The world according to eight-year-olds

This is going back a bit, but not exactly time sensitive so worth examining on this Columbus Day. (You know Columbus… the murderous pillager of native lands.)

Last Sunday my hometown paper (that’s The Washington Post) published a piece in its magazine section (the “Education Issue”) about third graders in the D.C. area and how they feel about certain grownup topics. (The world according to third graders or some such thing.) I think the editors of the Post intend for you to take this seriously, and weep and wail for the future. Please do not. Just laugh along at some of the responses. (Save the weeping for the grownups who peddle this junk.)

On presidential politics…

“I think Hillary should have won because people are saying that Trump cheated in the election because they said he was working with Russia or ISIS or something.”

“I would vote for Hillary Clinton because Donald Trump doesn’t like black people and Hillary Clinton does.”

“I think that if I could vote, I would vote for Hillary Clinton because I wouldn’t vote for Donald Trump because he’s orange.” (This was about the most reasoned, thought-out response I encountered.)

On race and gender issues…

“Girls can’t pass the gas without saying excuse me, but sometimes some boys don’t have to.” (Actually this was the best response of the whole lot.)

“I heard on the news that this black guy, he was graduating, and… he was sitting at the bus stop, and then a white person came and he was telling him stuff about things, and then the guy got a knife and then he killed him.” (Doesn’t really say who killed whom, but I wouldn’t let facts get in the way of this story.)

“Some people can be very rich for doing nothing, and they can just sit back and relax their whole life, and there are some people who are poor and they have to get really hard jobs and they get paid very little and they get treated horribly, and Donald Trump hasn’t done anything to help people about this.” (This is pretty much the thinking at the big-boy version of the Post as well. And CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, etc.)

On climate change…

“I don’t really understand climate change, but didn’t Donald Trump do it?”

If I were president…

“I would end slavery.” (I should note this survey was conducted in 2017.)

“I would make slavery against the law, and, what I would do, I would let blacks and whites get along.” (Same comment.)

“I would tear down the wall from Mexico and let them be free. Because Donald Trump is a jerk to Mexicans… I mean, Mexico is not that bad. I mean, it’s not like what it used to be. It has tall buildings.” (#smh)

Lofty goals for our kid presidents, the brainwashed gang of eight-year-olds roaming the streets of the DMV. Fear not, though, grownups, for among the zero percent support for Trump or anything resembling diversity of opinion there is this nugget of wisdom, easily the most reasonable answer given among the presidential plans for a future generation:

“I would make it so that there’s only 10 states so it’s easier to remember all of them.”


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About moc

My name is Mike O'Connell. I am 35 years old and live in Northern Virginia. I am a teacher, a musician, and an enthusiast of all things American.

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