Catherine Vogt's 'McCain Girl' Experiment Reveals Intolerance

Catherine Vogt did a tough thing. She suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous middle school viciousness for the sake of an experiment.

After noticing the overwhelming support for Barack Obama at her school, the 14-year-old decided to see if all the Obama supporters practiced the tolerance that Obama preaches. She wore a T-shirt with the phrase "McCain Girl" written across it one day and wore a similar "Obama Girl" T-shirt the next.

Chicago Tribute columnist John Kass wrote about the results:
Immediately, Catherine learned she was stupid for wearing a shirt with Republican John McCain's name. Not merely stupid. Very stupid.

"People were upset. But they started saying things, calling me very stupid, telling me my shirt was stupid and I shouldn't be wearing it," Catherine said.

Then it got worse.

"One person told me to go die. It was a lot of dying. A lot of comments about how I should be killed," Catherine said, of the tolerance in Oak Park.
It's a fascinating experiment, and reminds people not to get too caught up in the divisive thinking that so often accompanies our political views. Some of the students at Vogt's school even went so far as to compare her to the Nazi skinheads who wanted to assassinate Barack Obama. So much for tolerance.

So if you're an Obama supporter and all this makes you feel guilty about how you've seen/treated the other side, I suggest a sort of penance. Go out and hug a McCain supporter today.

What do you think? Have Obama supporters been too harsh in their treatment of McCain supporters? Vote here.


I write about movies for Zimbio.com, which means I spend way too much time thinking about the geekiest possible ways to approach the cineplex. I'm also hopelessly addicted to audio books. Follow me: Google
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