The New York Times published an article online called Young Obama Backers Twist Parents’ Arms. This reminded of something I’ve noticed over the years: kids almost always root for Democrats.
This would be a fairly obvious and unremarkable observation, except that I think it says something about the Democratic platform in general. Among the many more severe adjectives that can be applied, one that comes to mind for the welfare state mentality of Democrats is... childish.
Think about it. If you stuck a bunch of American kids together and asked them to devise a system of government, they would come up with something closely resembling today’s micro-managing, paternalistic, European-style government. Everything they could think of would go on the list of government functions: free pizza and ice cream, iPods and cell phones distributed to all kids (plus unlimited text messages), longer recesses and better playgrounds in school, a bigger allowance every week, etc. In addition to this, depending upon what their embittered teachers or favorite MTV stars happened to be jamming down their throats at the time, children would also demand things like the dismantling of tobacco companies, the impeachment of President Bush, the banning of land mines (whatever those are), the elimination of fossil fuels, the severe scolding of the mean people in Darfur (wherever that is), and capital punishment for people who do not recycle their empty milk jugs.
In short, children, left to their own devices to construct a government, would essentially come up with the Democratic Party platform.
Of course, by “left to their own devices,” I do not mean that they are to be cast into a Lord of the Flies, deserted island scenario, in which everything must be started from scratch. My thought experiment here is assuming that the kids are left in a familiar setting, the only one they’ve ever known, in which mommy and daddy are there to provide the pizza, iPods, allowance, and anything else they demand as usual. After all, the resources for their government must come from somewhere.
This outlook was expressed very well by a certain 14-year old named Rebecca Tilsen, who according to the National Youth Rights Association, gave this testimony before a Minnesota House subcommittee, in defense of lowering the voting age to include children:
“If 16-year-olds are old enough to drink the water polluted by the industries that you regulate,… to breathe the air ruined by garbage burners that government built,… to walk on the streets made unsafe by terrible drugs and crime policies,… to live in poverty in the richest country in the world,…to get sick in a country with the worst public health-care programs in the world,… to attend school districts that you underfund, then 16-year olds are old enough to play a part in making them better [i.e. old enough to vote].”
In case it wasn’t clear, that’s the United States that she is speaking of, not Cuba or Venezuela. Is there any doubt that kids in the twelve- to eighteen-year-old range would vote overwhelmingly for Democrats? Miss Tilsen’s sentiment could hardly have been better expressed by Ted Kennedy himself - or by either of the two Democratic candidates for President.