Your First Time (Voting)

You are probably aware by now of the controversy surrounding a video released in support of President Obama’s re-election campaign.  

Lena Dunham, a rising writer/actress created a short video encouraging young voters to vote for Obama.  Particularly if it is their first time voting.  The language – at least in the early portion of the video – is suggestive.  The double entendre is intended to work whether one is talking about voting – or about your first time having sex.
People are aghast that sexual innuendo is being used to sell politics.  If this is the first time that you think sex is being used to sell politics, gimme a break.  Sex sells everything in our society.  The idea that it isn’t going to be used to sell politics is ridiculous.  Has everyone already forgotten Obama Girl from the 2008 election race?  I don’t mean to be partisan here – I believe that both sides are more than willing to enlist sex appeal to woo voters.  I just can’t think of an example of this from a major Republican political candidate.  I know they must exist though.  Either that or conservatives are just inherently unsexy.
Which is pretty much the kiss of death in our culture.
In a society where adolescence continues to arrive earlier and earlier, how is it we don’t expect sex to sell everything?  We allow our kids to dress in provocative manners, thinking it’s cute.  We let them watch teenage actors, actresses, singers, etc. that are pushing the envelope sexually as they prepare for their post-Disney careers, and our pressure to be sexy continues until very late in life. Is there anything in our culture that sex hasn’t been used to sell?  
I’m not arguing that this is right, only that it is ubiquitous.  If we’re going to take offense at it in the realm of politics, which have effectively been completely separated from the average citizen by an immense layer of specialized language and specialized positions to the point of literally being a separate caste, should we be surprised that in an attempt to connect with the average person, politicians will utilize what they assume we’re all consumed with?  
This isn’t a commentary on Democrats.  Or Republicans.  It’s a commentary on our culture.  The Dunham video will appeal to and sway people who pretty much had no idea what the issues at stake are, or who were already inclined to vote for Obama already (or were so truly, frighteningly undecided that they allow a YouTube clip to make up their minds for them).  Let’s quit taking offense and figure out ways to educate young or impressionable voters.
Or figure out how to make conservatism sexy.  You figure out which is more likely!

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