I Believe The Children Mirror Our Future.

17 10 2008

  Obama wins in Scholastic’s election poll, read the article here.  Some of the awesomeness of this article includes; this poll has mirrored the real election results all but twice since 1940.  The kids voted for Dewey over Truman in ’48 and Nixon over JFK in ’60.  Also, there is this, the kids voted for Gee-Dub in 2000.  So depending on how you viewed that election, the kids’ votes didn’t predict the actual vote or, you are batshit insane.  The popular vote that year elected Gore, the Supreme Court appointed Gee-Dub.  So, I’d say the kids were right all but thrice since 1940, still a very good record. 

  One could read this Scholastic history in a number of interesting ways.  One of those being, democracy is doomed to failure.  If the foundation/cornerstone of a good democracy is an informed public, then the fact that a children’s vote has mirrored the actual vote all but thrice since 1940 means that Joe Sixpack and soccer/hockey mom are as informed, have the same capacity for reason, the same guile and insight as children.  Or perhaps something else could explain the very close relationship.  Perhaps both populations are getting their information from the same places, rather place, rather the exact same place- the TV.  If both populations saw the same commercials and saw the same news clips, and that was the extent of their information outlets, that would help toward an explanation of why these two votes mirror each other so closely. 

  I have for a long time believed, and have read many convincing arguments (No LogoManufacturing Consent, The Corporation, etc.),  that the media panders to the lowest common denominator.  That would be a 5th – 7th grade level, which is the average intelligence level of the American population.  That children don’t want to be challenged by their information sources is understandable, that adults who choose to vote also don’t, is not.  That an adult who chooses to vote, can stop at the TV’s level of information and be satisfied and contented with the information they have, enough so that they feel they can make an informed decision and vote, is not ok.  With that in mind, it just seems unlikely that if adults got their information from sources other than TV, the outcomes of both populations would be so closely related. 

    Go ahead, think that this means that kids vote how their parents do, that the biggest influence on a kids vote is how their parents vote.  I don’t buy it.  This vote encompasses children from k-12, more than enough of a population of people who would rebel against their parents.  It would also not explain Dewey or Nixon.  No I think the reason is where the populations are getting their information from.

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One response

17 10 2008
jonolan

Considering that children who wear McCain shirts to school are being harassed and verbally abused by their fellow students, I say that children are a distilled example of the adult culture.

And yes, I agree that this is the media’s fault.

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