Is it me, or does it seem that as this interminable 2008 Presidential race draws to its long-awaited and highly-anticipated conclusion, that one candidate and his supporters have run the adult campaign, while the other has run the teenage campaign? I commented earlier about a similar phenomenon in the primaries, and throughout the election season, I have seen all the worst behaviors and thought processes of teenagers that I have observed in my years of teaching in the campaign of one of the candidates. I won't say which one, because again this is not a political blog and I don't want to use it for political advocacy. This is just an observation, nothing more.
This is what I've seen from this campaign and its supporters that remind me so much of teenagers:
- Arbitrary nastiness and hatred.
- Unintelligent, unsophisticated, ultra-simplistic declarations about complex, important matters.
- The automatic and uncritical belief and acceptance of any statement which makes them feel better about themselves and their own positions, and the concomitant automatic skepticism and rejection of any statement which does not promote that self-esteem.
- The self-serving distortion, de-contextualization, misinterpretation, over-simplification, over-generalization and twisting of their opponents' words, and the propagandization of same.
- The belief that their failure can only be the result of an irrational and persistent bias against them by the arbiters of public opinion (in their case, the media; in kids' case, their teachers), that they can only lose/fail as the result of a deep, widespread, insidious, evil conspiracy by dark, nefarious forces, not as a result of their own shortcomings or any objective assessment of themselves by unbiased observers.
- The absolute, unequivocal, unshakable belief in their own goodness, the truth of their beliefs and the correctness of their positions, the rightness of their actions and the affrontery of those who disagree.