Bad Parenting: Using Your Child to Zing a Politician

Sometimes we tend to get ticked off when we feel that one of our politicians is a poor example for our children. Whether it be due to a policy decision or the words they speak, we sometimes get so worked up that we find ourselves fantasizing how we’d like to heckle that person if ever given the opportunity. Maybe we’ve even taken a moment and actually rehearsed the snappy line we’d use – you know, that one that would surely be picked up by cameras and leave that politician looking like a fool in front of an audience.

A lot of us also live vicariously through our kids, whether we’d like to admit it or not. We sometimes invest too much personal emotion in the grand aspirations we have for them. This leads us to get a little unruly on the sidelines at little-league games and feel insulted when our kids don’t get cast in a play.

Neither urge is particularly attractive when acted on. You either come across as a buffoon who’s looking for attention, or an overbearing parent who won’t let their kid be a kid. Yet, what I’ve seen lately on the national level are parents who have actually integrated the two. They’ve fed political rhetoric to their children and then poked and prodded them into delivering a stinging blow to unsuspecting politicians.

Last week, GOP candidate Michele Bachmann was at a book signing in South Carolina. When she was approached by a mother with her eight year-old son, Bachmann greeted them both. The mother told the congresswoman that her son had something he wanted to say to her. The boy was clearly nervous to speak but the mother egged him on. At one point, the boy was so uncomfortable that he lowered his head and covered his face with his hands. Bachmann, who clearly recognized the boy’s reluctance, endearingly leaned forward and pulled the child close to her ear so she could better hear him.

The boy then whispered, “My mom is gay and she doesn’t need fixing.”

This of course stunned Bachmann, as any political verbiage coming from a small child would, and left her speechless for a few seconds. A video of the encounter, filmed by a friend of the mother’s, was posted on YouTube.

The comment was in reference to the numerous socially conservative positions the congresswoman has taken on gay rights issues, and it was clearly not concocted by the mind of an eight-year old child, despite some ridiculous claims by his mother that it was. The incident was filmed for the sole purpose of posting it on the internet for the world to see, and for the left to rejoice over. Judging by the number of views it has received, it served its purpose.

Now, I certainly have no problem with someone voicing their opposition to the congresswoman’s political views. She’s running to be president after all. It’s important to hear from the electorate. But as someone who disagrees with some of Michele Bachmann’s stances on gay rights issues myself, I am appalled that this mother was such a complete coward that she shamelessly coached and pressured her abiding son into carrying out a verbal hit-job for her, because she didn’t have the guts to do it herself. Absolutely pathetic.

I find it interesting that the video of the incident was posted with the proud title, “Activist Elijah With Michele Bachmann”. Apparently the new definition of Activist is: “An unwitting child who is used as a political prop by his mother.”

Back in August at an event in New Hampshire, a similar incident happened when another mother used her son as an involuntary surrogate to confront presidential candidate Rick Perry on his science and evolution beliefs.

Caught on video as well, the mother is seen repeatedly pushing her son close to Perry and feeding him questions to ask the Texas governor. Knowing that Perry is a believer in creationism, a mindset which she apparently finds offensive, the badgering mom was relentless: “Ask him how old he thinks the earth is!”, “Ask him about evolution!”, and my personal favorite, “Ask him why he doesn’t believe in science!”

Ah yes, the classic half-brained assertion that someone can’t be a Christian and also believe in science. That poor kid’s mom must be a real gas at PTA meetings.

The mother was standing right there. Why didn’t she just ask Perry those questions herself? The answer is that she feared an adult conversation what have ensued, and that was the last thing she wanted. All she wanted was to land some cheap shots on a Christian conservative, without the fear of a substantive rebuttal. After all, no one’s going to take questioning to task if it comes from the mouth of an innocent child. Again, it was complete cowardice on the mother’s part.

The bottom line is that politics is not a place for children. If you want to dress them up in a campaign shirt and march them in a parade, that’s fine. But they need to be kept out of the dirt at all costs. They’re too young to understand politics. They don’t need to understand politics. And they should in no way be dragged through politics so parents can act out their soapbox fantasies.

