Obama Is So Winning the Elections

This seems like an Obama-themed day on the blog for some reason.

In my Advanced Spanish class, we did an activity today where I hand out photos of famous people, and students have to use new vocabulary to describe them. One of the people in the photos was the President. I’ve done this activity before, and there is usually a great variety of opinions among the students.

This time, however, things were different. Among the 24 students in this class, there was only one who had anything bad to say about the President. She was as surprised as I was to see that nobody shared her negative opinion of Obama.

I don’t like to see a student ganged up on by the majority, so I offered myself up as this student’s conversation partner, and we created anti-Obama descriptions together. I pride myself on managing to keep my politics out of language courses that I teach. Students need to be able to express themselves freely in a foreign language to master it without fearing that the professor will dislike them for their opinions.

In any case, if in this very conservative Bible Belt area all students but one have only good things to say of Obama, I think this means he is winning the elections.

35 thoughts on “Obama Is So Winning the Elections”

  1. I’m not surprised.

    Is this level of Advanced Spanish beyond the minimum of your university’s language requirement? People who take advanced language courses by choice tend to be less xenophobic than people who make it a point of pride to be monolingual. (The Republican party right now is cartoonishly xenophobic right now.)

    Also Obama’s approval ratings have always been the highest among 18-29 year olds. If it were up to new voters, Obama’s victory would have been overwhelming. Your students may have slightly older siblings who have directly benefited from being able to stay on their parents’ health insurance. Also all of these other candidates keep blabbering about the need to cut education, make younger voters pay more for social security and get less (if that’s even on their radar), and accept less in all parts of their lives. Also young people like to get laid and the Republican party keeps babbling about how getting laid is wrong and should be as painful and obstacle ridden as possible.

    Plus the man just comes across better on television comparatively.

    I’m over 29, so take that with a grain of salt.:p

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    1. “Is this level of Advanced Spanish beyond the minimum of your university’s language requirement? People who take advanced language courses by choice tend to be less xenophobic than people who make it a point of pride to be monolingual. ”

      – Yes, you are right. This is the third year and we only have one year language requirement (which is WRONG). Still, I think this is encouraging given the geographic area. We are one of the two, I think, counties in Illinois that is always bright red on the election map. And I don’t mean red like in Communist. 🙂

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  2. That’s rather refreshing, but to be honest, I agree with Shakti – if it were up to the students, (well, 18-29 year old students anyway), Obama would probably be reelected. But it’s not. And when the economy is not doing well, people will tend to vote for anyone who isn’t the incumbent, regardless of their politics. So while I do hope Obama can have another 4 years in office, as an academic, autistic person, and queer, I shudder to think about the alternatives…

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    1. “Students voting turnout will likely diminish in comparison to 2008. Democrats should be careful about this.”

      – I think so, too. I saw a lot of student organizing on campus in 2007-8 and I see none now. Granted, this is a very different campus, but still.

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  3. I would vote for him too, if they would let me. Not because I particulary like him, but because the alternatives kind of range from absolutely funny over total bonkers to completely evil.

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  4. wait so do the students proffer up sentences like

    El presidente es malo or el presidente es muy guapo?

    i’m kind of cracking up if so

    or do they have sufficient vocab to expound on their political beliefs en espanol?

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    1. This is a very advanced class and we study vocabulary like “insightful, controversial, progressive, a great leader, commands respect, always puts his foot in his mouth, stubborn, tedious, pretentious, brutish, conceited, showy”, etc.

      Our students speak pretty fluently at this level. I love this course because we just come together and chat about all kinds of things.

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  5. It’s sad in a way that these students couldn’t find anything negative to say about a president who has so cruelly betrayed them.

    According to the National Organization for the reform of Marijuana Laws, 800,000 mostly young and heavily black and Latino people are arrested in the US each year for cannabis possession. These young people are subsequently saddled with a “drug record”. One of the results of a drug record is no Federal Student Aid.

    Obama promised to bring a medical focus to the drug problem and do something about this situation. Like his predecessors he reneged on his promise and stepped up the WoD.

