By Joseph Kellard
I caught the tail end of Harry Binswanger’s appearance on CNBC’s “On The Money” on August 13. He debated a woman (whose name I only caught as “Diane”) regarding a proposal apparently championing government regulation of business advertising.
Binswanger argued that “parents should show … some backbone, and not give in to whiny kids, and not expect the government to send the police force into the advertising studios to substitute for their own lack of will power,” and that, “Advertisers have a right to broadcast whatever message they choose, as long as it isn’t fraudulent…It’s up to parents to decide what their children can watch and what they can eat.”
Diane, however, argued that the Federal Trade Commission should have the regulatory power to “protect children from corporate marketing that harms them,” particularly since children “do not have the ability to understand the intentionality of ads,” nor “to sort through the logic of [them].”
This argument reminded me of children in public schools whose so-called teachers routinely propagandized to them on issues they are unable to understand, nor are able to sort through the logic (or illogic) of it and the intentionality of their educators. Simply take the issue of catastrophic man-made global warming. Climatology is a highly complex scientific issue that young children—many of whom have yet to learn how to spell the words “tree” or “smoke stack”—are wholly unequipped to understand and thus unable to question the truth what they are being “taught.” Instead, they are fed this “theory” wholesale, and told if nothing is done to stop it, they will eventually die in unavoidable heat waves, Katrina-like or much worse hurricanes, or in floods of biblical proportions. How’s that for “education” that harms them?
I remember when my nephew, who was in elementary school at the time, told me that he’d learned about the Civil Rights movement in class. When I inquired, I found that he had yet to be taught about
Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and America’s founding. So how then can a child learn about complex, abstract issues such as rights and freedom, and their role in our nation’s history, without first learning the earlier history of the Founding Fathers, and how the rights and freedom they established made possible the Civil Rights movement? Yet this kind of destructive method of “teaching” is rampant in our public schools.
So shouldn’t the government regulate itself, that is, its public schools, to protect children from the harm these lessons undoubtedly wreak on them?
Well, no, it’s still up to the parents to protect their children from such harm, by pulling them out of these schools to enroll them in others that teach in a more hierarchical, constructive, rational manner. And so too can parents turn the TV channel and keep their kids from watching the McDonald’s TV ads, or they can drive past the fast food drive-through and on to the nearest health food store.
This is a lesson in what living under freedom demands, and so government bureaucrats have no right to take over the steering wheel of parenting.
Please post a comment about this column. For private comments, email Joseph Kellard at Theainet1@optonline.net.
Copyright © 2007 Joseph Kellard