Liberals might control the narrative of primetime television, but they are struggling to reach toddlers and young children, much to the chagrin of liberal parents. In a recent article, CNN contributor Elissa Strauss bemoans how young children are drawn to cartoons that don’t align with the progressive visions of their parents.
According to Strauss, parents like to see themselves as "purveyors of possibility," and want their children to exist in a world in which “identities are both mutable and equal,” and “imagination and empathy reign supreme.”
Meanwhile, young children are drawn to "worlds in which identities are fixed, order trumps imagination and transgressions are met with routine punishment." In other words, they are attracted to the truth.
Strauss specifically identifies two “fascist” shows that are all the rage with the kiddos: “Thomas the Tank Engine” and “Paw Patrol.”
“Thomas” has been blasted by left-wing publications for being a “corporate-totalitarian dystopia” as well as “classist, sexist and anti-environmentalist.”
“Paw Patrol” has likewise been assailed by the left for conveying “gender and social inequality.” I’ve never watched it, but it sounds to me like the characters are a bunch of dogs.
She quotes one disgruntled mother who is concerned with the patriarchal message advanced by one episode of “Paw Patrol,” in which the protagonist chooses “two male pups” for a mission even after a female pup volunteers. Based on that single episode, the mother accuses the show of having a “glass ceiling.”
Strauss asserts that these shows cause progressive parents, particularly those who are “aghast at contemporary politics” to feel extremely uncomfortable. These parents are “disturbed” by how children are drawn to shows that feature strong leaders and a strict view of right and wrong—as opposed to complete egalitarianism and utter chaos.
Kids like the “neat moral order” of these shows, which is why they are so successful. They find comfort in the concept of law and order, and they understand the importance of obedience. Sadly, they have a better understanding of how the world works than most progressive parents.
Still, Strauss suggests that these shows could “broaden their appeal to parents” by having the protagonists retire and be replaced by their “equally domineering sisters” because…feminism!
“Children would still get the satisfaction of immersing themselves in an orderly universe where rules are rules, and everyone is in his or her place,” she argues. “Just without the white guy on top.”
You know the left is getting desperate when it’s imploring the producers of children’s shows to swap out its protagonists in the name of social progress.
Brendan Pringle (@BrendanPringle) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. He is a freelance journalist in California.
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