Earlier today, Joel Pett of the Lexington Herald-Leader posted a cartoon making fun of Gov-Elect Bevin’s response to Syrian refugees. The cartoon used Bevin’s children as comparison to the children coming from Syria.
The point of the cartoon is somewhat valid; Gov-Elect Bevin has a diverse family of adopted children, of different races, so “being scared” of children of another nationality doesn’t make sense. And, the cartoon didn’t attack Bevin’s children directly; he just used them to make a point.
But, what the cartoonist forgot is one of the basic rules of political commentary:
Leave the kids out of it.
This is a pretty basic rule. When you go into public service, you expect to get commented on, and even attacked. It comes with the territory, and you’d better be prepared.
But your children? They didn’t ask to be part of it, and they shouldn’t be made part of the discussion against their will. Their lives should be their own. The same usually goes for the spouse and the extended family.
There are exceptions, of course. But they are few and far between. And, even when the point of the story is the family itself, you try to treat people as you would want to be treated. People going through a divorce, or dealing with issues with their children, don’t need the added burden of commentary from outside.
Look, Matt Bevin and I would probably have trouble agreeing on what day of the week it is. And I’m sure that, over the next so many years, I’m going to have strong words to say about him and his policies … as I already have about his “me too!” response on refugees.
But using his kids to make a point, even just in a cartoon? Yeah, I think that’s a bad idea.
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