Child abuse at the Democratic and Republican conventions, or ‘pardon me while I retch’

I have now watched a brace of US presidential nominating conventions.  This has been a truly mind-numbing and depressing experience – a complete triumph of appearance over substance.

Particularly disturbing has been the willingness (eagerness?) of both the Democratic and the Republican candidates to exploit their minor children in the hope of gaining electoral kudos with the family values crowd. First the Obamas trot out their nine and seven year old daughters (after Michelle Obama had been airbrushed into a tupperware mom).  Then the McCains roll out their seventeen year old daughter.  Not to be outdone, Sarah Palin bounces onto the stage with her newborn baby in her arms.  Even her seventeen year old pregnant daughter was put up for public display, accompanied by the effing and blinding young man earmarked for future son-in-law status.

At least the Obama kids may be too young to suffer lasting psychological damage as a result of their cynical exploitation.  Seventeen-year old teenagers may not be as fortunate.  Should the social services get involved in what has all the hallmarks of emotional child abuse?

Maverecon: Willem Buiter

Willem Buiter's blog ran until December 2009. This blog is no longer active but it remains open as an archive.

Professor of European Political Economy, London School of Economics and Political Science; former chief economist of the EBRD, former external member of the MPC; adviser to international organisations, governments, central banks and private financial institutions.

Willem Buiter's website

Maverecon: a guide

Comment: To comment, please register with FT.com, which you can do for free here. Please also read our comments policy here.
Contact: You can write to Willem by using the email addresses shown on his website.
Time: UK time is shown on posts.
Follow: Links to the blog's Twitter and RSS feeds are at the top of the page. You can also read Maverecon on your mobile device, by going to www.ft.com/maverecon