Jerry Kremer

A savvy 8-year-old’s take on the world


My next-door neighbor’s 8-year-old son Jamie likes to talk politics, and I try to find time to listen to his views on anything from gun control to Donald Trump. They say that from the mouths of babes comes wisdom, so I took time to listen to Jamie’s take on the state of things, hoping to glean some new knowledge about how kids view the world around us.

Jamie, how do you feel about fixing our roads and bridges? “Every time my parents take us out for a ride, the roads are bumpy and my father curses about having an accident,” he said. He thought someone should be responsible for fixing the streets. “I have to clean my room, and I get punished for breaking something,” he said, “so why shouldn’t somebody else get punished for the bad streets?”

Jamie, how do you feel about gun control? Everyone his age, he said, wants to own a gun, even if they will never use it. They play video games that show how guns kill “bad guys.” Some of their first summer toys are water guns that they use to torment their friends. He said he believes that good people are killed by guns as well, but in the end guns should not be taken away from people. The NRA would love to hear that.

What does he think about all the fuss about tests and Common Core? He said he’s never heard of Common Core, but his mother has been to night meetings at which the parents complain about too many tests, and he agrees. “I get tested almost every week in class, so why do I have to take more tests?” he said. “If my teacher is doing a bad job, they don’t need to punish me.” He does admit that there should be a way to figure out if he is “learning the right things.”

His views on baseball are interesting. I asked why the Yankees didn’t go far enough in the playoffs. “They have too many old men playing,” Jamie said. “The players shouldn’t be older than 25.” I guess by his standards, 26 is now old age for baseball players. As for the Mets, he was happy for his friends who are Met fans, but, he said, “I wouldn’t ever go to any of their games.”

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