- Dale Ahlquist, President of the American Chesterton Society
You know what bugs me about the president’s public relations event today? (Aside from the fact that I’m a “Nazi” NRA member, and thus an enemy of the people. Plus the fact that the Bill of Rights has somehow become suspicious.) It’s the use of the kids.
He brings out these kids who apparently wrote letters to the White House asking him to do something about gun violence.
Does anybody really believe these kids wrote those letters on their own initiative? That they pondered the options and decided they were morally obligated to bring their concerns to the highest office in the land?
No. You and I both know they were assigned to write these letters in school classes. After a class discussion, carefully orchestrated by the teacher to come to the approved conclusion, they were assigned to write letters, which the teacher then posted for them.
For some reason that sort of moral exploitation really offends me.
It offends me on our side too, by the way. There’s a pro-life organization around here that puts up billboards along the highways. It also runs radio ads. And the ads consist of little kids reciting lines written for them by adults, like, “My mommy says that I could suck my thumb before I was even bo-orn!”
It’s cute, I suppose. And the organization does a good work (the billboards, in my opinion, are less manipulative.) But the point of the radio ads seems to be that these are children speaking simple truth out of their innocent hearts. When it’s nothing of the kind.
Just like the presidential show today.
By the way, a lot of Sunday Schools and parochial schools have sent letters to the president over the years (40 years now), protesting abortion. I’m eagerly awaiting the press event where the president brings those kids out for the cameras.