Third Party & Independents Archives

Making Children Political Tools

This topic has been on my mind for several months now. Seeing children at various anti-war protests, children used to promote a white nationalist theme, children used to protest in New York, the withdrawl of settlements in Israel among other events that made me stop and pause. Last night however I saw what to me was my “straw breaking the camel’s back moment.” A book written for children ages 4-8 called “Liberals are hiding under my bed”.

Is this how low this endless battle between Conservatives and Liberals has gone? It's not enough that we as adults so many times treat each other with such lack of respect but we have to take this down to our four year olds? I wondered, what kind of a parent would actually buy this book for their child? I then discovered Rush Limbaugh has "recommended it". Obviously he is not a parent. According to the author, this is in answer to books like "The Rainbow Fish" (The theme of which is looking for inner beauty), "King and King" (a same sex fairy tale), and "No George, No" (the Truth Fairy?).

So to be fair I will address what is a comparison. "The Rainbow Fish" I don't understand why would be at issue, it's no different than the various message type fairy tales, and the "King and King" type books are written basically not so much to promote a different lifestyle. Let's be honest here, they were written to try to market parents who have an alternative lifestyle. The same as "Liberals are hiding under my bed", it was written to attract conservative parents. The same as with "No George, No" was written to try to attract liberal parents. There is a slight difference though, books like "King and King" while badly written, are trying to promote an image of acceptance while books like "Liberals are hiding under my bed" is trying to promote a message of hatred. "No George, No", is not much better than "Liberals are hiding under my bed", while most young children would not make the connection to our current president, despite the illustrations. It also has not sold well though Amazon in what I find a true moment of irony is trying to package both books together. It's like HEY PEOPLE! If you are going to be inappropriate parents? Go for it!

I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton, however I find using her as both an image and as "Congresswoman Clunkton" an attempt to sell more books to adults, especially Hillary hating adults. Ted Kennedy, another guy some love to hate is obvious in character as well. Aside from the clever marketing creation of this book which is of course part of our Free Market there are some serious issues. I am not stating this book should not be written, I am questioning though the deeper issue of our responsibilities as parents.

On my own blog I was involved with the Prussian Blue story, I even participated on a BBC radio program about this band and tried to focus on the parental aspect. For those not aware of who Prussian Blue is, they are a musical group, twin sisters who sing to promote a White Nationalist message. Their mother is involved in a White Nationalist group and they have been raised to believe among many theories that Hitler was a wonderful man who should be admired. There was so much of a public outcry in the media and on the blogosphere about these children being used for such a message. Some went as far as to state they felt the girls should be taken away from their mother. Yet, here we have a similar message of hate. Hate against blacks? Bad...Hate against Liberals? Good. Hate against Conservatives? Good.

People that made comments about how Prussian Blue was not a good message to promote were supported, applauded. People that don't support "Liberals are hiding under my bed"? Obviously must be Liberals....

I don't buy the message that since the liberals did it first that makes this book acceptable. That to me borders on the theory of "If everyone jumped off a bridge would you join them?". If it is wrong for them than it is wrong. This whole double standard of "it's different when we do it" is part of the reason why our country is so messed up. You don't teach children personal responsibility by encouraging that. You don't use children as part of your giant "tit for tat" game that so many on the right and the left engage in.

Most disturbing to me in all of this, is the inability of these parents to let their children be children. There is so much of a rush to make them grow up before they should have to. Childhood is an important stage. So many already rush to have them dress like the next MTV star in elementary school, so few get to experience even close to the childhoods we had. Things as simple as the family dinner have disappeared for most to the point eating with your children is being promoted. Common sense should tell you that eating dinner as a family has important benefits but no, we need studies to tell us that and a promotional campaign. We as parents cannot protect them from everything bad however we don't have to drag them into the pettiness of this "liberals versus conservatives" battle. What's next? Cartoon shows?

So, as you look at children and wonder as some of them grow up how they end up with no respect for the political process, no respect for the judicial process, no respect for the office of the president and no respect for us as adults? Some parents need only look in the mirror to see why that happened. You can attempt to blame the education system, the media, etc. However at the end of the day? Parents have the largest impact on their children.

Posted by Lisa Renee Ward at November 7, 2005 9:40 AM