sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

January 9, 2012

This Works? Really?

Filed under: parenting, politics — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 2:59 pm

The Obama Campaign is at it again.  They are asking kids to talk their parents into voting for the One (via Noisy Room, via BadBlue):

Recall, they did the same in ’08:

Back then they had a whole section on his website urging kids to talk to their parents.  I presume it is somehow established that the strategy is effective, otherwise why do it again?  Well, maybe because BO’s campaign has more money than it knows what to do with.

Seriously, a parent who is willing to take political advice from her underage child is a bad parent.  Kids are not purer or better than adults, and certainly no smarter than we are.  It’s possible that they can tell us something that we don’t already know, but usually it’s because they know things that aren’t so.  Kids with moderate amount of “emotional intelligence” know that they are out of their depth when it comes to politics.  They listen to adults and perhaps bring up a point here and there, but rarely argue with their parents and certainly don’t spew propaganda.

If my child were to come up to me and start agitating on a politician’s behalf, especially if I wasn’t going to vote for that politician, I’d say:

“Honey, I’m glad you are expressing an interest in politics.  Here is the last issue of National Review.  Read it.”



  1. I’m sure it’s just like the Commies in Russia. A Russian girl I dated a long time ago told me they had a Lenin or a Stalin pin they had to wear in school. I forgot which but one was until you reached a certain age then you got to wear the other kind.

    She was a Jew so wearing those pins was very ironic… much like brainwashing kids into being for O when he is taking away their future by shackling them with debts.

    Comment by Harrison — January 9, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

    • They did try to brainwashed kids, although in my generation it led to compulsive eye-rolling in teens. As far as using kids to persuade adults… I dono… The Soviet government had much better luck frightening adults.
      There were youth 3 organizations we had to join. At 7, we were Oktyabryata and wore a red star with young Lenin inside. At 10 we became pioneers, which was modeled on the scouts but without the cool activities. We had to wear red 3-angle red ties and a pin with Lenin inside a star and some flames. For 14-28 they had Komsomol, which was a prerequisite for college. Komsomoltsi wore a different pin with Lenin and flame and, from what I remember, a red banner. At about age 12-13 early bloomers removed their red young pioneer ties as soon as they left the school building, so that they can pass for older kids.

      Comment by edge of the sandbox — January 9, 2012 @ 10:00 pm

      • Yes this is what she wore in Odessa… I have a Stalin and Lenin pin like the ones she had to wear.

        Sure sounds like bizarre brainwashing to me. Perhaps the parents didn’t buy into it but I bet some of them did when they were kids.

        Comment by Harrison — January 10, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

        • I’m intrigued by the Stalin/Lenin pin. It must be from before Khrushchev. In 1956 he delivered a speech on Personality Cult to Party Congress and virtually all references to Stalin disappeared from public life. see here:

          We were just directed to warship Lenin. I don’t think there was a kid in my generation who convinced his parents that communism was a good thing. The system was falling apart, which was painfully obvious to any adult observer. It made kids cynical too, as we came of age… We all behaved, but it was mostly because we believed that resistance is futile.

          Comment by edge of the sandbox — January 10, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

  2. Both the premise and the delivery are so cheesy, I have a hard time believing it really works. The strategy probably works more as a way to motivate young adherents to vote, rather than successfully spreading their opinions to their elders.

    I’m still trying to get my brain wrapped around the fact that all this cheesy BS worked in 08, by the way.


    Comment by nooneofanyimport — January 10, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

    • That 08 video is something else.
      a) The boy with the Jewish last name alleges to have an apolitical granny. Am I supposed to believe that she didn’t talk his ear off about her days at a kibbutz?
      b) Gosh, I don’t know, maybe Indian immigrants are very different from us, but people don’t typically throw their own life experience out of the window to learn about American politics from their underage kids. If this is not a condescending opinion of immigrants, I don’t know what is.
      c) The Obama campaign teaches kids to be manipulative: Call your granny a lot if you need something from her, etc.
      d) The video campaign asks kids to identify the apolitical/disinterested/unsophisticated potential voter and wow him with cuteness. I doubt a child can pick up on cues re political involvement to identify a potential Obama voter. Lots of adults act disinterested because they don’t want to be bothered, others feign interest. They need an adult to tell them who they need to go after.
      e) Disenchantment. It’s not going to happen right away because aunties and grannies will probably humor the little ones. But should any real kid follow the Obama campaign instructions and spew talking points at their elders, a few decades from now they will think back at what was going on and feel used. It’s going to be very, very personal.

      Comment by edge of the sandbox — January 10, 2012 @ 10:18 pm

  3. Orwellian in many respects.

    Comment by Always On Watch — January 11, 2012 @ 5:26 am

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