President Biden made a little bit of news when he visited Connecticut on Friday. “No,” he said when reporters asked if he supported term limits for Supreme Court justices — one reform being considered by a commission Biden appointed. But the visit did underscore how children are being dragged into the culture wars being fought between adults.
Biden’s first stop in Connecticut was the Capitol Child Development Center in Hartford, where he promoted the child care provisions of his Build Back Better proposal. He also visited the playground outside.
While Biden was mingling with the preschoolers, about 50 “Trump supporters” nearby “chanted ‘F— Joe Biden. He’s not our president,'” Noah Robertson of The Christian Science Monitor wrote in a White House pool report. Pool reporters on the playground “could still hear protesters chanting from the curb outside. More expletives. More yelling,” he added in a follow-up report, noting there were also “Ban Title 42” chants, “perhaps suggesting it wasn’t a solely Trump-supporting crowd.”
Children have also been dragged into adult fights on school diversity programs and mask requirements. CNN highlighted one ugly incident in Beverley Hills earlier this month, where anti-mask protesters accused parents of “rape” and “child abuse” as they walked their children to elementary school
“More and more, politics is defined by comparatively small groups of comparatively loud individuals dominating the discourse, when it is unclear whether they speak for anyone but themselves,” Christopher Hooks writes at Texas Monthly, reporting on the ugly confrontations at school board meetings this summer and fall, often involving “at most, a few dozen angry protesters. Some are not even parents of children in public schools.”
Hooks recounts the story of a sophomore at Austin-area Westlake High School being shouted down and brought to tears by the angry adults who flocked one school board meeting to rail against diversity proposals, and a Dallas high school student being called a “Sheep!” by jeering adults as he advocated for wearing masks.
“The most bitter and deranging political conflicts invariably involve local politics,” but local fights are now more nationalized, and uglier, Hooks writes. “The kids are all right, probably. They usually are. These parents, though …”