‘No Free School Lunches!’ The Rise Of A Conservative Rallying Cry


The Fifth Column

Dee3nmgbnojcul60nrp2 AP Photo / Jessica Reilly

TPMDC

Before Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) fibbed and told a story at CPAC about free school lunches that turned out to be false, the talking point had been long in the making as a conservative rallying cry about the evils of liberal ideology.

It was adopted in the Senate primaries by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), who suggested in December that school kids “maybe sweep the floor of the cafeteria” if they want to avail of free lunches. Kingston, who is struggling in a three-way race with two ultraconservative opponents, was later found to have expensed nearly $4,200 in meals to his congressional office.

Last April, a state lawmaker in West Virginia, Ray Canterbury (R), argued during a school lunch debate that it’d be a “good idea” to have “the kids work for their lunches.” He proposed that they take out the trash, sweep the hallways…

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