Who Would Goofus Vote For? Inside the Secret Political Affiliations of Highlights Magazine

My kid had a fever the other day so I took him to a doctor’s office. We go to Tribeca Pediatrics, where every child is named Jackson or Calypso. In the reading rack were three magazines: Self, Departuresand Highlights. I chose HIghlights, a magazine for children. I used to love Highlights and 3,2,1 Contact, the magazine. I remember reading Goofus and Gallant. Goofus and Gallant, for those of you who are inhuman, are two little boys. One is a real selfish piece of shit; the other is nice. Guess who is who?

So at the doctor’s office, I was gratified to see that Goofus and Gallant still exist and that, like Odysseus stuck on Circe’s island, they never age. They have gotten, however, glossier. (This is thanks to Leslie Harrington, whose website says, "draw with a pencil, paint with a mouse.") Then, since this was around the time the Supreme Court issued their decision in the National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius case (the "Obamacare" thing). I started thinking whether, even though Goofus and Gallant shall never reach voting age, would they vote and if so, who would they vote for? Let’s take a look. 

Below, you can see Goofus on the left hand side and Gallant on the right. It is pretty clear that in refusing a hand-out Goofus is establishing his libertarian bona fides. In contrast, Gallant is shown as someone who is more open to oversight from a figure of authoritiy (like Congress or the Executive branch). 


In the second example, below, we can clearly see the dichotomy between Goofus’ trickle down theory of economics in contrast to Gallant’s socialism. Presumably, Goofus’ seeming selfishness is premised on the theory that if he does indeed share his ice cream with the young lady pictured, she will never learn that she has to earn her own money in order to consume the fruits of her labor. However, the story gets more complicated when one considers which is worse: obesity or selfishness. For Gallant’s cake is full of transfats and processed sugar so in sharing it he is actually promoting unhealthy behavior whereas the converse holds true for Goofus: By denying his friend ice cream he is also reducing her chance for obesity and obesity related diseases, like diabetes. Nevertheless, regardless of the final outcome, sharing the wealth is a distinctly blue thing. In two instances, Goofus behaves as a Republican/Libertarian and Gallant as a Democrat. One more time and the theory is proven. 

goofus and gallant

Well, in the below we have a problem. Goofus is showing voter apathy whereas Gallant is demonstrating a grassroots enthusiasm. While low voter turnout has, historically, been the province of the Democrats, in this election cycle in particular, GOP turn out is decidedly lower. According to a report by the Bipartisan Policy Center: "Of the thirteen states with presidential primaries which have voted so far, eight had lower turnout than 2008, five had higher – all states that allowed independents or both independents and Democrats to vote in the GOP primaries in a year when there was no Democratic presidential contest."  So in this case, Goofus is again behaving like a Republican (assuming that the Sue is running in a primary for class president. 

goofus and gallant 3


And so, it can be safely reported that Highlights is part of the left-wing media conspiracy, aimed at converting our children into little socialists. God bless!

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