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Kyle Williams: Teen pundit

"Seen and Heard," by Kyle Williams, 209 pages; publisher, Thomas Nelson, (May 2003)

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Kyle Williams, a 14-year-old political pundit and writer, challenges the old saying that "children should be seen and not heard."

In his new book, "Seen and Heard: America's Youngest Pundit Tackles the Lies and Truths of Politics and Culture," Williams takes on such controversial issues as education and home schooling, gay rights, abortion, and separation of church and state.

Williams, who hails from Oklahoma and is home schooled by his parents, also writes a column on current events published on worldnetdaily.com. He traces his interest in politics to watching the 1996 election, when he was just 7 years old.

On CNN's "Live From" Monday, Judy Woodruff talked to Williams about how he came to write about American politics and how his research on some controversial social issues led him to form conservative views. Woodruff also asked him about critics who say he's too young to comment on complicated social issues.

Judy Woodruff: Kyle, you are all of 14 years old and you've got this passionate conviction about politics. You're a passionate conservative. Where did all this come from?

Kyle Williams, author, 'Seen and Heard': Well, thanks for having me on, first. I'd like to say that I got interested in politics, probably very interested in the 2000 election, and learned more about it, began writing about it because I had always been interested in writing. And the more and more I learned about it, because I do research for each of my columns, the more, you know, I came up with my -- became more fixed in my opinions and, you know, more conservative in doing my research.

Woodruff: You're very tough on public education, on the federal government, on the news media. And you talk about how the baby boomers, generation X have really let your generation down. What have we done so wrong?

Williams: Well, I guess it's not really doing -- the thing that I'm talking about specifically was probably the World War II generation. And you know they're dubbed as the "greatest generation". And they did do their job in World War I and World War II in raising families, but what I think one of the biggest threats to our nation is really socialism and degrading government. And I think that's something that I guess they really don't look at as a priority and that's something that needs to be dealt with.

Woodruff: And you also have some very strong views about homosexuality, about abortion. Some people would say, a 14-year-old, you know, can you really understand complex issues -- adult issues like that at your age?

Williams: Well, I get that a lot, really. I mean that's basically almost the only criticism I've ever gotten. And most of it hasn't really been constructive criticism.

And, you know, if you don't think that I can't come up with my own opinions, then, you know, don't read. I really don't care too much. It's really a hobby for me. It's a lot of fun.

Woodruff: Well, what about other teenagers who are friends of yours? We know you've been home schooled by your mom and dad.

Williams: Yes.

Woodruff: And you're a passionate advocate for home schooling. What about other kids your age when you talk to them? Why do you think they're not more interested in politics?

Williams: Well, really, I do have a lot of friends that are interested, that are home-schoolers. But I guess the majority of them really -- they're more concerned with what's the next movie coming out and what video games, and doing those type of things. I guess it's not really interesting to a lot of people.

And for me, I guess I just have a unique interest in it. And I guess I don't know why, but it's just a hobby for me. And not for a lot of other kids, though.

Woodruff: Any ideas about why the other kids aren't as interested as you are?

Williams: Well, like I said, I think it's definitely entertainment. There's other things to do. I mean why watch the news when you can, you know, play your Xbox, you know? And I do do that, but it's also -- it's a hobby that I have.

I find it really interesting. And I guess the case to be made for kids is that I think more current events needs to be, you know, taught in schools. And I think more -- you know, really making a case to them that politics affects everything in their life, really, and government does.

Woodruff: But Kyle, we know you're not only out there writing columns and doing research. You do have some fun on the side right? You play sports?

Williams: Oh, yes. Definitely. Yes.

Woodruff: What are your favorite sports?

Williams: I play baseball and I play football.

Woodruff: And you're also a musician?

Williams: Yes. I play the guitar and I play the piano as well.

Woodruff: Yes. Well, we are delighted to talk to you about your book and also to hear about your life. And we wish you well.


Judy Woodruff is CNN's prime anchor and senior correspondent. She also anchors "Judy Woodruff's Inside Politics," weekdays at 4 pm ET.

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