Youthful Greens

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Jan 17 13:47:34 MST 2003

LA Weekly, Jan. 17, 2003
Baby Greens
Politics may be a drag, but kids today are turning Green instead of
tuning out

by Seven McDonald

CAMERON RAFT'S LONG, WAVY BROWN HAIR FALLS into his eyes as he adjusts a
messenger bag slung across his shoulder. Locals call out as he makes his
way down the Venice boardwalk on this crisp, clear Sunday afternoon.

"Most people down here are either tourists or live on the beach, which
means they are broke," he says, passing a man promoting alien-conspiracy
theories and a pair of breakdancers. "A lot of the tourists are for
Bush. It's fun to argue. I get yelled at a lot. I get called 'traitor.'
It doesn't really bother me. It's almost rewarding."

The young provocateur hawks his anti-George W. Bush T-shirts here on
weekends. He's wearing one of his own designs, a shirt that shows an
image of President Bush dressed as Abe Lincoln and reads: "I WANT YOUR
sons, daughters, husbands, wives, and sweethearts TO FIGHT MY WAR and
make my rich friends richer." Cameron muses that he will most likely
stop selling his shirts if the United States goes into a full-blown
attack against Iraq, because, he explains, "It's just not funny."

He started his sticker-and-shirt company, Presidential Sweets, two years
ago after his grandmother, a retired librarian, started e-mailing him
"Bushisms" during the 2000 campaign. That same year, the Palms Middle
School student, who believes George W. stole the election, decided that
the two main parties were "basically the same" and that his peers needed
to be awakened to the political world in which they live. Though he has
yet to pay his grandmother back the $250 she loaned him to start the
company, the Culver City resident continues to sell his goods on the
boardwalk and at local anti-war protests.

Cameron has soulful eyes, long lashes, and five years to go before he
can legally vote in this country. He may be just 13, but he already
knows which progressive party is for him, and it's not his mother's
tired, old Democrats. Cameron is part of a significant wave of under-30
idealists who find themselves seriously drawn to the third party that is
considered enough of a threat to the major parties to be labeled
"spoilers" in the last presidential election and, more recently, in the
fight to fill liberal Senator Paul Wellstone's (D-Minnesota) seat
following his death. Perhaps more importantly, to young people like
Cameron and 22-year-old Shawn Hansen anyway, it's the only party that
carries a link to Michael Moore's Web site.



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