Recently President Trump got a letter from Frank Giaccio, a sixth-grader from Falls Church, Virginia. The youngster said he admired President Trump’s background in business and that he was starting a business of his own: mowing lawns for $8. He had a proposition for the President — he’d come and mow the White House lawn for free.
The President heard about his letter, and last Friday he gave the 11-year-old his wish. Frank came to Washington, D.C. with his Dad, mowed the Rose Garden lawn, posed for pictures with the President, and said a few words to the media. The President even sent out one of his famous tweets about Frank, thanking him for a lawn-mowing job well done.
We’ve heard similar stories before, about a young kid with a dream who dared to think big, and found out that sometimes thinking big gets rewarded with big results. And in this country, we traditionally want and encourage our young people to dream big. It’s a classic American feel-good story, right?
Not so fast! No, some people in the Twitterverse pointed out that, by allowing a young kid to mow the lawn — even equipped, as young Frank was, with safety goggles, ear plugs, and gardening gloves, by the way — the President wasn’t sending “a great signal on child labor, minimum wage and occupational safety.”
Seriously? Have we really reached the point in this country where a young boy who wants to start his own little business and make some money can’t mow a lawn under the supervision of his father without somebody invoking the great National Nanny State that has to control everything people do? Have we really reached the point where we feel that mowing a lawn is just too dangerous a job for a kid to undertake?
I’m critical of most of what President Trump does, but I’m with him on this one. Show our young people that they should dare to dream, even about something like mowing the White House lawn, because sometimes those dreams come true. And stop the incessant hand-wringing and caterwauling about perceived risks everywhere that discourage kids from doing anything other than hunching over their video games in the living room.