Books for young children seem to be changing.
Books for kids are changing, and bedtime stories aren't about little bears, frogs that get kissed or magic dragons. Here's a new title: Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed!
Before you go any further, take a close look at the characters and items illustrated on the book's cover. You can see a larger version here.
The publishers state:
"This news-making 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."
Liberaland? Had to do a search on that one, as it was a new term to this writer. Am obviously not a member of the Conservative in-crowd.
One reviewer was quite up front in that "this book is not for a liberal or even a moderate. You will find unashamed conservatism being pushed in this book." Another stated that the book was a "funny modern parable about two boys running a lemonade stand in Liberaland," that the "heroes are honest, God-fearing, and hard working," and that the "villains are tax-raising, religion-stomping, control freaks." The reviewer continued with "But don't worry. This is a children's book."
A children's book? OK, if they say so. And it's been endorsed by none other than Rush Limbaugh himself - isn't that just dandy? Wonder if it was his choice in reading material during those trips to and from the Dominican Republic.
The author is Katharine DeBrecht, a freelance newspaper reporter, the mother of three and a member of the South Carolina Federation of Republican Women. Her publisher even offers for sale a tie-in Hillary Clinton mousepad, along with the requisite Conservative mugs, refrigerator magnets, bibs, t-shirts and such things.
In the other side of the fence, a professor, self proclaimed diehard liberal and political activist by the name of Jeremy Zilber has written a book of his own entitled Why Mommy is a Democrat. He was so committed to the need for such a response that he financed its publication himself. It's a short book, and obviously by the language one for very young children, but it tries to get its points across in simple fashion, with pages that declare:
- Democrats make sure everyone is treated fairly,
just like Mommy does.
- Democrats make sure sick people are able to see a doctor,
just like Mommy does.
- Democrats make sure everyone plays by the rules,
just like Mommy does.
- Democrats make sure we all share our toys,
just like Mommy does.
A BuzzFlash review stated that it's "the ideal traditional children's nighttime tale" and that "... unlike 'Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed!', it's true!" They went on to say that it's "... great for reading to your children or as a gift to nieces, nephews, cousins or friends with young kids. Just make sure that they are Democrats."
They go on to state that Republicans will surely regard such concepts as "Democrats make sure everyone plays by the rules, just like Mommy does" and "Democrats make sure we all share our toys, just like Mommy does" as "subversive" and "Pinko."
Wait a minute, it's fine that we all learn to share our toys, but that raises certain questions:
- Who buys the toys?
- How is the money earned to buy the toys?
- Does being a Democrat make you a better “sharer” than a Republican or Libertarian? Now explain your answers.
There's something disturbing about about both of these books, for they seem to be aimed at kids who are just starting to read, if even that. Evidently I'm not alone in my observations, either. Are we supposed to read books like these to our kids every night? Are we expected to politically indoctrinating them in one of the following adult bias patterns on a daily basis:
[ ] Republicans - they are knee-jerk fundamentalists
[ ] Democrats - they hate God and American values
[ ] Libertarians - they are weird.
[ ] All of the above - they all suck but so does life
[ ] None of the above - can't kids be allowed to enjoy childhood.
Feeding the minds of young children with political propaganda isn't new. I had a very uneasy feeling that somewhere back in the 1930s, young German children were being read some kids' version of Adolph Hitler's Mein Kampf as a bedtime book.
Upon looking I found that it was far worse than I expected.
There was a plethora of anti-Semitic books for children written by a variety of authors, but one that comes to the foremost is Elwira Bauer's, Trau keinem Fuchs auf grüner Heid und keinem Jüd auf seinem Eid (Nuremberg: Stürmer Verlag, 1936). This title in English is Trust No Fox on his Green Heath And No Jew on his Oath, and it has been translated.
Then there is Ernst Hiemer's Der Giftpilz (Nuremberg, Stürmer Verlag, 1938). This has also been translated as The Poisonous Mushroom. Both of these extremely anti-Semitic books came from none other than Julius Streicher's publishing house. If you're unfamiliar with Julius Streicher, he was the publisher of Der Stürmer, the newspaper that was a part of the Nazi propaganda machine. An almost fanatical Nazi, he was convicted after the war of crimes against humanity and executed. The neo-Nazis of today consider him to be a martyr. Read the text from the books above and see how you feel about his martyrdom.
I previously wrote about a contemporary mother named April Gaede, and how she has influenced the lives of her daughters Lamb and Lynx, the adolescent twin girls who make up the girl group known as Prussian Blue. She is said to have indoctrinated them in her own neo-Nazi beliefs since birth, and now her adolescent daughters have a political perspective that's is definitely very tolerant nor is it middle-of-the-road.
When do we just teach our children simple values of right and wrong, the Golden Rule and the simple things like that? Why do political values, and yes, even hatred, have to be instilled into our kids at such a young age?
Out of the choices above, I'll personally opt for the last one.
Our lexidiem is Liberaland.
tags: Liberals Under My Bed, kid books, Liberaland, Rush Limbaugh, Katharine DeBrecht, Hillary Clinton, mousepad, lexidiem, jargontalk, Jeremy Zilber, Why Mommy is a Democrat, liberal, conservative, libertarian, Hitler, Mein Kampf, Streicher, neo-Nazi, April Gaede, Prussian Blue, Golden Rule