Columnist Dennis Prager shares my distaste for dreadful children who are allowed to stay up past their bedtimes to lecture us on the failings of Dick Cheney, cruelty to animals, or other suitable topics for tots. But, apparently, there is a nauseating appetite out there for the deep thoughts of annoying children.

“No column I have written has elicited more hate mail,” writes Prager, “than my last one on the 12-year-old girl who spoke at the Democratic National Convention and publicly ridiculed Vice President Dick Cheney. I have written against same-sex marriage; on behalf of the president’s international policies, capital punishment and Israel; argued for the superiority of the Judeo-Christian value system; and even defended divorce. Yet no column has elicited so much anger, use of expletives and foolish thinking.”

The previous column was about the Democratic convention, where the thing that really caught Prager’s attention was a speech by a child (though, of course, it wasn’t the only childish speech):

“I decided [to focus my column] on the speech given during prime time by a 12-year-old girl from the San Francisco Bay Area. In my view, this talk was typically and uniquely Democratic.

“To understand modern liberalism and its political party, it is vital to understand Democrats’ desire to blur any distinctions between child and adult. Ever since the 1960s, liberalism has been largely a movement dominated by children (of every age)….

“Liberals and Democrats are not comfortable with adult-child distinctions. They therefore frequently treat and regard children as adults and frequently treat and regard adults as children.”

The latest annoying child oracle is Heather Herman, whose attempts to get the City Council in her native Denver to adopt a proposal that would ban exotic animals in circuses, made the CBS News last night. (Just so my cats don’t throw me out of the house: I definitely oppose animal cruelty. I have no idea of whether the proposal Heather has submitted — and which would cost Denver about $8 million — is good or bad. I just want Heather muzzled.

What really got my exotic goat was the clip of Heather addressing the City Council or some such body. “I’m Heather Herman, and I’m 15,” she began. This, of course, is the greeting in 12-step programs, and it establishes the speaker’s bona fides — I’ve been there, I can talk about this, this is who I am.

That also is what it was to do for Heather — I’m 15, this is who I am, it gives me a right to speak, and you should listen to me. I could put up with the childish and opinionated thoughts from Teresa (she’s more than paid for the right to be there) at the Democratic convention, but I’ll be damned if I’ll be lectured by opinionated children.