    His administration later set up a website where citizens could get an answer to any question if they got enough signatures. Seven cannabis related questions qualified. They were answered, not individually, but with one canned response from some drug official no one had ever heard of, who responded that the administration’s position was that cannabis is a dangerous drug.

    So considering that nearly a million young people a year have their futures derailed because of his turncoat policies it is rather alarming that the young people in your area can find nothing bad to say about his leadership.

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    1. I think they are being realistic in the sense that, for all Obama’s faults, the other candidates are much worse.

      This is the first year where all of my job-related activities have flopped in my Spanish 102 class. Normally, all students have at least a part-time jobs. This year, however, only about half of the students do. And it isn’t because they all came into trust funds. It’s because there are no jobs. 😦

      None of the other candidates are even remotely likely to care about employment. I’m not saying that Obama has done as much as he should here but at least there is a likelihood he will. Can you imagine Romney caring about the jobs for the young people?

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      1. I’ve been busy. Has Obama actually fulfilled a promise and increased employment for young people? His promises mean nothing to me now.

        The WoD is also an incredible waste of taxpayer resources, and the main driver of the loss of our civil rights. I wonder how many of your students are even aware of this?

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        1. You don’t have to convince me to be disappointed in Obama. I’ve been that way since February 2008. But there is still no alternative to him that I can see. You don’t really think that Romney will be better, will you?

          If people want to share the reasons they support Romney, I’d be very interested in hearing them out. I don’t think I will be convinced but I’m interested.

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        1. I think we all agree that the WoD is hugely detrimental to everybody but drug cartels and corrupt politicians.

          It’s destroying Mexico right now. It has already destroyed Colombia. Countless people are affected negatively (and needlessly) in this country. What a barbarity this so-called war on drugs is!

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      1. Yes, conviction, not arrest. But possession only counts.

        Yeah, FAFSA wants to know if you possessed pot (practically a rite-of-passage for American college students) and will deny you a loan on that basis but doesn’t care if you are a burglar, rapist, murderer or white collar embezzler.

        There is now a huge push to drug test people on unemployment or those receiving welfare. No matter that all drug testing of people who haven’t been accused of anything amounts to unlawful search and seizure.

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      2. This is not to say that arrest in itself cannot be very damaging and derailing. At the very least it is a very frightening and publicly humiliating experience.

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    1. Yeah, we’ve had several admitted pot smokers and coke users in the white house. It doesn’t stop you from becoming a police officer either. In fact, you could have been a high level dealer and you can still become a police officer who spends his days arresting people for this relatively harmless pastime. It is truly sick.

      I wonder if Obama ever had to pee in a cup and have his bodily fluids analyzed and his off-hours activities evaluated by his employers.

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  6. Obama has been a huge disappointment to young voters. His support among this demographic will be nothing like in 2008.

    This is a clear case of choosing the lesser evil. I for one will not vote for any evil.

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  7. bloggerclarissa :
    No, It seems like it will definitely be Romney vs Obama.

    Yeah, and nothing will change. I really can’t think of anything where Romney and Obama fundamentally disagree on. They are almost identical on foreign policy, Obama basically copied Romney’s health care law, both are anti-legalization of marijuana, both want to keep the Bush tax cuts, etc. Makes me feel like the whole thing is just a sham and we’ll end up getting different versions of the same thing.
    I only agree with about 60% of the things Ron Paul says, but at least I know there would be fundamental change in important areas to me such as foreign policy and drug legalization.

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    1. “Yeah, and nothing will change. I really can’t think of anything where Romney and Obama fundamentally disagree on. They are almost identical on foreign policy, Obama basically copied Romney’s health care law, both are anti-legalization of marijuana, both want to keep the Bush tax cuts, etc. ”

      – All true. I’d like to disagree but I can’t, unfortunately. 😦

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    1. I said “practically” and was actually referring to college applicants (we were talking about the ability to receive federal student financial aid) – so meaning teenagers, most of whom do try cannabis at some point. But go ahead and laugh, though it’s not a very funny situation.

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