“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?

5 thoughts on “flabbergasted

  1. I hope not much longer. I love this state but sometimes I worry about it. The mindset and the prejudice is scary sometimes. The teens listen to the parents, who listen to their parents, and the vicious cycle goes on and on…I worked the polls today and I registered a lot of first time voters. I hope they were as excited as I was for them. I hope they will learn about the candidates for themselves. I hope they will make decisions for themselves. I hope for a lot.

  2. We don’t hide our political discussions from our kids, but we haven’t really included them much, either, unless they ask questions.

    So I was very surprised when Darcy told her great-grandmother who she would vote for. She came across a newspaper or magazine picture that showed both Obama and McCain’s pictures (but not their names). And she said, “This is who I would vote for – Obama – because he wants to raise taxes, but only on the people who make a lot of money. Not on ordinary working families like ours. Our taxes would go down, and we would get to keep more of our money. I wouldn’t vote for John McCain because he SAYS he is going to lower taxes, but really, he’s going to raise them, and families like mine are going to end up paying more for things like the war and stuff…because he doesn’t think we should get out of Iraq, and he thinks we should go to war with other people, too.”

    Holy shit. That came out of my EIGHT year old daughter. Let me tell you – I’m a very proud mommy!!

  3. My 13yo watched every debate and dragged me to BOTH rallies. That’s what happens when you raise your children on South Park ))) Now he has to have all the info first-hand before forming an opinion of his own.

  4. I’m glad you were there for those girls. I’m concerned about Tennessee, but we have to keep trying. I love the above comments from Meg & Goldie! Right on! I’m also glad Tommy voted in this historic election – his first. I have also been very tearful today. Gargantuan problems to solve, but we still have to believe we can!

  5. On Monday night, I heard a a McCain Campaign spokesman while talking up Mac’s chances say, “I think what you will find is that the uneducated blue collar workers are going to come out strong and break for McCain.” So essentially the GOP depends and relies on the uneducated (and uninformed).

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