Something occurred to be out of nowhere today that made me laugh and shake my head.
When I did TeenPact (conservative Christian week-long camp at the state house in Boston) learning about the government, how to make a law, etc. our assignment before we went was to create a bill proposal for anything we wanted to change in the state. Mine was on having bilingual education for all children from grade 1 on, because children learn languages faster than teenagers and way faster than adults so then our entire population would be bilingual. Other students' proposals included making all traffic lights with sensors, funding home schooling, increasing/decreasing traffic speeds, various changes to education, etc. Our first day at the capitol we had to read our proposals and answer questions. One of the leaders asked each of us how our bill would be funded. Almost every student said "With Taxes."
This is where the irony and the element of childish wonder comes in. Every student wanted to change their state for the better...with taxes. We all believed it was possible and that (goshdarnit!) we would find that money somehow. But conservative Christians don't like taxes. But we didn't know better...we hadn't been brainwashed to think that the government was trying to take over all our freedoms (like some of those families think). I wonder if the leaders of our program cringed at the thought of all those taxes...or if they knew there is no hope for those bills anyway. All we wanted to do was make our state a better place, but now I'm sure all those students would write very different bills now that they have been steeped in Republican knowledge and wisdom. I'm sure none of them would increase taxes...if they want to be elected to an office as a Republican.
I feel like the children are right. This state could be a better place. I only wish those strongwilled students I knew then were not who they are now: conservative Republicans who would rather move to Montana than send their kids to public schools. Where does that childish sense of "we can do it" go anyway?