Idaho politicians say the darnedest things. Sometimes offensive, sometimes abhorrent, but always cringe worthy, Idaho’s elected officials have a gift of making crass comments.
But even including the bottom of the bucket’s top tier of shameful statements, this may be a first: an Idaho politician suggested underprivileged children should go hungry to teach them “important principles.”
Last month, Ada County Highway District Commissioner Kent Goldthorpe left this response to a story about Nampa and Caldwell schools offering free lunches to students. A couple things here. First, the program isn’t funded though school bonds. It’s a federal program funded by the Department of Agriculture. Voting against a school levy will do nothing to withhold calories from children. Second, these schools have high rates of need. That means over 40 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunches. So without free lunch, many of those students would have no lunch.
Granted, it’s a little surprising that anybody would proclaim the virtues of withholding food from elementary-aged children, but we suspect Goldthorpe, a grandfather of 17, doesn’t treat his grandchildren with such disdain.
His comments do, however, teach us a lot about the conservative mind. To Goldthorpe, being poor is dandy; hence, schools should withhold food from poor kids to teach them how bad it is to be poor.
Goldthorpe doesn’t realize that for poor kids, everyday life teaches that lesson. The last thing those kids need is some angry tea partier taking their food from them.
By the way, Goldthorpe gets a free lunch at every midday ACHD meeting.