Author Bio:

John Daly couldn't have cared less about world events and politics until the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks changed his perspective. Since then, he's been deeply engaged in the news of the day with a particular interest in how that news is presented. Realizing the importance of the media in a free, democratic society, John has long felt compelled to identify media injustices when he sees them. With a B.S. in Business Administration (Computer Information Systems), and a 16 year background in software and web development, John has found that his real passion is for writing. He is the author of the Sean Coleman Thriller series, which is available through all major retailers. John lives in Northern Colorado with his wife and two children. Like John on Facebook. Follow John on Twitter.
Author website:
  • Pingback: “Revisiting September 11 – Who does it help?” | Living History()

  • William Custis Buffington

    Critical thinking is a thing of the past; sloganeering and downloading the youth with bits and bytes of propaganda. Using a child as a mouthpiece for a political agenda shows moral confusion on the part of the mother and a barbaric psychological propaganda tool she will utilize in order to win politically at the expense of traumatizing her son.
    ‘Billy Cus’ WV

  • Gena Taylor

    I saw that obvious lesbian, gay rights advocate, that Fox for whatever reason has on the air all the time,always with a snear on her face, defend this incident, saying surely the child did this on his own, that her children are fully aware of homosexuality (at the age of 8?) and that there was no way his mother had set it up. And I presume also, the little boy begged his mom to drive him over there so that he could confront Bachman, while he begged her friend to videotape it to put it on YouTube for all his buddies to watch. Give me a break.
    And if you are an adult, with or without children, make your points yourself. Everyone sees through this crap, it is pretty chicken to use little kids to pull off a cheap shot like this. And anyone who does, needs to be watched and investigated for child exploitation and/or abuse.

  • Drew Page

    You have described yet another example of gutless liberal tactics.

  • Iklwa

    Once again, we see an example of leftist ideologies over-riding good sense, good taste and common decency.

    One must always bear in mind the left believes the struggle they are involved in is not so much about good or bad policy but more about good and evil in general. Anyone who voices disagreement with the liberal ideal is deemed “evil”. As such, no amount of stooping to the lowest means possible is embarrassing, humiliating or ethically questionable. Using one’s own child as a shield is, in my mind, perhaps the most egregious form of cowardice.

    The interesting thing is: The Left always seems to know the difference between right and wrong and conservatives, if one listens to the left, never quite get a handle on what is correct.

    After all, who is anyone to judge whether or not anal sex, sex with synthetic prosthetics or even inter-species physical relations is right or wrong, except the participants engaged in the acts?
    The point is: Don’t try to make them responsible (or feel guilty) for their pathetic, deviant behavior.

    Another case of the ends always justify the means.

  • chuck

    You’ll also notice the courageous video poster has not allowed comments. Wouldn’t want to burst our bubble about how brave we were, or how no one is believing the B.S. about how the kid just wanted to ask that.

  • Ken Hansen

    I think we (GOP candidates) need to confront the parent in these situations – ask them why they (the parent) didn’t ask the question themselves?

    Remember when we went through the first MTV Presidential town hall and the question was asked “Boxers or Briefs?” that continued until Newt (as I recall) shamed the questioner about wasting people’s time when there are real issues to be discussed.

  • Dave O’Connor

    If a child is used as a political prop aren’t there issues of child-labor laws? Hell, Mommy Dearest is using the kid in this skit as an “in-kind” contributor.
    (And, just bet on it, Mommy Dearest will reap great rewards from her coven of Amazons.)

  • Ken Hansen

    Maybe we should start confronting ‘Fair-weather’ Christians like President Obama & Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi about their positions on Christian principles that are counter to their political actions?

    President Obama is a devout Christian, who is also apparently hard of hearing – how else to explain his shock at what Rev. Wright was saying those past 20 years – but putting that aside, let’s see him justify his position on, say, abortion…

    Former Speaker Pelosi has, in the last two years, declared that her belief in The Word of God informs her every action and decision in Congress AND she has blasted Christians for their stubborn insistence of sticking with their principles… Surely a wise reporter could get her to explain away this obvious contridiction…

  • the DA

    The kid was sweet, and it was also endearing how Ms. Bachmann leaned over to hear what he had to say. Great photo. Wonder what the kid would have said if she had asked if he’d like to have a daddy who didn’t need fixing, either?

  • CCNV

    These are the same types of “mothers” who take their kids to shoplift in a department store. Or worse, offer their kids up for sex or drugs…just to make a buck or get high. These kids are pawns. Disgusting to say the least!

  • cmacrider

    John: It seems that this woman has just proved that indeed she needs “fixing”. Surely there is some department in Washington D.C. that ensures unfit parents get psychiatric treatment.

  • Angela