Maybe we should thank Glenn Beck for comparing the Utøya, Norway camp where rightwing zealot Anders Behring Breivik killed 68 people and wounded many more to a Hilter youth camp.
“There was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like the Hitler youth, or, whatever. I mean, who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics. Disturbing,”
We should thank him because – ignoring the American Legion’s Boys State and Girls State summer camps, which have provided civics leadership to such alumni as Neil Armstrong, Tom Brokaw, Bill Clinton, Mike Huckabee, Michael Jordan, George Pataki, Jane Pauley, Harry Reid, and even Rush Limbaugh since 1935 – his incendiary and ignorant comment allows us to shine a light on a far more disturbing phenomenon.
Tea party groups are holding their own camps this summer, where children and young people are being indoctrinated with anti-social and scarcity-based beliefs. Take this Florida camp.
The [Tampa 912 Project] hopes to introduce kids ages 8 to 12 to principles that include “America is good,” “I believe in God,” and “I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.”
The teaching methods at the “Tampa LIberty” camp, run by one Jeff Lukens, were obviously devised by people who stayed up all night getting in touch with their inner mean bastard.
Children will win hard, wrapped candies to use as currency for a store, symbolizing the gold standard. On the second day, the “banker” will issue paper money instead. Over time, students will realize their paper money buys less and less, while the candies retain their value.
“Some of the kids will fall for it,” Lukens said. “Others kids will wise up.”
Another example: Starting in an austere room where they are made to sit quietly, symbolizing Europe, the children will pass through an obstacle course to arrive at a brightly decorated party room (the New World).
Red-white-and-blue confetti will be thrown. But afterward the kids will have to clean up the confetti, learning that with freedom comes responsibility.
Still another example: Children will blow bubbles from a single container of soapy solution, and then pop each other’s bubbles with squirt guns in an arrangement that mimics socialism. They are to count how many bubbles they pop. Then they will work with individual bottles of solution and pop their own bubbles.
“What they will find out is that you can do a lot more with individual freedom,” Lukens said.
I don’t even want to meet the kids who emerge from this paranoid, miserly nightmare of a camp but I bet when they grow up, they will look a lot like Glenn Beck and Michelle Bachmann.