Children and Politics
It’s for our children.” “No child left behind.” “Latch-key kids.” “Anchor babies.” “It’s not a choice; it’s a child.” That short list of slogans and terms demonstrates that for decades politicians and political campaigns have focused on a lot more than kissing babies. At times, children are front and center in the American political arena.
Most obvious is the presence (or not) of children in the campaign. While it’s likely most candidates would say they are genuinely concerned for children and the issues facing them, one can’t help but think that children get pulled into the debate for political gain, a kind of opportunism, a strategy. The message is sent: A candidate is shown kissing babies or seen in family photos with his or her children and grandchildren in the hope that the candidate is somehow humanized by these images, shown to be gentle and compassionate, and thought to care about what most parents care about, their children.
It appears we pay attention to candidates who pay attention to our children. There are so many issues that concern the welfare of children: the right to life, child care, school choice, vaccines, adoption, undocumented children, health care, and the list goes on and on…