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?