Saturday, September 24, 2005

I Am the Boogey Man

Contrary to what it often seems that conservatives believe, academics who are liberal do not hold secret meetings in the deep woods where we sacrifice unborn babies and burn effigies of George Bush. We do not hypnotize the precious offspring of conservative mommies and daddies into turning their backs on Guns, God, and Old Glory. Here's what I and those of my colleagues I know best do do: we challenge our students to think.

To think.

To reason.

To back up their opinions with evidence.

To examine their beliefs, be they religious, political, cultural, or even culinary, and NOT in the service of signing up for the liberal cause -- or any other cause -- but in the service of creating a generation capable of thinking their way out of the proverbial brown paper bag. If, after rigorous examination, they want to be conservatives, more power to them. They will have come to that conclusion honestly and rationally.

When liberals aren't pushing the radical, soul-destroying agenda of thinking, we're also championing the radical, soul-destroying agenda of empathy. You know, Golden Rule, do-unto-others. That agenda.

I'm here to tell you that a lot of college freshmen are dittoheads. I don't mean just Rush Limbaugh dittoheads, but a rainbow of dittoheads. Bless their hearts, many of them, too many of them, only have opinions because someone told them what opinions to have. Some of these opinions come from moms and dads -- of all political stripes. Many of these opinions come from peers. (You know, those primary sources for sex and drug info for the young.) Other opinions come from Cosmo Girl (or whatever the mag du jour is), MTV, or The OC. (My favorite dittoheaded opinion: oral sex is not sex. Conservatives, of course, blame this dunderheaded point of view on Bill Clinton's influence, but conservative and non-conservative youth en masse seem to believe this non sequitur. When I took a poll one day, I could only find 5 or 6 students out of fifty who believed otherwise. I haven't had the heart to ask again.)

Apparently, however, the greatest threat to the youth of America is liberals. Liberals, those people who would ask young people to think before they form an opinion, those people whose prime directive is Jesus' admonition that we love our neighbors. In order to counteract the disastrous effect of liberals on the youth of America, a self-described "Security Mom for Bush" has written the conservative antidote to liberal rationality and empathy: Help! Mom! There are Liberals under my Bed!.

Amazon offers the publisher-blurb, which reads as follows.

Book Description
This full-color illustrated book is a fun way for parents to teach young children the valuable lessons of conservatism. Written in simple text, readers can follow along with Tommy and Lou as they open a lemonade stand to earn money for a swing set. But when liberals start demanding that Tommy and Lou pay half their money in taxes, take down their picture of Jesus, and serve broccoli with every glass of lemonade, the young brothers experience the downside to living in Liberaland.

From the Publisher
Would you let your child read blatantly liberal stories with titles such as "King & King," "No, George, No," or "It's Just a Plant"?
Unless you live in Haight-Ashbury or write for the New York Times, probably not. But with the nation’s libraries and classrooms filled with overtly liberal children’s books advocating everything from gay marriage to marijuana use, kids everywhere are being deluged with left-wing propaganda.

"Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed" is the book conservative parents have been seeking. This illustrated book — the first in the "Help! Mom!" series from Kids Ahead — is perfect for parents who seek to share their traditional values with their children, as well as adults who wish to give a humorous gift to a friend.

Hailed as "the answer to a baseball mom's prayers" by talk radio host Melanie Morgan, "Liberals Under My Bed" has already been the subject of coverage in The Wall Street Journal and Harper’s magazine. Written by a self-proclaimed "Security Mom for Bush" and featuring hilarious full-color illustrations by a Reuben Award winning artist, it is certain to be one of the most talked about children's books of the year.
I've tried to add the photo of the cover to this post, but I've been unsuccessful. Follow the link and get an eyeful. The frightening monsters who aggressively protrude from beneath the poor child's bed bear an uncanny resemblance to Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy.

And plot and message aside, it's that cover symbolism -- liberals as literal boogey men -- that is the most shocking. This is NOT a parody. This is a child's book intended for kids aged 4 to 8. This is a child's book intended to frighten children. This is a child's book intended to frighten children about me.

As if my job isn't already challenging. (I'm not complaining; I love my students. That's why this upsets me so.)

Ten years from now I'll face down the initial readers of this book (which has not yet officially been released but is moving on Amazon like free beer -- #18 at this writing). They won't know why, but if as mom and dad sent them on their way to college, they admonished little Preston and Crystal not to trust me because the odds are good I'm a liberal (as I suspect already happens), they'll be predisposed to buy this argument. They won't know why...but as they lie down at night, they won't be able to sleep because they'll have a vague fear. Of me.

(Postscript: if liberals write a book countering this one -- as I sadly suspect will happen -- the thing will write itself. I invite readers to offer plotlines and characters. For instance, how about the bad day little Andre has when the hurricane comes to his home in Louisiana but President Bluster's sidekick Mr. Brownie doesn't send the helicopters to rescue little Andre from his rooftop?)

1 comment:

Alanna said...

These beautiful words express it all, dear Bitty.