An interesting read passed across my desk this week. Montana author Steve Brezenski has published "Little People Little Patriots: Saving America One Child at a Time," a go-to guide for teaching kids the fundamentals of conservative thinking. Brezenski's 52 short essays—few come in at more than three pages—cover a host of topics, from simple titles like "Small Government" to the heavier "America: The Hope of the World."
As informative as Brezenski's extensive collection of quotations from our Founding Fathers is, the book runneth over with boilerplate right-wing rhetoric. You know, the kind you find at Ron Paul rallies or local conservative group meetings. Take this quote from the delicious "Private Property is Crucial to Individual Liberty":
"Property, including the increase derived from our efforts, is a projection of our own selves...Any infringement on our property takes from us a corresponding part of our life and liberty."
Stimulating bedtime fodder.
We'll refrain from discussing the aptly named essay "Beware of the Press" and dive straight into the most troubling essay in this supposedly child-focused collection, "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms." Observe:
"If government ceases to protect our lives, liberty, and property, or if indeed the government becomes the chief aggressor in the removal of the people's rights, if the people are unarmed, what recourse do they have to 'throw off such government, and...to provide new guards for their future security?' [as quoted from the Declaration of Independence]"
Now, we aren't against the Second Amendment, but spoon-feeding kids the notion of armed insurrection sounds a little dicey. Never mind that thick language like this goes right over even our heads, or that Brezenski's target audience appears to be just short of the age when watered-down American history courses enter the picture. Can't the conservative vernacular wait till our youth is bitter and jaded, or at least until they're old enough to shoot straight?