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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Harvard Study: 4th of July Used For Indoctrination

Two Professors claim Republicans use patriotism to indoctrinate their children.

Yep. You read that title correctly. Don’t believe me? Well, if you can manage to stay awake long enough, two profs, David Yanagizawa-Drott of Harvard and Andreas Madestam of Bocconi University have written an utterly boring and useless 40-page study about it. Read it here. But don’t say I didn’t warn you…

I admit. I read it. It took 14 cups of coffee and a bottle of eye drops, but I did manage to get through it without drowning in my own drool. When I was done with the study and three stiff shots of whiskey (just kidding), I realized that these professors are partly right. Not about the 4th of July creating more Republicans, but that Republicans tend to appreciate and love the 4th of July because they love their country.

Then I nearly wept with shame because that was a wasted hour of my life that was gone forever…*sigh*

We don’t need some silly Harvard study to tell us what we already know to be true. Conservative Americans don’t just tend to be patriotic, we are patriotic. We revere the founding generation and tell our kids about the freedom those men won for us. We love the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution and believe they aren’t subject to interpretation by some activist judge. We fly the flag. We say the Pledge. We put our hands over our hearts during our national anthem…unlike the former-candidate-now-President. And, yeah baby, we love the 4th of July! Give me a hot dog, a cold soft-drink, and a boatload of fireworks bought at a local stand and I am a happy, happy man! Shoot, many of us are also Christians who believe and live by the Bible…Oh, the humanity!!!

So then, what was the purpose for this study? Perhaps the authors can explain:

“Motivated by the emphasis placed on children during the festivities, our main objective in this paper is to analyze the impact of Fourth of July celebrations during childhood on political preferences and behavior later in life.”

There it is in black and white. I think it is safe to assume that they would rather our children not be Conservatives. It explains why they would give a rat’s fuzzy backside about what influences our children in the first place. Why else would they have to “analyze the impact” if they didn’t want someone else to come up with a way to minimize it?

And they would be right to assume that we want to provide patriotic influences for our children to model. We take them to fireworks displays and family barbeques at this time of year for a very good reason; we’re passing on a legacy. One that promotes individual liberty and national pride. We are supposed to influence our children’s belief systems and behaviors  It’s called responsible parenting.

Then we get to this precious nugget of Liberal rationale:

“To the extent that there is a political congruence between the patriotism promoted on Fourth of July and Republican beliefs, celebrations in Republican dominated counties may be more politically biased occasions that socialize children into Republicans.” (emphasis mine)

"Trust me, kids. Voting Republican is what the 4th of July is all about!"

In short, they’re saying that we attend 4th of July celebrations to indoctrinate our children.  We grill hotdogs and hamburgers, gather with family, and shoot off fireworks in the driveway because we want our kids to vote like we do.  If that is true – and it isn’t – then so what??? Is it not our right to raise our children in the manner we see fit? Apparently not, according to Drott & Madestam.

Oh, but it gets better still:

“Evidence on historical Fourth of July practices shows that the holiday was a political community event in the first half of 20th century, but became increasingly commercialized and more private in character in the 1950’s and the 1960’s (Appelbaum, 1989; Nemanic, 2007). Hence, strong political connotations to Fourth of July celebrations in Republican communities yield a Republican bias that should diminish if the festivities become depoliticized.” (emphasis mine)

Hmmmmmmmm… Has anyone else noticed this so-called Republican bias at your local fireworks display these last few days? How many times have you heard a voice come over the loudspeaker to encourage you to vote Republican, you know, just before that first shell gets fired into the air? What was that? None? Yeah, I thought so.

We live in Nebraska. This state is as red as they get. You would think this bias would be more than evident all over this state. Well, I just talked to my daughter and three sons who were at the big fireworks display downtown the other night.  Funny, they all told me that not a single word was said about voting, much less voting Republican. Oh, but they played patriotic music all throughout the show in the sky.

To be perfectly honest, I find this whole thing laughable. My parents didn’t use Independence Day to indoctrinate me to think like they did.  They taught me the importance of belief in God, love of family, loyalty to country, and hard work. We hardly ever discussed politics at the kitchen table, but I believe in the conservative values and ideas we did discuss at that table outside the context of politics.  I came to believe in the sanctity of life, from conception to natural death. I unashamedly believe that God created everything, and that His rule book on sexual preference and marriage is not negotiable. A few fireworks had nothing to do with who I am, how I vote, or what I believe, and to suggest otherwise is ludicrous, if not downright stupid.

So, I guess these profs had better get to work on abolishing the holiday ASAP. Take away the flag, the other patriotic decorations and the fireworks and rename it the Midsummer Holiday. Yeah, that’s it!  We could have government-funded public picnics at which we eat low-cal, low-sodium turkey sandwiches on flatbread (plates will be recyclable, of course), drink First Lady-approved all natural, no-preservative, aspartame-laden fruit drinks, and sing songs about how her husband has “healed all of our souls”. By God, don’t ask for any salt either…Mayor Bloomberg might be lurking somewhere nearby.  It’s the new, Liberal-approved patriotism, folks! Founding Fathers? Independence? American Exceptional-ism? Bah! Who needs ’em?

Heck, let’s get rid of Memorial Day and Veterans Day too while we’re at it. Our soldiers aren’t worth honoring anymore either, because I am pretty sure that most of them don’t vote for Liberals either.  And I am sure most of their kids are happy to follow in their heroic parents’ footsteps.

"Oh, yes kids...these fireworks are AWESOME! In fact, they're ALMOST as awesome as being a Republican!"

You know what?  When it gets dark tonight, my kids and I will be out in our driveway, shooting off a bunch of fireworks. I have decided to tell them that they are all to vote Republican when they grow up or I will disown them.  Then I will have all of them fill out the sample ballot I created and printed out earlier today.  You guessed it…not one freaking Democrat’s name is on it.

(In my best Darth Vader voice) My Republican-biased socialization and indoctrination of my children is now complete! Mmmwwwaaaaahahahahaha!!!

Until next time, happy Indoctrination Day!  😛

God bless,

– Ken

 
 

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