October 18, 2008

Kids say the dumbest things

What do our children think?

Presidential views from K. William Harvey Elementary School“My name is Emanuelle L. and I’m a member of the Salish Kootenai Tribe in Montana. I am 10 years old. Who I think should be president is Barack Obama. I think Barack Obama because he is letting some Indians into the government. ... I don’t want John McCain because he is just like George Bush and I don’t think our nation wants the same stuff.”Exactly.“I am Tanner O. and am white, but I live on the Flathead Indian Reservation. I’m 10 years old. The people I think should be president and vice president are John McCain and Sarah Palin. ... John McCain is a war veteran and knows how to stop the war in Iraq (and still win it).”Yeah, because McCain has such a great plan to end the war. So great that he's thinking of keeping a US presence there for 100 years.“I am Vannessa B. I am Salish Kootenai. I am 10. I choose John McCain because I think they will be really good. I think John McCain will be a good president because Obama might take away our guns.”Uh, wrong.“I am Colton R. I am from a white family. I live on the Flathead Reservation. The people I think that should be president should be John McCain and Sarah Palin because I think that Obama is going to raise taxes and stop the war.”Yeah, it would be terrible to end the war in Iraq. War is such a good thing. What would Halliburton, Blackwater, and various undertakers do without it?“My name is Chloe G. I am a white person, am 10 and am living on the Flathead Indian Reservation. I believe that John McCain would be the best president. I think that McCain would be the best because he believes in war. If we didn’t have war, how could we have peace?”This kid is half right. McCain believes in war. And he's half wrong. "We need war to have peace" sounds like something a 10-year-old (or a Republican) would say. Forty years ago, this kid would've said, "We had to destroy the village to save it."“My name is Morgan D. from Ronan, Mont. I am a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe and am 10 years old. The person I think would be the best president would be John McCain because Obama is saying things I don’t like. John McCain always tells the truth about things.”Obviously this kid watches only McCain ads and doesn't read the fact-checking analyses of them. He must've missed the commercial in which McCain claimed Obama wants to teach kindergartners about sex, for instance.“I am Jordyn C., a Salish Kootenai, and am 10. I think Barack Obama would be the best president because there has never been a black president. I also think Obama should be president because he is a nice guy and he is really going to work hard for the Native Americans’ rights. The vice president should be Joe Biden. I think that he should be VP because he is running with Obama and he is a Democrat.”Right on! This kid's reason for voting for Biden is unassailable. If you want Obama, you really have to vote for Biden too.“I am Carston Lee R. I am a descendant of the Salish Kootenai. I’m in fifth grade. Who I want to be president is John McCain because I am a Christian and I believe in Jesus Christ only, not other gods.”Yeah, because we wouldn't want to allow Allah and Yahweh and all those Native gods into the White House. Obama is black so he can't be a Christian...!

These kids obviously don't know much about the issues. They must be going more on style and less on substance than your average adult voter. Yet it's interesting to look at the racial divide:

Ten Native kids (including kids with Native ancestors): 7-3 Obama-McCain.

Five white kids: 3-2 McCain-Obama.

Curiously, these numbers are close to the actual percentages for white and minority voters. Does that mean children understand the issues as well as adults? Or does it mean they share the prejudices of adults? I.e., McCain is a straight talker and a Christian, Obama is shifty and a Muslim?

The kids' arguments sound like those of 10-year-olds, but at least their hearts are in the right place. The vote totals: 9 Obama, 6 McCain.

For more on the subject, see The 2008 Presidential Campaign.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have to say though, I am 43 years old and I don't think when I was 10 I even knew who the President was and I certainly did not know the issues! My son is now 10 and I have had lunch with him and his friends... they talk politics over lunch. We gotta at least give these kids credit for that!! I mean were you talking lunchroom politics at 10?