Noel Coward may once have exhorted Mrs Worthington not to put her daughter on the stage, but the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd no longer seem to hold the attractions that they once did for the proud parents of tomorrow’s budding child prodigies. In today’s increasingly disposable media age, most modern Mrs Worthingtons appreciate that the relative career lifespan of darling little Missy will most likely be blighted by the wandering attentions of a fickle public, ever diminishing returns and the sad but inevitable onset of puberty. Tomorrow’s Britney’s and Christina Aguileras are in all likelihood more likely to be the next generation of right wing commentators if the case of teenage WorldNetDaily columnist Kyle Williams is anything to go by.
Just 14 years old and a regular WorldNetDaily columnist since 2001, Williams also runs his own Capto Veritas website with the help of his father, from which the fresh young prince of American christian conservatism holds forth on all number of concerns close to the hearts of the typical American teen. Abortion, homosexual rights, liberal media bias, separation of church and state and the public school system are but a few of the issues weighing on the mind of this miniature policymaker in the making.
‘Home schooled in rural Oklahoma, Williams brings a fresh persepctive to the debate, shattering stereotypes about the apathy of young people. He is sharp, salient and possesses a driving desire to expose propaganda in the nation’s schools and media’ according to WorldNetDaily top dog Joesph Farah. Moreover, ‘He is an encouragement to other young Americans to think clearly and to express their views.’ The young home schooling advocate has certainly found an enthusiastic patron in Farah, who intends to publish America’s youngest political analyst’s first book (‘Seen and Heard: A Young American’s Voice on Lies and Truths of Politics and Culture”) on his own WND Books imprint in partnership with Thomas Nelson publishers. Upcoming WND books include Florida Secretary of State and Bush Florida presidential campaign co-chair Katherine Harris’s ‘Centre of the Storm”, a 17 step life skills book based on the 2000 election and ‘arguably one of the biggest controversies in U.S. history”.
Heck, let’s hear what WorldNetDaily’s Joseph Farah has to say about this bright young man:
‘Shortly after I founded a new book-publishing partnership with Thomas Nelson Publishers–WND Books–I twisted a few arms and secured the young Mr. Williams his first book contract. Now, in addition to being America’s youngest weekly pundit, he may also be America’s youngest non-fiction author. Kyle Williams’ ‘Seen and Heard’ is out. I want to ask you to consider buying the book by this gifted young prodigy and perhaps giving it to your son, daughter or grandchild to help raise their own expectations about what they can achieve if they simply put their mind to it.’
Pitching his book in an email to Young Conservatives: The Voice of Conservative Voters (colons are a weapon of choice of the Christian Right), the politically precocious teen writes ‘WND Books will release a title written by yours truly. The book will cover topics from abortion, to homosexuality, and public education, to media bias.’ Say what you like about the kid’s tenuous grasp of grammatical punctuation, the breadth and reach of his intended subject matter puts most South Park watching kids to shame. That is, if the advertising spiel is any kind of yardstick:
In Seen and Heard, Williams again takes on the establishment, offering clear evidence that a leftist agenda is at work in our nation. His lively, energetic analysis of current events will leave readers with an understanding of the attack on traditional family values that is taking place daily. Williams’s writing style–sound logic infused with passion and conviction–makes Seen and Heard both informative and entertaining.
Of course, one swallow does not normally a summer make. Williams is doubtless the exception rather than the rule you murmur. Perhaps, perhaps not. Take high school attending brothers Nathan and Daniel McClintock for instance. These two ingenuous siblings launched their own Conservative Press International (CPI News) website one week after the WTC attack of 9/11. The two brothers eschew the typically more mundane teenage pursuits of baseball and football in favour of delivering ‘more exclusives and special reports, and in-depth articles concerning issues facing conservatives such as abortion, the homosexual agenda, education and more.’ Explaining CPI’s editorial objectives, CPI CEO and regular Young Conservatives contributor Nathan McClintock asserts that:
‘Conservatives need news that affects them, not just the normal day-to-day bias of the liberal elite,’ said Nathan McClintock, ‘ So, here at CPI News, we are out to give our conservative audience the hard-core reporting that is rarely found.’
Daniel McClintock, is no more less forthcoming than brother Nathan. Extending a fraternal hand of conservative kinship to Williams on the conservative wunderkind’s Capto Veritas website, he writes: ‘America has its Goliath, just as Israel did those thousands of years ago. No, it is not a giant, but the decayed, liberal agenda in America. It is the issues such as abortion, the homosexual agenda, our public school teaching system, unconstitutional institutions, and the like; and it will take many Davids to bring down such [a] giant. I am proud to be able to honestly say that it is one of those Davids I am writing to today.’ For the record, Daniel McClintock is fifteen years old.
Gresham Kay, the Young Conservatives Editor-in-Chief, was moved–like the brothers McClintock–to create a domain for young conservatives directly after 9/11. Hooked on right wing populist Rush Limbaugh’s radio show, Kay felt compelled to act. Explaining this Damascene conversion to conservative activism on the Young Conservatives website, Kay says: ‘In listening to him, I was motivated to do more than listen. I needed to get out there and do something. You see, I had become increasingly aware of the fact that I knew more young liberals in school than young conservatives. There seemed to be no place for young conservatives to convene, unite and talk about America.’
Bizarrely, Young Conservatives boasts a Chief Opinion Columnist who is only ten years old. The Indiana home schooled boy who pens the fortnightly column even insisted on adopting the ‘Chief Opinion Columnist’ title as a tribute to the comparably superannuated Kyle Williams of WorldNetDaily fame. ‘Ronald Reagan, post-Alzheimer’s, is better than 90% of the politicans we have now’ according to one perceptive contributor. Another Young Conservatives columnist began to take a more active political role as he grew closer to God. More reassuringly, his other hobbies also include hanging out with friends, ice hockey, backyard football, basketball and talking deep with cool people. That’s a relief.
Interviewing Kyle Williams for Young Conservatives, Kay asks the preternaturally articulate fourteen year old just what it means to be a young conservative:
‘The ongoing debate within conservative circles has been a struggle to define conservatism. This has led to many labels inside the right wing, namely ‘neo-conservative” to describe mainstream conservatism and ‘paleo-conservative” to describe the old-right, the traditional conservatives. However, my personal opinion on being a young conservative is this: a belief in the principals of the founding fathers, self-government, and the most freedom possible for America, but also includes the morality, a core part of the right wing of politics.’
On the issue of abortion, the clear headed youngster brooks no compromise: ‘I believe abortion is a state issue. So, do away with Roe V. Wade through a constitutional amendment. Then Congress should strike down any abortion legislation already passed and bar federal courts from hearing the issues of abortion.’
It would be all too easy to write off the fiercely homophobic and pro-life conservative opinions of Kyle Williams, Gresham Kay and the McClintock brothers as being the eccentric but ultimately harmless Shirley Temple with added politics routine played out by kids whose Mrs Worthington-like ambitions have long since abandoned the more innocent pleasures associated with treading the boards. How else to explain a ten year old Chief Opinion Columnist? Like pre-pubescent child stars and redneck hillbilly child pastors, they’re interesting to look at–a diversion at most–but ultimately nothing more. Wrapping up his interview with the disarmingly assured fourteen year old WorldNetDaily pundit, Kay invites Williams to map out his hopes for the conservative future: ‘Some think I’m a spokesperson for my generation. I would have to disagree with that, but I do hope to maybe send a wake up call to my peers. This is the generation that could fight back the evils of terrorism and keep the forces of socialism at bay. Can we do it? Time will tell.’
WILLIAM MacDOUGALL can be reached at: email@example.com.