Kathleen Parker of Townhall.com wrote a column a couple of weeks ago titled “Pornifying Politics,” which examines the disturbing emergence of YouTube music videos dedicated to presidential candidates. Ms. Parker wrote:
“The videos are the latest rage in virtual politics: Pouty girls in scant clad bump 'n' grind their luv for this presidential candidate or that. For which they are rewarded millions of views on YouTube, the favorite medium of narcissists gone wild, and recognition by the alleged mainstream media. For just a few humps and bumps, fame belongs to the teeniest bikiniest.”
The makers of these videos claim that they are just having fun and the videos are not endorsed by any of the candidates’ campaigns. While this may be true, it certainly seems to be a sign of the times. Our culture has been snowballing toward the pornification of every facet of daily life for several years. It is disappointing but, not all that surprising that something as serious as a presidential election would be seen as an opportunity for some to profit while further pushing our culture into the gutter.
The use of dancing, scantily clad, lip-synching sluts in music videos for candidates isn’t as bad as the pornifying of childhood. Children lose their innocence too soon as it is. It is truly despicable that so many companies attempt to expedite that loss with the garbage that is marketed to our children. A short list of examples:
• Bratz dolls
• Thongs (for children)
• Children’s underwear with suggestive phrases printed on them (Abercrombie & Fitch, I believe.)
• Girl’s apparel in any store often could be summed up as slutty.
Companies that have products to sell aren’t the only entities working against the childhood of our children. Music, movies, internet, and television all do their part to shatter the innocence of the unsuspecting child. I would be negligent if I didn’t mention the policies like that suggested by the object of the Obama Girl’s desire, who is all for sex education for five year olds.
Of course parents can filter a great deal of garbage before it reaches the eyes and ears of their children, but it seems like there is more to filter all the time. The dose of morally objectionable material our children receive is made even more toxic by the elimination of God and morality from the classroom.
Morality seems to be on its way to becoming taboo. It is something not to be discussed in politically correct society, for morality might dictate the judging of someone and that cannot be tolerated by those that preach tolerance. Nearly any choice that feels good to any person is deemed acceptable by today’s standards (or lack thereof,) and these YouTube videos symbolize much of this “anything goes” culture. That is to say anything goes with the exceptions of integrity, traditional morality, common sense, and anything related to Judeo-Christian values.
Instead of using sex to draw attention to a candidate, I think it would be novel in the current climate, to hear ideas from the candidates. It would be even more unusual for those ideas to remain consistent and not change to suit whatever audience a candidate is pandering to on any given day.
If the reality is that sex sells so much so that it becomes a fixture in political campaigns we might as well nominate Hugh Hefner for president. He can in turn appoint Larry Flynt, who has designated himself to be America’s moral arbiter by paying for sex scandal information on current politicians, to The Supreme Court.
The election cycle is my favorite "season." Some of my fondest memories of early grade school are convincing my non-politically minded Catholic school friends to vote for Michael Dukakis in the school-wide presidential election. I know I garnered some votes for him; however, in my conservative school he lost in a landslide. Yet, I marched on in my love of all things political and approximately twenty years later here we are in another round of elections and I am all riled up. I love it all.
It seems as though there are many others who like it too. They are popping up on YouTube singing odes to Hillary Clinton and declaring their love for Barack Obama. These videos are homemade and silly, but have been turning up on the radar of the national news media. In turn, people are flocking to watch these videos. Pundits have become increasingly concerned that politics have been "dumbed down." They are stating that instead of discussing the real issues that concern the nation, millions of Americans are watching these YouTube videos of a girl who has a crush of Obama and even a girl that has a crush on Hillary Clinton. The candidates are becoming sexualized and issues are being ignored.
Yet, are these videos really a problem? I think not. Voter participation has decreased significantly since the 1960's. Real issues have been skewed by many in the mainstream media before. Remember when Ms. Clinton was in the White House in the early 1990's? The media was always concerned about her outfits and hairstyle. Those were very much the topics of many newspaper articles. So much for the "dumbing down" of politics.
Many producers of these videos have admitted they are jokes and were made for a laugh. People watch them for fun. Many people that watch these videos may not be registered voters or may not even be aware who the candidates even are. Hence, these videos are good for a chuckle and to provide awareness. Yes, it is a sad reflection on our nation that there is a large number of unregistered voters and non-voters. But, if these videos can bring about awareness and even a few voters then more power to them.
Moreover, who are we to silence speech, no matter how crass, how silly, or how insipid we may think it is. Some of this speech could be considered political discourse. One of my favorite philosophers, John Stuart Mill, stated that we live in a marketplace of ideas. The market is large enough for all of us to join.
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