Republican Presidential candidate New Gingrich is making headlines for his opinion that child labor laws are “truly stupid,” saying that poor children should work as janitors in their own schools since adults in poor neighborhoods don’t teach these poor children to have a good work ethic.
While that might sound like the most insulting and condescending idea that any politician has ever uttered publicly, Newt might be on to something in a very limited sense. If we could replace the Republicans in Congress with kindergarten kids, then the country would start to head in the right direction.
Polls indicate that the majority of Americans–as high as 80%–think that the rich and large corporations should share in the burden of reducing the debt and supporting government services by paying higher taxes. Republicans, of course, refuse to consider any type of tax increase on the rich and are even fighting maintaining a temporary payroll tax reduction for the rest of us.
Sharing is a hallmark of the kindergarten curriculum. Most five-year-old politician wannabes share with everyone, and if someone weren’t cooperating, they’d turn the non-sharer into the teacher rather than go along with something that didn’t make sense. Most children would even give the cookies in their right hands to Grover Norquist as long as they had cookies in their left.
Adult Republicans consistently look for ways to limit the ability of the poor and minorities to vote by instituting restrictive election registration laws, such as requiring photo ids, and redistricting to segregate minorities. They also always look for ways to limit the rights of people who aren’t like them or don’t believe what they believe, such as fighting against the rights of gays to marry, trying to overturn abortion laws at every turn, and building huge fences to keep different kinds of people from entering the country.
Even children whose parents are the worst offenders of the above types of activities cannot be taught to be unfair to other children by the time they reach kindergarten. They treat everyone the same, regardless of skin color, religion, economic class, or future sexual orientation. Children love everyone else equally (unless they’re not following that sharing rule), with kisses and hugs for whoever wants one.
Can you imagine if the Republicans were like that?
This kiddie Congress would come with a couple of caveats, though. We’d have to have federally mandated naps. Most important, though, we’d need to learn that when a Congressman is screaming and stomping his feet, it means he needs a time out, not that someone has threatened to raise taxes on the rich.
Image from Hillsboro School District