February 25, 2006

Gettin' 'em while they're young

I just read about a book by Jeremy Zilber called Why Mommy Is A Democrat. There are three sample pages here. I think my favorite is this one:


The big bad Republican elephant is a nice touch.

From the "About the book" page:

Using plain and non-judgmental language, along with warm and whimsical illustrations, this colorful 28-page paperback depicts the Democratic principles of fairness, tolerance, peace and concern for the well-being of others. It's a great way for parents to gently communicate their commitment to these principles and explain their support for the party.

Nevermind that it's pure philosophical dishonesty to assert that Democrats have a lock on things like the principles of fairness, tolerance, peace and concern for others, rather than that they are merely convinced that they know the best way to support them. The real irony here, I think, is that a propaganda book like this would tend to end up teaching children to be intolerant of other political philosophies. Kids kinda just think that way. If Democrats are good, like mommy, then everyone else must be bad!

And from the "About the author" page, Zilber the self-proclaimed "lifelong Democrat" writes:

The result, Why Mommy Is A Democrat, reflects my passion for progressive politics, my sense of humor, and my acedemic training in fields such as political psychology and socialization.

Seems t'me that someone with a "lifelong" political agenda would study "political psychology" in order to "prove" that those of another political bent are "psychologically abnormal". Philosophy majors, f'rinstance, are interested in studying the tenets and history of the many philosophies, not in putting forth their own pre-conceived ideas of what reality is. But, of course, Zilber's mission is to indoctrinate the little children (who can't yet begin to understand the complexities of a left or right political bent) while they're impressionable and eager to discern good from evil.
I currently live in Madison, Wisconsin, with my partner Julia, her daughter Isabella (age six), and our cat Zachary -- all lifelong Democrats.

Okay, the cat is obviously a Democrat. That's a given. But,the little girl is just not ready to understand a political debate, nevermind being able to maturely understand why she would agree with one side more than the other -- or even to agree with neither.

Come on, Jeremy. Leave the kiddies out of this.

Tip o'the tam to el Capitan.

UPDATE: Evil Glenn points to a podcast of Northern Alliance Radio's interview with Jeremy Zilber now available at Powerline. The file is over 25 megs in size and I'm on dial-up so I'll skip. Dr. Helen has heard it, however, and has some thoughts here.

I have had a four year old that knew enough about the system to pick up my phone and call 911 to report me for child abuse for asking him to take an IQ test. What makes you think four to seven year old kids don't understand the mesage you are selling. Republicans are thugs who are heartless while Democrats are good people who make no judgements. Well, let's hope the kids are smart enough to see through the irony of your non-judgmental book.

In the comments thread to that post, commenter Luke Holder adds:
In this same segment he tried to use the 'Little Engine that Could' as his example of how "all children's books indoctrinate." The problem is that it ISN'T the 'Little Republican Engine that Could.' The author lets the universal value of perseverence remain universal. Zilber wants to make it partisan. Thats all he did with his book.


UPDATE 2: A couple of parodies here and here. Heh.

Posted by Tuning Spork at February 25, 2006 05:31 PM | TrackBack

But why could't mommy or the democrats stop the elephant?

Posted by: spacemonkey at February 26, 2006 01:06 AM

I found it scary that the words "life-long" and "six-year old" were joined! That is so wrong.

Posted by: Debbye at February 27, 2006 06:33 PM

I think Ann Coulter is writing a bondage book, she's open for input.

Posted by: Lilith at March 2, 2006 09:40 PM

There is a similar book about Republican mommies as well, I forget the title. I don't think the Democrats have to worry about stopping the elephant as there is a cliff right over that hill, and he is to busy calculating a new national debt ceiling.

Posted by: LOC at March 6, 2006 05:59 PM
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