Why children should be seen and not heard
There’s a long article on the “Menomonee Falls Now” website (a Journal Sentinel product) about the non-candidacy of Kurt Heins for Waukesha County clerk. I wasn’t going to comment any more on this story, but there are a few people (including, apparently, WTMJ’s Charlie Sykes) who think that the Waukesha Freeman should have caught this hoax.
My response is, really?
I never took the story that seriously, even commenting on Patch.com that I thought the kid would never get on the ballot. I don’t even think the “hoax” story merits the attention.
However, it would not have been the first time a high school student ran for office. Heins actually signed the papers for candidacy, and they were turned in to the county clerk. At that point it was no longer a childish prank. His dad said he was running. They had a Facebook page. They had a public statement.
It also sounds like Heins actually considered running once the paperwork was filed, at least according to the article.
If the Waukesha Freeman and others were supposed to guess this was a hoax because of the goofy statements, what are they supposed to think of the stupid college kids protesting in Madison? If the video and the statement sounded goofy, well, they sounded like a 17-year-old. Or maybe they sounded like Christine O’Donnell. Maybe the kids should have included sheep in the video to be more convincing.
I’ve already commented that the kid’s statement sounded like Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima. Maybe his campaign was a joke, too. Hey, I’m willing to do a “do-over.”
The media has a fetish with precocious youths trying to change the world. What’s one more brat from Menomonee Falls on that trash heap of hype?
It wasn’t that long ago that I was supposed to take another high school kid seriously as an activist on school funding issues. When I didn’t take him seriously, he went running to another columnist at the Waukesha Freeman to complain. (It didn’t help his case.)
I’m willing to broker a deal for all of the local media companies. Unless the person is old enough to watch a Herman Cain campaign video without parental permission, they shouldn’t bother to ask the person’s opinions. We can even raise the voting age back to 21, while we’re at it.
The boys might have learned from me that this prank was going too far on Monday night. The “campaign” e-mailed me thanking me for my “endorsement” of Heins and asked for 2000 words for a formal endorsement. (Yes, 2000 words, which means they really need to spend more time writing essays in school.)
I replied, “If you put out any statement anywhere implying, even in jest, an endorsement, your parents will hear from my attorney. This is no joke.”
(The lovely Doreen from Waukesha thought it was funny that I would threaten to have an attorney call their parents. I wonder if Mike Maistelman would give me a disount because Heins is a minor.)
I received a reply the same evening:
“Let me level with you. This is all a prank that has gone too far. I won’t bother you, I won’t mention you, I won’t ever interact with you again. I’m out of this game, It’s Kurt’s problem now. This is no joke either. Well, it was a joke, but it isn’t a joke any longer. This is life. I am out of here. Sorry. I am a satirical man at heart, I don’t know when to say when.”
I do. “When” was when a child decided to be both seen and heard without adult supervision.
The funny part about this? Heins’ chance of winning were about the same as the current Democratic Party candidate, Jessie Read, an office manager for Peace Action Wisconsin. Unless that’s a hoax, too.