“Give a bad boy enough rope, and he’ll soon make a jackass of himself.” – Fairy Godmother, Pinocchio
Last month Disney+ released a live-action version of its 1940s classic film Pinocchio. This version, starring actor Tom Hanks, retells the story of an Italian woodworker, Gepetto, who, longing for a child of his own, builds a wooden puppet named Pinocchio. A fairy godmother gives Pinocchio life, and for the duration of the story, he is Gepetto’s disobedient child who ignores his conscience in the pursuit of personal pleasure.
At one point, Pinocchio is lured by nefarious adults to Pleasure Island, a distant place where young boys partake in every adult vice, from smoking and drinking to gambling and cursing. By morning all of the boys have been turned into squawking donkeys. A story in which children are led around on strings and turn into squawking donkeys sounds familiar. Is there a metaphor in here somewhere?
Recently, Boise, Idaho, elected its first high school student to its school board. Senior student, Eighteen-year-old Shiva Rhajbhandari ran on a platform of having school start later in the day, addressing mental health issues, and climate change. Rhajbandari is a known student activist who regularly campaigns for gun control, voting rights, and Pro-LGBTQ policy. The only campaign issue that he ran on that is related to education is a pushback on start times so that we can further enable kids not to get out of bed on time. Take a victory lap, Boise.
It would be easy to write an article knocking an eighteen-year-old kid for his pie-in-the-sky ideals, but the real problem here is the voters of Boise. Set on breaking glass ceilings, adults on the left consistently abdicate their responsibilities to the next generation to virtue signal their record-breaking firsts. In the history of schools, school boards have been reserved for seasoned parents and educators to shape the curriculum and thus the minds of the children of their communities. For student participation, there is the Student Government Association. The left is keenly aware that impressionable student minds are malleable and subject to manipulation. Especially those of a generation that has been taught regurgitation and not critical thinking.
The truth is that the Left employs this tactic under the guise of glass ceilings. They’re not trying to accomplish first-time records but rather promoting those exempt from criticism based on their minority status. Whether those they promote are minors, women, ethnic, racial, or religious minorities, the left promotes those of their spectrum that they can use to deflect criticism as a character flaw of the accuser. This is how they avoid actually defending the terrible ideas that they promote. In the case of a student, it is perhaps the most insidious because they can push left-wing ideology, and the student is likely to parrot what they are told without pushback.
This tactic of parading around the young and impressionable is not novel to the left. In recent years, we’ve been treated to the lectures of young leftists like climate activist Greta Thunberg, a teenage Swedish girl who famously exclaimed “how dare you” to the world’s adults on their failure to adopt the Left’s climate activism. Or perhaps you’ll remember gun control activist David Hogg, who, after experiencing a school shooting at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida, became the face of the national gun control movement. For his reward, Hogg was accepted into Harvard after being rejected from a slew of state colleges in California.
When leftists fail to convince people of the merits of their arguments, they resort to promoting sacred cows that cannot be challenged. The youth are full of energy and natural activists, just looking to leave their mark on the world. Thus, it is incumbent on the adults in the room to challenge these sacred cows and not shirk their responsibilities in promoting sensible, seasoned, and well-reasoned arguments and candidates. Voting for children to assume the responsibilities that you as a parent couldn’t be bothered to is neither groundbreaking nor inspirational. Should you adopt this approach, don’t be surprised to wake up and find your beloved child has been turned into a squawking donkey.