Remember when President Obama was going to give an address to the nation's schoolchildren about terrible socialist themes like working hard, getting an education, and going to college? Remember the Tea Party outcry about how terrible that was and how their children were being indoctrinated like Nazi youth?
Dana Loesch was one of the leaders on that one, going so far as to create an organization to boycott the speech and declare the day National Truancy Day. In her words:
Meanwhile, the conservative radio host Dana Loesch has launched a campaign urging parents to keep their children home on the day of Obama's speech. In an email urging against the "Socialist Indoctrination of Americas children," [sic] Loesch explains that Americans must not "mind our Ps and Qs and blindly follow their directives":
I'm guessing she'd have no problem with the newly-launched Tea Party Summer Camp, however. That's right. You heard (read) me. Tea Party Summer Camp. Let's see what kinds of activities the children will be involved in. Well, there's this:
The organization, which falls under the tea party umbrella, hopes to introduce kids ages 8 to 12 to principles that include "America is good," "I believe in God," and "I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable."
And then there are the games, of course. What would summer camp be without games?
One example at Liberty: Children will win hard, wrapped candies to use as currency for a store, symbolizing the gold standard. On the second day, the "banker" will issue paper money instead. Over time, students will realize their paper money buys less and less, while the candies retain their value.
"Some of the kids will fall for it," Lukens said. "Others kids will wise up."
Another example: Starting in an austere room where they are made to sit quietly, symbolizing Europe, the children will pass through an obstacle course to arrive at a brightly decorated party room (the New World).
Red-white-and-blue confetti will be thrown. But afterward the kids will have to clean up the confetti, learning that with freedom comes responsibility.
Still another example: Children will blow bubbles from a single container of soapy solution, and then pop each other's bubbles with squirt guns in an arrangement that mimics socialism. They are to count how many bubbles they pop. Then they will work with individual bottles of solution and pop their own bubbles.
"What they will find out is that you can do a lot more with individual freedom," Lukens said.
This is not a joke. It's deadly serious. I wonder, will they play a game where one of them gets sick and the rest of them walk away, because the one who is sick can't afford a doctor? Or will they play a game where half the kids' cabins are wiped out, sparing the other half, leaving half the kids with nothing and the rest of them going on with life?
It isn't unreasonable to compare this kind of activity with Hitler Youth indoctrination.
Board games and toys for children served as another way to spread racial and political propaganda to German youth. Toys were also used as propaganda vehicles to indoctrinate children into militarism.
In MOMocrat PunditMom's new book, Mothers of Intention, she talks about raising political children. Let me be clear: I have no objection to raising kids who are engaged politically. In fact, I think it's incumbent on us as parents to do so. What I don't agree with is indoctrinating them. I also believe we can raise political children who are political, but not haters. I married a Republican. (He's recovering, but it took 20-odd years). For me to say I hate Republicans would be like saying I hated their father. It is entirely possible to raise children with political opinions and ideas who also manage to have respect for others who differ with them.
But in today's reality, they also have to understand that there are zealots out there, zealots who want them to fall into lockstep and return to a time before there were safety nets and a society of connected people. That isn't going to happen. PunditMom nails it:
No matter the resources in today's vitriolic political climate, it is a parenting challenge to strike the right balance between conveying the political values and ideas that are important in one's family while at the same time teaching our children that those with differing political views shouldn't be discounted.
It is for this reason that I will not be encouraging my children (nor have I in the past) to attend Socialist Camp, Liberty Camp, or any other kind of camp where politics is the central theme. They won't be making any oaths to organizations (I can still remember the Girl Scout Creed), and they won't be blindly indoctrinated.
Is there irony in a group of people who claim to love liberty taking a group of children and indoctrinating them without giving them the liberty to explore other avenues of political thought? I think there is. I also see this as a dangerous path to walk down, one that falls in lockstep with the idea of sending them to private "liberty schools" for the rest of their education, where they are meticulously shielded from the ideas their parents see as dangerous. This spawns a generation of intolerant ideologues. It's cultish.
If you think I'm overreacting, pay attention to this:
If the school is successful, Jaroch and Lukens will look for ways to run more sessions, either during the summer or after school resumes. In fact, Jaroch said the group might try to bring its curriculum to the public schools during Constitution Week in September.
I snark about this camp on Twitter, but I'll be honest. Between efforts like this and privatization of public schools, Texas curriculum twists and corporate domination, I really am worried about the next generation in a big way.