Rep. Jack Kingston instigated one big food fight recently when a secretly taped video by his political opponent got hyped to show Kingston as an heartless elitist, intent on making poor children grovel, well actually “work” for their free lunches. The political left, in typical partisan fashion, swept the floor with Kingston, instead of looking at the important lesson he, perhaps inelegantly, was trying to discuss. He explained his views more clearly during a CNN interview.
It would not be a good idea to tie aprons on only children receiving free lunches, but the idea of making all children do some chores in their lunchroom, classroom and school would be a good first step toward teaching kids to respect community property and also to teach them many other lessons, like the importance of work, civic responsibility and on a much more basic level, how to be part of a team. Somehow, among the political left, any suggestion that learning to do manual labor offers valuable character-building lessons, incites shrill recitations about the evils of child labor and vivid imagery-filled prose alluding to Oliver Twist begging, “Please sir, I want some more.” C’mon, so many kids and their parents exhibit such a sense of entitlement over perceived victimization and the Democratic Party toils away to keep this constituency firmly entrenched in poverty, which requires relentless propaganda and setting up straw men to set ablaze in the public square. Kingston surely felt that heat recently.
With refreshing clarity, a writer at National Review, Jillian Kay Melchior, scrubbed away the ashes left from Kingston’s unfortunate liberal fire bombing and explained why exactly work provides valuable lessons, for all children. (“Why All Children Should Learn To Work”). We, as a society, embrace full-throated exhortations about “rights”, but any who dare offer the ticket to individual liberty (learning about responsibilities), speedily get marginalized, pegged as insensitive to the poor, or worse get tarred with the racist label. One liberal pundit suggested Kingston’s suggestion would be using poor, minority children as slave labor. Yep, that’s how absurd things get at the mere suggestion that kids should learn to work and that there is no such thing as a free lunch.