Politicon: The Comic-Con of politics
Kid Scoop Media Correspondent
September 21, 2017
I recently attended Politicon, the Comic Con of Politics, where politically conscious people convene to have educated conversations about politics. Politicon took place onthe 29th and 30th of July at the Pasadena Convention Center. This was its third time atthe Convention center and it was even more amazing than the previous years, with guests like Pod Save America, Jake Tapper and Chelsea Handler. There were amazing political debates between people like Cenk Uygur and Ben Shapiro, and between Ann Coulter and Ana Kasparian. With Sunday Night Comedy and Saturday Night Comedy being held at this event, Politicon was the place tobe for many Angelenos. THE LARGE CROWDS CONFIRMED THAT PEOPLE ARE VERY INTERESTED INTHE ISSUES RIGHT NOW The crowd sizes were very big at Politicon. Based on the amount of people andthe energy in every room, itis clear that lots of people are interested in current events. The people attending Politicon were from so many different places and hadso many different opinions. People wanted to discuss the issues and be heard. BRINGING TOGETHER SO MANY DIFFERENT OPINIONS CREATED ANOPPORTUNITY FOR MANY TO EXCHANGE AND LISTEN TO EACH OTHERWhen I spoke to Paul Begala, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, he said that onedifference between politics today and when he was myageis that politics has gotten meaner now.He mentioned bad manners and social media as possible explanations.I thought it was interesting that CNN politics reporter Chris Cilizza answered that same question with the same word, “meaner.”I believe part of the reason for this may be that some people want to attack each other rather than discuss pressing issues. Later that day, I went toan entertaining interview/debate between Chelsea Handler and Tomi Lahren. Chelsea Handler is a comedian with very liberal views while Tomi Lahren isan American conservative political commentator. It would be hard to imagine a more diverse duo and they couldn't seem to agree on anything. In the end, Chelsea Handler really wanted to agree on something so she said: “Okay, would you kill a baby. I wouldn't”
Tomi: “I wouldnt”Chelsea: “Would you hit a baby, I wouldn't”Tomi: “I wouldn't”Chelsea: “Would you curse at a baby, I certainly would.”It wasn't easy, but I guess they agreed on something.But even though they weren't agreeing, they found a way to discuss the issues. SOCIAL MEDIA IS CHANGING POLITICS Social media is having an increasingly big impact on politics right now, from how people campaign in elections tohowour elected officials govern and communicate with us. Asan obvious example, weneed look no further than the Presidential election this past year. The two main candidates used social media more than ever. Especially Donald Trump. Hehas over 35 million followers on Twitter, which means lots of people see what he posts. At Politicon, I got the chance to interview some people about this. I met Dylan Byers (asenior reporter atCNN)and asked how things have changed on Twitter from when Obama was in office and when Trump was in office. He said that “Trump has made twitter the main venue because that’s where it's starting.”I found it interesting to think about how times have changed and the different ways that wenowgetour information. Asan example ofhow times have changed, Steve Kornacki (on MSNBC correspondent) said that when he was young, they only had the main TV networks and the newspaper.Jason Miller, who worked on the Trump transition campaign, said that he wants his daughter to read the newspaper, butmy guess is that most adults and kids are using social media as their first source of information. Through social media, like Twitter, weget news more quickly, wegetto see a wide variety of opinions, and for better or worse, what wegetto read isnot filtered by the press. GROUPS WITH SPECIFIC ISSUES ARE SEEKING TOBE HEARD In addition to the speakers and the panels, Politicon had an area called Democracy Village. Democracy Village is a huge place for companies to set up booths and areas where people could just talk. For example, there were people there from the Women's March, MSNBC, and the Pussyhat Project.
I spoke with the owner of the Pussyhat Project, Krista Suh. She said that her projecthastwo meanings: to create a very strong visual impact in the women's march, andtocreate a way for people who couldn't march tobe able tobe visually present andsupport the marchers. WRAPPING UPWhen I interviewed Jacob Soboroff from MSNBC, he said that his favorite part about his job was meeting younger kids, like me. Indeed, I found that everyone was very opentospeaking to me.So kids out there, get involved, stay informed, and figure out what isimportant to you.