by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
When did we start thinking it’s a good idea to let kids lecture adults about politics?
America’s preteen set is starting to lift their voices on a variety of subjects they have no business discussing — and it’s a problem on the left and the right.
The left loves using kids as props to try to embarrass prominent Republicans with gotcha questions. …
… On the other hand, the right prefers its conservative tykes to be pretend pundits rather than heart-tugging activists. The most famous example is Jonathan Krohn. At age 13, Krohn skyrocketed to fame with a self-published book on conservative principles and was a keynote speaker at the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference. He followed up with another book in 2010 before deciding he was no longer a conservative in 2011 at the age of 15. That switch prompted outrage from his former conservative supporters.
But Krohn now has a successor to the right-wing teenage pundit throne. Thirteen-year-old C.J. Pearson shot to fame this year thanks to one lone YouTube video. The video showcased the then-12-year-old slamming the policies of Barack Obama. Conservatives soon fell head over heels for Pearson. The newly-christened pundit has gained such prominence that his endorsement of Ted Cruz for president — a reversal of his earlier support for Rand Paul — received coverage from some right-leaning outlets. …
… The right’s fondness for 13-year-old political pundits is ultimately harmless, but it makes the whole conservative movement look dumb when they make a kid who just started puberty one of their intellectual heavyweights. It makes it even more embarrassing when these kids completely change their opinions, and then grown men and women get upset at teenagers acting like teenagers.
The left uses little kids as props, which is atrocious, but at least the left is smart enough not to let minors become publicists for their cause.