Our Impressionable Youth

Recently a friend of mine sent me a picture of a diagram she saw at her son’s pre-school, created around Presidents’ Day. It shows what the students (3 year-olds) would do if they were president.

I’ve often heard it said that libertarianism is much like what we teach kindergartners: keep your promises, don’t take other people’s stuff, and keep your hands to yourself. But clearly these toddlers are getting other, more maximalist messages about presidential power, because the list of things they would do reads like…well, like the promises made during campaign speeches: “Give you ice-cream!”, “I will make it rain” (clearly on the opposite end of the ideological spectrum from Benjamin, who would “Stop the rain!”) and the refreshingly candid “Give myself lots of presents.” Even the teachers, who one would hope to have a firmer grasp of the constitutional limits on executive power, get in on the act: Miss Wendy promises “Rainbows everywhere” and Miss Kelly “Pizza lunch every day!”.

On a positive note, young Yarden has the right idea: he/she would simply “Go home”. Sounds like a libertarian in the making. Yarden for President, 2066!

Update: David Boaz had a similar take on “Our Magical President” back in 2001.