The Atlantic writer Peter Beinart sent out a Very Serious Tweet on Friday in response to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va.
Yesterday my 9 year old saw some footage from Charlottesville. Then she asked me if there would be a second Holocaust.
— Peter Beinart (@PeterBeinart) August 18, 2017
This particularly annoying bit of commentary is part of a meme you may have heard of called the "woke eight-year-old" (in this case, nine-year-old). It was met with the best of Twitter: withering sarcasm and loathing for nauseating sanctimony.
My 9 year old saw your tweet and said "cool story, bro."
— Ken (@kendroiddddd) August 18, 2017
My 7 year old son watched the Dow Jones Industrial Average drop and asked me whether he should put more of his piggy bank money in T Bills
— Jay Gray (@JayGrayWV) August 18, 2017
The phenomenon came to my attention via @Neontaster, who discovered this trend of eight-year-olds (or children of a similar age, depending on their Woke Quotients) whose opinions, shockingly, seem to perfectly mirror those of their progressive parents. Here are some more examples.
Apparently 8 is the age when children reach their peak wokeness. pic.twitter.com/uiPZmEuYQg
— neontaster (@neontaster) November 11, 2016
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) June 28, 2017
— Cosmopolitan (@Cosmopolitan) July 7, 2017
My 8-year-old daughter pumped her fist and shouted "yes!" when the new @bbcdoctorwho was revealed.Think that tells you all you need to know.
— David Owens (@asoundreaction) July 16, 2017
— Carrie Goldman (@CarrieMGoldman) January 4, 2016
My 10 year old Godson just asked if you can have a wife and still be a misogynist. I was like "oh yeah dude, for sure! In fact it helps!"
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) July 6, 2017
oh that one, of "woke 8 year old" fame pic.twitter.com/Or30gCEkts
— Yavo (@YavoYavoyavo) June 17, 2017
Just had a sobering chat with my 7 year-old about mental illness and showed him this latest from POTUS. My son said, "That's just sad." https://t.co/OiFHCqigsK
— Mary Ann Akers (@MaryAnnAkers) July 2, 2017
these woke 8 year olds are getting vulgar. They're radicalizing pic.twitter.com/DvlmRrPGYk
— Taqqiya Purveyor (@notwokieleaks) August 20, 2017
Bragging about how precociously progressive my child is, AND getting my own smoking take out there? Double victory!
Let's state the obvious: When pundits tweet out these little stories, all they're doing is sending out THEIR opinions, but doing so in a way that a) makes them look like great parents for raising such emotionally advanced children and b) shields them from criticism. Because what kind of jerk is going to attack a CHILD, for God's sake?
"How could you be for an Obamacare repeal? My sweet little Charlotte thinks the expansion of Medicaid has saved lives and we simply need to bolster the exchanges."
"How could you back Trump's travel ban? My precious little Aiden feels that our refugee vetting procedures are sufficiently vigorous."
"How dare Mitch McConnell silence Elizabeth Warren? My darling little Daenerys furrowed her brow while she was watching that clip on Don Lemon and said, "I shall persist against the patriarchy."
As my colleague Alex Griswold pointed out, these parents sure wouldn't tweet out their kid's opinion if he was a sickening reactionary.
"Look at this protest, what do you think?"
"Wow, we should keep people segregated for their safety."
"Blood and soil, daddy."
— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) August 18, 2017
So please, just stop doing this. If you're the kind of parent that exposes elementary-schoolers to the drudgery of Washington debates, that's certainly your right. But don't use your child as a social media shield to promote your own hot takes. It's the worst.