03/08/2006 10:41 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Apparatchik In America - The Colorado MP3 Teacher Trial

Let's say you're a child in Colorado and because you're a child and you've been taught things that aren't true you're a supporter of President Bush. You're a victim. You've already lost your idealism. You're already against the environment and in favor of pre-emptive war. Inside of you is an anger that has been exploited. A violence. We're all just animals underneath.

Here is the thing. You walked into your classroom with a small tape recorder and you recorded your teacher making remarks disparaging toward the President of the United States. You don't think your president is a bad president. You don't think he mislead his country into a war we can't win, that he spent your college tuition on tax refunds to his friends. And you worry, when you hear your high school teacher poisoning the young minds around you. You worry about their feeble minds. You worry they won't be able to handle what you are able to handle. So you taped your teacher and released it to the press. Your teacher has been suspended. But he was popular and you are not popular and now you also cannot return to your school. The other children want to beat you up. Your new friend Rush Limbaugh, a known pill-popping junkie, cannot protect you but he praises your courage.

Here is something else you might not know. If you like George Bush then you love Ronald Reagan. Do you know how much Ronald Reagan hated the communists? Ronald Reagan was a simple man and he based his entire life around being anti-communist. And do you know the most infamous communist was Joseph Stalin and among Stalin's more infamous acts was his encouragement of children to denounce their elders for speaking against the state whereupon they would be arrested and sent to concentration camps and die. Children like you were heroes under Stalin. You would have been feared. Under Stalin you would have been great.

You might learn this in college or you might already have closed your mind to the liberal academe. Universities are filled with educated people and educated people tend to not think highly of the administration you have sided yourself with so early. But you are a child and there is hope for you. There is hope for everyone but there is more hope for children than anyone else.

You are not the problem. You are a child. You are a victim.

The problem is that people in power are offering you praise. There is something wrong with your governor Bill Owen. The governor of Colorado who supports you and what you have done. The governor of a state, a grown man, making public statements in support of children taping and snitching on their teachers. Do we really want to encourage secret taping of adults and then use this evidence procured by our children to persecute their teachers for inappropriate political speech, for criticizing or encouraging a debate on our leaders? Sean Allen is a child. Rush Limbaugh is a junkie. But Bill Owens is the executive leader of a state and should know better than the company he keeps.

- Stephen Elliott is the author of Looking Forward To It: or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The American Electoral Process