No, really, it’s true. The story’s in the Huffington Post. Read the interview. Bob Kingsbury is a representative in the New Hampshire legislature.
But here’s the interesting part:
Kingsbury’s comments, which came during a meeting of the county’s state lawmakers, have caused a stir, leading both Democratic gubernatorial candidates to say they believe in kindergarten. The Republican candidate for governor, Ovide Lamontagne, declined to address Kingsbury’s comments during a radio interview last week.
No one called this jackass out on his ludicrous comments. Candidates for governor ‘believe in kindergarten’. That’s the best they can come up with. Not ‘Kingsbury’s a loon’. Not ‘Children in those towns drink milk. Therefore milk turns them into criminals.’ Not ‘Kingsbury needs to be removed from office and replaced with someone whose brain still works’.
This assumption that people who make these incredibly stupid remarks shouldn’t be criticized is one of the things that underlies the resurgence of the right wing lunatic fringe that has infested and rotted American politics.
Kingsbury, 86, did acknowledge that other factors can contribute to higher rates of crime and kindergarten classes are just one of them. But he mentioned having read an article showing the impact of moving young children out of London during World War I. "In World War I, London was being bombed by the Germans and they sent the children out of the city," Kingsbury said. "That was a disaster for England."
Right. Better the children should have stayed in London and been blown to bits or exposed to the sight of people being blown to bits. Or spent the whole time cowering in fear of being blown to bits. Of course that would have been better for their development.
"Children go to kindergarten at the point of a gun," Kingsbury said. "Children go to day care and it’s not the same; there is no point of a gun." Kingsbury said he believes that teachers are partially to blame but the rise in crime is not the fault of teachers. Instead he blamed attorneys and the courts for what he called a lack of discipline and rules in schools and for prohibiting teachers from disciplining students as in previous decades.
Awww, all those poor little kids being marched off to school by gun-toting educators. Poor babies.
So state law mandating that children go to school is apparently evil. Perhaps Kingsbury is just pissed because the little tots aren’t available to work in factories?
The old loon may have a point in that discipline is weaker in schools than in the past, but that hardly points to kindergarten as being a breeding ground for rapists and hit men. Or hit tots. But to proclaim that kindergarten causes crime, that’s more than a reach – that’s probably about to become Tea Party dogma.
All this guy has is a possible correlation, not a proven cause and effect. He’s given no consideration to other possible causes, and in fact can’t even state that there is any legitimate cause for the crime rates. He hasn’t asked if crime rate reporting is consistent from county to county, from town to town. He hasn’t asked qualified statisticians to look at the data. He hasn’t examined any other data. He didn’t look for other research. All he’s done is collect some numbers and proclaimed that kindergarten creates criminals. His conclusion is ridiculous on its face and remains ridiculous the more you think about it.
And yet he remains a member of the New Hampshire legislature, giving the Southern loon legislators of places like Tennessee, Alabama, and Texas a run for their money.
Kingsbury represents the kind of shallow, illogical, thoughtless, careless blithering that passes for thinking among todays Republican Tea Party. They don’t believe in science or logic or evidence. They believe what they want to believe, or what they are told to believe by loudmouth ignoramuses like Limbaugh and Hannity and Ingraham et al.