We're a few days late to this video, which you really need to watch for the full impact. Don't worry, it's relatively short. Behold -- MSNBC host Krystal Ball "interviewing" a kindergarten-aged girl about the nature of marriage in America:
Adult "journalist:" You want people to be able to marry who they're in love with, right?
Emotional appeals and sympathetic advocates have been quite effective in nudging public polling in favor of same sex marriage in recent years. But MSNBC takes matters several steps too far here, as the propaganda network is wont to do. The little girl in the video is delightful and innocent. Every single adult involved, however, is not: Her parents, for allowing their daughter to be exploited to promote a political issue that she cannot possibly comprehend; the producers, for deeming this exchange newsworthy in any conceivable sense; and Ms. Ball, for cajoling a kindergartener into endorsing gay marriage on national television. Young Ella should be learning how to tie her shoes and color within the lines, not sounding off on complex social policy. A manipulative spectacle all around. Allahpundit wonders if "Political Playground" will become a regular installment. If so, he has a few suggestions about future topics on which training-wheels pundits might be coaxed into adopting the Democratic Party line for the whole country to see: “Billy, would you be excited if your mommy said you were going to have a little brother? But what if mommy was sad about that? You don’t want mommy to be sad, do you? You’d support mommy if she asked the doctor to vacuum your brother out of her belly, wouldn’t you? Sure you would.” It'd be funny if it weren't so appalling. Partisans on both ends of the political spectrum have used children as human props in the past, but this approach appears to be an increasingly accepted, if not encouraged, practice on the Left. Recall the central role young children have played President Obama's gun control push. The White House released to the press a handful of letters the president received from kids in the wake of the horrific Newtown tragedy, including this plea from a ten-year-old:
The letters, released by the White House, are from Grant Fritz, 8; Julia Stokes, 11; Hinna Zeejah, 8; and Taejah Goode, 10. All are heart-rending and mention how sad the writers are about the events in Connecticut. They also display an urgency to end gun violence. “I am writing to you to ask you to STOP gun violence,” Taejah wrote. “I am very sad about the children who lost their lives in Conn. So I thought I would write to you to STOP gun violence. Thank you Mr. President. (signed) You American, Taejah.
I'm increasingly of the opinion that conservatives need to shake their reservations and play catch-up with the liberals' reliance on emotional arguments to sway public opinion. But certain lines must not be crossed. Young children shouldn't be thrust into spokesperson roles for political ideas or issues. Unlike adults, they can't really say no, or analyze the implications of they're being coerced into doing. Pushing one's kid into the limelight to offer facile arguments on behalf of one's own ideology is pathetic, and should be objectionable even to those who might share those values. Let's leave politics to the grown-ups, the ranks of whom seem to be shrinking by the day.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography