One day a leftist was sitting at the park with his six-year old son. They sat on a park bench, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The six-year old looks up at his dad.
“Daddy, what’s leftism?” he asks him.
“Where’d you hear that word, son?” the dad replied.
“You said it just the other day.”
“Well, that’s a word us grown-ups use to describe politics.”
“Politics?” the son asked inquisitively.
“Yes, you know. Who decides who gets what.”
“Oh.” The son paused deep in thought. “Kind of like how you decide what toy me and bubby get to play with?”
“Right, we tell you that you should share, because you shouldn’t fight over things,” the dad said.
“Because fighting is bad, right?” the son asked.
“Fighting is bad,” the dad said, stopping to chew his sandwich. He paused thoughtfully. “In fact, you could say leftism is the idea that no one should ever fight over anything.”
The son sat for a moment, trying to absorb what his dad was saying.
“Do you mean there shouldn’t be anything to fight over?” the son asked.
The dad swelled, seeing an opportunity to develop his argument.
“That’s right, son. For example, if people fight over things, that means no one should own anything.”
The son sat, somewhat puzzled. It was still unclear to him.
His dad, not content to constrain his argument to the level of the six-year old’s understanding, continued on.
“Yes, people who want to own something are selfish. People shouldn’t be selfish. They should be altruistic.”
“Al-twue-is-tic?” the son looked up at his dad, even more confused.
“Yes, that’s the idea that a person should sacrifice for the group. If a person is selfish, that’s kind of like owning yourself. Remember, we said owning things is bad?”
“But daddy, you own that caw over there.”
“But that’s different. Let’s try to stay focused.” His dad chewed some more. “And you know that we have countries. The United States is a country. The worst country in the world, but that’s for another day. It thinks it owns itself. That’s why it has borders.”
“Yes, those lines on a map are borders. Countries fight over those. If we got rid of borders, countries wouldn’t fight over them anymore.”
The son was trying to wrap his mind around the argument.
“If we have no more borders, countries won’t fight?” the son asked.
“True,” the dad said.
“And if we have no more selfish people, we won’t fight?” the son asked.
“Correct,” he responded.
“And if we have no more things, we won’t fight?” the son inquired.
“Right,” his dad said proudly.
The son looked at his dad. “OK, hand me your money.”
The dad laughed. “Now son…”
“Don’t be selfish, daddy.”
“Look, son, it doesn’t work like that.”
“I want it. I need money to buy a toy. Give me your money.”
“You don’t need it. Don’t be selfish,” the dad replied, starting to get annoyed.
“Daddy, it’s wrong to fight. Let me have your money.”
“Son, I have to work for that money,” the dad said angrily. Then he saw an opportunity. “See, that’s how it starts. Money is the root of all evil.”
“Then should I just go take the toy?” the son asked.
“No, someone has to make that toy. Taking that toy is like taking work from him.”
The dad tried to wrap his mind around that contradiction as he sat on the park bench. Kissing his son on the head was his way of thanking him for the life lesson. His dad stood up and took his son by the hand, and they both walked down the sidewalk together.