“But WHY are you supporting Obama? My parents said he ___.” “My parents said they didn’t know what the Charter Amendments were, so they just voted no.”
Half a dozen 15 to 17 year-old girls stayed here last night. They grilled me about politics. They were armed with misinformation but eager to discuss issues, ideas and opinions. Some of the things that they accepted as fact were ridiculously false. Teenagers may be plugged in, but there isn’t a lot of fact checking on MySpace and FaceBook. “Every time we ask our parents or teachers for an explanation they tell us they’re too busy.” These girls who will be voting in the next four years WANTED to talk politics. What about the facts they are overhearing from their parents? Are they getting all of their information from rumors and gossip? Were we all running on misinformation before we became engaged on the Internet? Is this level of disengagement from truth only in TN? During discussions about schools in TN, I hear over and over again that “It was good enuf fer me” and I have listened to this year’s campaigns insult intelligence. How long are we going to be the state that embraces a culture of the uneducated?