.

1 comment:

trumwill said...

I actually posted on a similar thing a while back.

I remember as a kid we were all turned into foot-soldiers for every school bond issue in existence. One teacher said that we should ask our parents how they're going to vote and start crying if they were going to vote against. They didn't get involved in non-school issues like in California with Prop 8, though.