In Which Our Heroine Is Still Thinking Too Much About Elections

27 October 2004

Catherine linked to this article about how Weekly Reader kids' votes have accurately predicted the presidential race's outcome since 1956. She speculated that kids mostly vote the way their parents do. I wonder if that's all of it. In my experience as a kid, you were not given a choice about whether to vote in the mock election. Everyone voted. I guarantee that not everyone's parents voted. So I'm wondering whether the other indicator might be media awareness. It may be that kids of non-voters are picking up on how many signs there are for one candidate or the other in their area, what the TV ads look like, etc. in a similar way to some group of voters.

The thing that interests me about this article is that the kids have picked Bush in almost every state, but even the staunchest Bush partisans don't seem to be predicting that. I'm wondering how the Weekly Reader's results have gone on a state-by-state basis.

Not that I think it's an important public policy issue, mind you. I'm just curious. Poking around for common factors if it correlates.

There is a "Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics" in the paper, sponsored by Catholic Defense League. It gives "five non-negotiables" for Catholic voters: abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and homosexual marriage. (Actually, they put that very last word in quotes.) Uh...huh. Because we all know that Jesus talked a lot about all of those things and nothing at all about the poor, the hungry, the widow, the orphan, the meek, the peacemaker. Jesus focused entirely the reproductive system, except for euthanasia. That's totally consistent with what we see in the Gospels. Riiiight.

I'm not saying those aren't important issues that people should weigh in their hearts. I am saying that if Jesus had meant that homosexuality was more important than care for the poor, I think we would read anything at all about homosexuality in the Gospels and not quite so much about the poor and needy.

Nor am I saying that there's only one way to help the poor, or that one political party has the sole handle on multiple answers. I firmly believe that there are ways to be a Democrat, a Republican, and all sorts of other political groups you can name, and still have concrete, immediate ideas and plans for helping the poor.

What I'm saying is, I believe it is entirely inconsistent with Jesus' teachings to be any kind of a Christian who does not consider social justice and human rights important issues. Pick your way of addressing them as you will, but addressing them doesn't really look optional from here. Believe in government programs, or believe in private charities, or believe in a combination, or believe in something else entirely. But ignoring the whole business entirely is not a Christ-like option, no matter what denomination you choose, no matter what political affiliation you combine it with.

Right then. Anyway, to serve as a nice break from the Cathars, I've been reading The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Fourteenth Annual Collection. That makes it the 2000 collection, for those of you who don't have the numbers in your head. I don't read the horror, and maybe I'm missing out on some good things I'd call dark fantasy on that account. I think I'm okay with that. This collection was $1 in a used book bin. It makes two of the series I own, the first and the fourteenth. Both of them have been perfectly good reads, but for whatever reason I'm not mad keen on buying the new ones as they come out. Maybe it's that $1 is a great price for a bunch of stories and still worth it if I skip the ones I've already read and the ones that are horror, but $14 is not such a fabulous price for the same thing, especially compared with one or two books I'd read cover-to-cover. I'm not keen on buying the SF ones where I'd (theoretically) not reject half the material categorically, either, though. I don't know. I think they're a good thing to have, they just never make it far enough up my list to get purchased new.

Thermionic Night revisions went crazy-well last night, and I see no reason for that trend to stop (she said hopefully).

Back to Novel Gazing.

And the main page.

Or the last entry.

Or the next one.

Or even send me email.