Shakespeare's Sister has come across a piece of Right Wing propaganda masquerading as a children's book. It's called Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed! and it tells the terrifying tale of how two enterprising Christian boys set up a lemonade stand only to have Liberals swoop down on them, empty their piggy bank of half their dimes and quarters as "taxes," force the boys to sell a stalk of broccoli with every glass of lemonade, and, horror of horrors, order them to take down their picture of Jesus.
The cover illustration, done with all the artistry of the comic books visiting firefighters, cops, and health care workers give out when they visit grade school classrooms to warn kids not to play with matches, talk to strangers, or do drugs, shows a raging Hillary Clinton, a donkey (because all Democrats are Liberals and all Liberals are socialists and all socialists are commies), and a jowly, white-haired old white guy in glasses who is probably meant to be a college professor or a member of the Liberally-biased Main Stream Media but who looks to me more like that great Liberal ogre, a banker.
(On closer inspection the old white guy must be a college professor because I see that the donkey is holding a microphone, which makes sense, because it's the Democrats who control the news media, you know. The old white guy still looks like a banker to me. For one thing, he's wearing a tie. When was the last time you saw a college professor wearing a tie? I guess they still do in those Liberal bastions, the business schools.)
Nope. Apparently not. It's real, and meant to be taken seriously. I don't know if it's sincere. It strikes me as a classic adventure in the American Entrepreneurial Spirit, exemplifying the motto of that great philosopher of business, P.T. Barnum: There's one born every minute.
The author may think she's an angel ministering to sorely-tried conservative parents trying to defend their chidren's souls against the onslaughts of a ruthless, relentless, lubricious, and godless Liberal culture, but she and her publishers are good old-fashioned snake oil salesmen engaged in one of the main enterprises of American-style capitalism---identifying people's fears, hopes, dreams, and insecurities and selling them back to us in attractively colored and labeled bottles full of sugar and water.
I'm not going to bother here with lamenting the fact that the book, instead of helping conservative parents inculcate real conservative values like thrift, prudence, skepticism toward self-appointed world reformers, and a, guarded, respect for authority and tradition, gives them a means of innoculating the kids against creeping Liberalism with overdoses of fear and hatred.
It is worth pointing out, though, that by equating Liberals and Democrats with monsters the book is spreading the kind of eliminationist rhetoric David Neiwert warns that the Right is growing increasingly fond of and dependent on. Personally, the book's title doesn't make me think so much of monsters under the bed as the Calivin and Hobbes collection, Something Under the Bed is Drooling, and Mercer Mayer's very funny There's An Alligator Under My Bed, one of our kids' favorites when they were little. But I'm guessing that parents who buy this book don't let their kids have much else that isn't Preacher-approved propaganda and so for them monsters under the bed are monsters under the bed.
And I'll pause only briefly to shake my head over the way the book apparently conflates Christianity and making a buck. I don't understand how so many conservative Christians manage to do that, seeing as how one of the main running themes of Jesus' teaching is that the love of money is the root of all evil.
I understand why many of their big-name TV star preachers preach it. It explains to the fleeced flock why the hard-earned dollars they contribute to doing the Lord's work are going to buy their ministers 3000 dollar tailor-made suits and 3 million dollar mansions.
Let's leave all that aside for now. The point I want to make is that the accusations the book makes against Liberalism are all true. Even the broccoli. Maybe especially the broccoli.
To be continued after lunch in my next post.
Update: Continuation completed. Part 2 is called "Eat your broccoli! It's good for you!" snarled the evil Liberal giant.