Photo Credit: PatriotUpdate.com via YouTube
A video has gone viral in which a six-year-old kid, Isaac Anthony, rattles off 10 reasons why not to vote for Obama. The youngster, clad in holster with toy gun, is obviously delivering a script generated by adults, and it’s filled with provocative, non-fact-based arguments. For example, reason number one, the little boy says while pointing to a map somewhere near South America, is “Nobody knows where he comes from!” (Um, yes, we do: Hawaii.)
But the really troubling part of the video is not its content -- but the hateful comments it provoked and the fact that grownups subjected this little boy to such scrutiny on the Internet.
The video has close to 700,000 views on YouTube, and the comment section sprawls for pages upon pages with hateful speech from liberals and conservatives alike. A few arguments are reasoned, while others go for infantile name calling, and others seem to actually advocate for the death of Isaac Anthony.
He’s six years old! The little boy is only a third of the legal voting age, and these arguments are clearly not his own. Where is the civility, the decency -- and why did his parents subject him to this utterly predictable torrent of meanness?
Everyone is entitled to personal and political views, however popular or unpopular though they may be. And people who choose to express their views publicly must be prepared for feedback in a country where freedom of speech is available to all. But parents who subject their children to that cacophony of feedback for simply obediently delivering the adults’ messages? It’s shameful. (And the whole thing reeks of brainwashing.) Good parents -- who want to see their candidate elected because they truly want the best for their children -- don't hurl their kids into the ugly, gnashing maw of the Internet while they hide behind the camera.
Alesandra Dubin is a Los Angeles-based writer and iVillage's chief election news blogger. Follow her on Twitter: @alicedubin.