I enjoy Andy Borowtiz’s satire as much as the next person (though often find myself wishing he’d take on the left with as much gusto as he does those on the other end of the political spectrum — yes, they can be just as laughable).
But it’s neither funny nor witty when Borowitz mischaracterizes and caricatures our nation’s young people — and it just goes to show what a long way we still have to go in instructing those who surely consider themselves open-minded and even ‘progressive’ just how bigoted and narrow-minded they can be when it comes to their views of our youngest citizens.
This latest piece of pernicious stereotyping of our youngest is brought into even greater and more pathetic relief and resolution when done putatively through the lens of satire. Our younger citizens are marginalized enough as it is; this is the last thing they need, especially given that they have nothing resembling equal opportunity to come to their own defense.
In one of his latest attempted takedowns of the Republicans, Borowitz spoofs their attempt to overhaul Obamacare (which, heaven knows, no matter how well-intentioned, has not been a boon for everyone, including yours truly and his family) by claiming their health care bill was created by a middle-school student who in return for his labors was rewarded with $500 so he could “buy a Nintendo Switch.”
For anyone who knows just how thoughtful and caring and politically astute and conscientious middle students can be (especially in comparison to their adult-age counterparts) — no one in my 20-plus years of experiences holding Socrates Cafes, Constitution Cafes, Declaration Project and kindred inquiry initiatives with people across the globe holds a candle to the abilities of middle-schoolers — this is an insulting, undeserved and even cruel smackdown by someone who should know better.
Anyone who has been part of the years-long ongoing Constitution Cafe at Eastside Independent School District in San Antonio, whose students mostly are from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, that I inaugurated and have been directly part of at least once a year in all the years since they have been gathering regularly — they even have flocked to school early in the a.m. before it begins officially so they can be part of this — knows that if put in the hands of middle schoolers, among our most creative, concerned and conscientious citizens, they would have come up with a doozy of a health care plan.
Just as anyone would who’s taken a gander at their soaring Declarations in our Declaration Project, socially conscious rabble rousers that they are, or who has had the privilege to participate with them in a Socrates Cafe.
Middle schoolers would most assuredly develop a plan that would truly take all into account, and would make sure that none of us ever again has to spend sleepless nights worrying about how to pay for unexpected health care emergencies. That’s just how young people roll.
Oh, and they would do it for free. Unlike an adult, who’d demand lots of swag to take on such a mammoth task, our youngest would dive in without any thought of being compensate. They would do it because they care deeply.
It’s a pity that Borowitz uses his enormous platform to gang up on middle-schooler. And I can only imagine what a chuckle he and his millions of readers got out of this, at young people’s expense.
Though he’ll never read this in all likelihood, I nonetheless hold out some sliver of hope that he will, and throw down the gauntlet and invite Borowitz to attend one of our gatherings with young people, so he can come to see just how far off the mark he is about them, and how undeserving they are of his sophomoric caricatures.
Maybe he’ll even come to look up to them, as I do, and decide to recommend seriously that they are made part of any panel charged with fixing the many problems with ‘ObamaCare’ that has worsened the plight of many (and that any Republican plan offered to date would only appear to make still worse).
Whatcha say, Andy?
Are you game?