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Friday, September 29, 2023


Politicians should not use children as political props

The “think of the children” tactic has gone way too far at this point. Any politician who does this should be disregarded | Tamor Khan/The Cougar

Politicians love to make you feel with them.

They want you to be blasted with the same emotions that they are purportedly feeling. And to do this, politicians parade children in front of audiences to evoke the “think of the children” thoughts that so permeate today’s political rhetoric.

It is the lowest form of persuasion. And it needs to stop, now.

Last week, as the protests against President Trump raged throughout the country’s airports, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer trotted out children to stand behind him as he delivered an “emotional” speech to the press.

Chuck Schumer should never be listened to again because of this. Nor should any politician who does this, no matter what side of the aisle that politician is on. They’re not arguing the facts; they’re arguing emotion.

The “think of the children” tactic has gone way too far at this point. It’s used at every turn to make people feel, not to actually think. Politicians use it for everything and it’s breaking down political persuasion.

Whenever Obama wanted to further his gun control legislation, the kids would be called in to remind everyone to think of the children and how they need us to protect them.

Whenever someone on the right wants to spend more on the military and continue to bomb ISIS, they remind everyone to think of the children and their safety.

Both sides are using the “think of the children” argument to further their arguments about Trump’s ban. Liberals are worried about the children who are refugees and from other countries.

Conservatives are worried about the possible terrorist attacks on the American children. It’s tiresome. And it doesn’t actually talk about the issue at hand.

When a politician uses this argument, it is ultimately because they have nothing else to say; all their other arguments have been defeated by logic or it’s just easier to use emotion.

It doesn’t make the argument stronger. There is no reliance on any sort of facts. It’s all about emotion, and when emotion gets infused into politics, politics gets dangerous.

And it’s not just when politicians are signing bills and giving press conferences to the drooling media. In 2013, Fox News reported that there had been an increase in politicians using children in ads.

This is the worst thing that could happen to the current political scene. The last election had the “Our Children are Watching” ad to hit at Trump. Why does it matter what the children are feeling?

It’s politics, not the playground.

Groups are also using children to get across their political messages. During the Super Bowl, both Audi and 84 Lumber used children to get their political messages across.

Forgetting the fact that politicizing the Super Bowl is just stupid and everyone is tired of it and just wants to watch football, it’s ridiculous that these companies would feel compelled to use children to get their message across.

If they wanted to integrate politics into their commercials, make an actual argument, don’t use children.

Politicians do it because it works. Stop letting it work. Start calling out politicians whenever they use children to try and further themselves. They shouldn’t be listened to at the least and they should be shunned at the most.

This is the lowest form of politics and it needs to stop.

Assistant opinion editor Jorden Smith is a political science and creative writing junior and can be reached at [email protected]

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