think of the children

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think of the children (usually imperative)

  1. (usually as an interjection) An appeal to suspend rational consideration of an issue owing to its presumptive negative effects on the young and impressionable, usually in ironic or mocking parody of another's argumentum ad passiones or moral panic.
  2. A sincere plea to consider the young.
    • 1964, Bill Walsh & al., Mary Poppins, Walt Disney Pictures:
      Mrs Banks: Katie Nanna, I beseech you. Please reconsider. Think of the children. Think of Mr Banks. He was just beginning to get used to you.
    • 1996 July 31, U.S. Representative Deborah Pryce, “Conference Report on H.R. 3734, Personal Responsibility and Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996”, in Congressional Record[1], volume 142, United States Government Printing Office, retrieved November 3, 2014, pages H9392-H9424:
      In closing, Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to have the courage to set aside the status quo, to think of the children and families of this Nation and to embrace real reform. I urge a 'yes' vote on both sides of the aisle for this rule and the conference report.

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