Children of the State: The Democrats’ Vision

It is totalitarian, Soviet-style states that pit children against their parents and freely use children for political ends.

By Mary Grabar l November 2, 2012

What can one say about a video ad on behalf of President Obama’s reelection that uses children to prod parents to vote for him by blaming them for a nightmarish future if they don’t?

It was put out by the Future Children Project – at least until it was taken down, as I discovered on November 1st. (PJ Media has a preserved link here.)

Obama’s 2008 election campaign and presidency ushered in a wave of political exploitation of children. His 2008 campaign targeted the youngest voters and does so again in 2012. He was the first president to enter classrooms to address children directly in a yearly video message.

In 2008, we saw videos of children in campaign slogan T-Shirts singing, “Obama’s gonna change it,” “we’re gonna change the world,” and “yes, we can.” They were coached by a teacher and applauded by parents. In 2009, at a New Jersey elementary school, children were led by their teacher in a chant and songpraising Obama. Preteen boys lined up in military style formation and shouted out, “Because of Barack Obama, I aspire to be a lawyer, an architect, etc.”

Consider these lyrics taken from the latest Future Children Project ad:

We’re the children of the future
American through and through
But something happened to our country
And we’re kinda blaming you
We haven’t killed all the polar bears
But it’s not for lack of trying
Big Bird is sacked
The Earth is cracked
And the atmosphere is frying

“Big Bird is sacked”? These lines sound like a Saturday Night Live parody, but the intent is far more serious.

One thing that can be said is that current standards of propaganda are very low. Newsbusters compared the Future Children Project ad to the infamous Lyndon Johnson Daisy commercial that was aired once but was discussed repeatedly in the smear campaign against Barry Goldwater during the 1964 presidential campaign. But the innocence of the 1960s girl is replaced by 21st century zombie-like children. According to columnist Mary Beth Hicks, the ad came about when advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners was asked to contribute to a pro-Obama project called “90 Days, 90 Reasons.”

The writer of the song lyrics, Jeff Goodby, of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, was awarded a major advertising project from General Motors, now commonly referred to as Government Motors, after the company’s national takeover, one of the first actions taken by President Obama. Last spring, Goodby’s ad agency joined with another one to form Commonwealth in order to work on the global account for GM’s Chevy brand. According to the Daily Caller, the pro-Obama ad is not an official project of the agency. But Goodby is Commonwealth’s creative chairman—and writer of the song lyrics.

Besides the question about possible political favors in connection with a nationalized company, is the question about what kind of person would use children in this way?

Conservatives want to preserve childhood as a time of innocence, when children are kept away from the adult topics they are ill-equipped to handle.

Conservatives also desire to keep children free from the manipulations of the state.

This is apparently not the case for Obama supporters. Some parents and teachers have been willing to instruct children to unquestioningly praise Obama, thus using them as their political surrogates.

This, however, is in line with statist outlooks that relegate the care of children (at least the children of others) to state institutions, especially the Department of Education. Although he has been presented as a moderate education reformer, current Secretary of Education Arne Duncan brags about his tenure as Chicago schools superintendant, where schools offered everything from three squares to eye exams and eyeglasses. He now advocates the same “community center” role for schools. He argues for keeping schools open 12 to 13 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Obama Department of Education also has bribed 46 states with stimulus funds to adopt a Common Core curriculum. As I note in these pages and elsewhere, Common Core is a project of left-wing educrats, one in particular a close colleague of Obama’s pal, Weatherman terrorist-turned education professor Bill Ayers. The Common Core name is meant to disguise efforts at nationalizing education and instituting a left-wing curriculum that will make students more pliable subjects of the state.

The children in the Future Children Project ad are made to look brainwashed. But it is Obama education policies that are likely to lead to just such brainwashing. In our schools, children are already taught to blame their parents for the woeful state of affairs, from everything from drowning polar bears on melting ice caps to the suffering of children of illegal aliens.

It is totalitarian, Soviet-style states that pit children against their parents and freely use children for political ends.

The San Francisco Egoist lists the talent that went into producing this pro-Obama ad. For the “kids,” only first names are listed. Even so, when they look back on how they were used for one of the lowest forms political propaganda, these children may well blame their parents. Such blame is much more legitimate than the one about not voting for a particular candidate.

Mary Grabar, Ph.D., teaches English at Emory University in the Program in American Democracy and Citizenship. She recently founded the Dissident Prof Education Project, Inc., an education reform initiative that offers information and resources for students, parents, and citizens. The motto, “Resisting the Re-Education of America,” arose in part from her perspective as a very young immigrant from the former Communist Yugoslavia (Slovenia specifically). She writes extensively and is also a published poet and fiction writer.