Monday, November 17, 2008

Experimental Tolerance

Here's a fine experiment on political tolerance which ought to be read by parents who chuckle about their kids chanting "Assasinate Obama" on the school bus or insist that it's only the Republicans who are intolerant of the views of others.

As for the Asssasinate Obama thing, I'm saddened to say that happened in my own back yard. The episode bespeaks of local intolerance and animosity towards the Democrats -- behavior I find absolutely shameful.

I'm glad to say I have not heard such things come from my children (we have a third-grader and first-grader, plus a pre-schooler). They have talked about the election at school in some capacity or other, likely under the guise of the Newspapers in Education program, which sees our local paper bringing copies of the paper into the schoolroom to goose its circulation numbers (every paper in Americ does this to some extent). Our third-grader insisted he would vote for John McCain, but he's had a hard time articulating why, which puts him on par with many voters. I haven't heard any trash talk about Barack Obama come from him, so I can assume it's either not occurring in school or he's ambivalent to it. Not a peep out of our first-grader. Probably because neither the Republicans nor Democrats feature pink as an election platform.

We have discussed the election at home. I told them I voted for Barack Obama, because I thought he'd do a good job. We've also talked about President Bush, saying that he's made some bad decisions, but overall has had to make some terribly important decisions under tremendous stress in situations neither I nor my wife would want to be in. We teach them respect of the individual, respect of the office, so don't go on saying that because I live in a red county in a red state that I must be a Republican. Because I'm not.

We live in a household very much like the one described inthe Chicago Tribune article linked to at the beginning of this post, with the exception that my wife voted independently this year for Ralph Nader.

So read the Chicago Trib article -- especially you who believe the Democrats are above such intolerant shenanigans. You'll have your eyes opened, if not your mind.

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