Kids today, man.
You know, there was a time when your typical 12-year-old was more concerned with learning to pop wheelies on a bicycle, collecting stickers and the latest pop music sensation than voting rights and politics. And doubtless, many still are — but perhaps it’s a sign of the times that we have young ladies like Madison Kimrey. In a way, you could say that Madison is a natural counterbalance to the Junior Klan Andrew Pendergraf, who stirred up a bit of controversy with his YouTube-hosted, Hitler Youth themed “The Andrew Show.”
But Madison is far from Andrew’s opposite number. Watching “The Andrew Show,” you get the feeling that the kids in the video are reading from a script carefully prepared for them by their parents, and that they’ve gone through many takes with Skinhead Dad standing just out of frame and offering instruction. Andrew and his brother were deadpan props in a show, pawns in the game of hate.
Madison, though…her thoughts are her own. Addressing this capacity crowd, you can hear the sincere reason, passion and sarcasm in her voice as she talks about the elimination of teenage voter pre-registration. Before the Supreme Court cut the South’s leash on Civil Rights violations, kids were allowed to pre-register to vote when they got their drivers’ license at 16 years old. At 18 years old, they were automatically registered to vote in the next election.
That might not sound like such a big deal, until you take into account that many 18 -year-olds are still in high school, and other recent changes in voter registration laws eliminate same-day registration, and require a photo I.D., and close many polling places that are accessible via public transportation. Especially those on college campuses. Considering the fact that the school year starts in September, and mid-terms are in November, it’s all but guaranteed that elimination of pre-registration will suppress votes of people who have just gained the right to do so. It’s estimated that these laws will negatively affect a minimum of 3 million voters across the state.
This, among many others, is a point that Madison articulates all too clearly. True, she might have had some help picking out her attire, which clearly recalls that of the Suffragettes at the turn of the century. But her passion and thoughts are clearly her own. Or, as she puts it:
“I am NOT a prop. I am part of the new generation of suffragettes and I will not stand silent while laws are passed to reduce the amount of young people in voter turnout in my home state.”
As much as the Right would like to paint her as a pawn in the political game (which they WOULD think), the truth is quite the opposite. Madison is no pawn…she’s a queen in the making.
Kids today, man.