After spending the week at the Democratic National Convention broadcasting my radio show, it was not easy to choose which aspect of the convention I would devote my column to. Would it be the discussions I had with delegates, nearly all of whom I liked and none of whom thought clearly about our nation's issues? Or about the Potemkin Village the Democrats erected -- a convention where almost nothing the Democrats really believe was on display?
I decided on the speech given during prime time by a 12-year-old girl from the San Francisco Bay Area. In my view, this talk was typically and uniquely Democratic.
To understand modern liberalism and its political party, it is vital to understand Democrats' desire to blur any distinctions between child and adult. Ever since the 1960s, liberalism has been largely a movement dominated by children (of every age).
I enjoyed meeting Democrats last week. Many are people I would be happy to have as neighbors. But compared to Republicans, liberals and Democrats are often adults who do not wish to grow up. When George W. Bush was elected, I felt as if adults would now run the country after the adolescent-like President Clinton.
Liberals and Democrats are not comfortable with adult-child distinctions. They therefore frequently treat and regard children as adults and frequently treat and regard adults as children.
That is why liberals do not generally want children to call adults "Mr." or "Mrs."
Such titles render adults distinct from children.
That is why liberal teachers often dress and talk similarly to their students and ask to be called by their first names.
That is why liberals led the fight to lower the voting age to 18 and why California Democrats are now seeking to lower it further (as low as 14).
That is why liberal educators worked to enable students to design college curricula. To many liberals, a 55-year-old professor does not know anything more than a 20-year-old about what students should be studying.
That is why liberals don't worry about protecting children's innocence as much as conservatives do. The early sexualization of children is therefore not a problem to liberal educators. In a nutshell, the differing views of childhood innocence are what the battles over sex education in elementary schools, condom distribution in high schools and AIDS education in fourth grade are all about.
It is therefore not surprising that the Democrats invited a 12-year-old girl to address their convention.
First, the politicization of children is no more a problem to most Democrats and liberals than is children's sexualization.
Second, for many liberals, there is just as much to be learned about politics and society from children as from adults. The notion that wisdom accrues with age is generally alien to liberals. So why not have a 12-year-old share her own wisdom with a convention and nation of adults?
Third, it is illuminating to note what the 12-year-old said that evoked the loudest cheers from the Democratic delegates. In the words of the Oakland Tribune, "The show-stealer was Oakland's Ilana Wexler, 12, who brought down the house with her suggestion that Vice President Dick Cheney get a 'timeout' for using foul language.
Within hours she became an international star, media outlets clamoring for her attention, fans seeking her autograph."
The Democrats went crazy over the girl because she not only shattered the adult-child social distinction, she did so with regard to an adult of immense prominence and status, the vice president of the United States.
Listening to a 12-year-old publicly mock the Republican vice president of the United States brought Democrats almost orgasmic pleasure, especially since no Democrats had the courage to do so in their speeches.
Of course, this girl has accomplished nothing compared to Dick Cheney. She has no wisdom, no humility and no knowledge beyond the leftist platitudes spoon-fed by her parents and schools. She is a mere child, more foolish than most, in that she actually thinks she has earned the right to publicly ridicule the vice president of the United States.
The Democratic Party is as shameless as it is immature.
Shameless in its exploitation of children. And shameless in its hypocrisy. The Democratic candidate for president, John Kerry, used the same "f-word" in a public interview in Rolling Stone magazine -- a far more serious matter than using it privately.
And that is why a 12-year-old know-it-all stole the Democrats' show.