Saturday, January 26, 2013

Future low-information voters

Yesterday, while picking up my six-year old granddaughter from a YMCA aftercare program, I walked in on a staffer from the Y quizzing the kids on their political knowledge. "Does anybody here know the name of Texas' governor," she asked them, and dozens of hands flew into the air. "Not the President," she said, "not Barack Obama, but who is the Governor of Texas?" Nearly every hand went down except for one, small child at the very back of the room. The staffer called on her and she confidently piped up, "Mitt Romney!" I couldn't help but laugh out loud and interject, "Wrong state, he used to be a governor, just not here."

When Ty and I got to the car, I taught her the names of Texas' Governor and Austin's Mayor on the way home until she could repeat them on demand. "It's important to know their names," I told her, "if only so you'll get the joke when people make fun of them, because almost everybody does."