GOP’s Idea of Youth: Little League? Proms? Try Working in a Slaughterhouse and Marrying at 10.
Republicans have declared war on children, and Democrats should talk more forthrightly about it.
By TIMOTHY NOAH
The Republicans pride themselves on being the party that protects children. In the Republican Party platform of 2016, the most recent we have because the GOP didn’t produce one in 2020, the word “children” appears 35 times (32 after you eliminate references to zygotes, embryos, and fetuses). Look closely, though, and you’ll notice that when Republicans say “children,” they usually mean “parents,” and when they mean “parents,” they usually have bad ones in mind: too authoritarian or too neglectful.
The 2016 platform invokes individuals’ right to “raise their children by their own values,” to “direct their children’s education,” to “determine the proper medical treatment and therapy for their minor children,” to “consent for their daughter to be transported across state lines for abortion,” and so on. These rights—which even liberals support, up to a reasonable point—enter the political realm only when a parent abuses them.