Living room Play room
If you ask elderly people what has changed most since they were young, they are likely to reply that now the kids run the house. They are referring to the shift in decision-making in the home from parents to children. But this observation also applies to America in general, and to other Western nations as well.
Think about it. How many of our current political disagreements are not really between conservatives and liberals, but between adults and children? When oil prices were rising, liberals didn’t see rising demand outstripping a fixed supply. Now that oil prices have fallen, liberals don’t credit rising supply, largely as a result of fracking.
When crime rates were rising, liberals didn’t look at family breakup, fatherless boys, and value-free education producing value-free graduates. Now that crime rates have fallen, liberals don’t look at stricter enforcement and higher incarceration rates.
No, understanding basic economics and basic criminology would require understanding basic human nature. Instead, liberals merely repeat mantras like “poverty causes crime” and “poverty causes terrorism.” Really? Then why didn’t my uncles become criminals? Weren’t they poor? And why don’t Mexicans become terrorists? Aren’t they poor?
Like children, liberals believe that if they imagine something good, they have actually done something good. This childish confusion of good motives with good results is typical of modern liberals:
● Unlimited immigration is “good” because of “tolerance” and “diversity.” In fact, it is so good that we can’t temporarily exclude travelers from Ebola-affected areas of West Africa. No, that might interfere with our plans to legalize tens of millions of undocumented immigrants. A few Ebola-infected nurses are a small price to pay for our political ambitions, right? True, Nobel economist Milton Friedman said, “It’s just obvious you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state.” But what did he know?
● Political correctness is “good” because it is wrong to use language that might offend our enemies. (Offending our friends is quite all right.) In fact, it is so good that that President Obama can’t call the man who killed a soldier and shot up the Canadian parliament a “terrorist,” even after Canadian Prime Minister Harper used that obviously correct word.
● Energy sources like windmills and solar panels are “good” because they are renewable. But drill for oil and gas offshore? Drill in a tiny area of Alaska? Drill in the Gulf of Mexico, as the Chinese are doing? Use our huge coal reserves to convert to diesel and jet fuel? Develop North Dakota oil fields? Invent better methods of extracting oil and gas – the dreaded fracking? Build the Keystone XL pipeline? No!
● Gun prohibition is “good” because “guns cause crime.” Gary Kleck (“Point Blank”) shows that guns are used more often to prevent crimes than commit them. John Lott shows that where law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry guns, violent crime falls. But anti-gun zealots, like all zealots, are impervious to inconvenient facts.
●Bilingual education is “good” because its proponents mean well. That it often produces graduates who are semi-literate in two languages is irrelevant.
● Welfare programs are “good” because their backers are “caring.” That some of the programs aggravate family breakup goes unnoticed. Or if it is noticed, it is seen as a plus – more single mothers depend on government aid and vote Democratic.
●High taxes are “good” because they are meant to “help the poor.” Ignored is that high taxes force both parents to work and minimize time with kids. Also ignored is that high taxes transfer spending decisions to the government, downgrading citizens into children with an allowance.
● Socialized medicine is “good” because of “universal coverage.” Overlooked is the fact that U.S. survival figures for most cancers are the best in the world, while the figures for Britain’s National Health Service are dismal. The Brits have “universal coverage” – with six feet of dirt. Also overlooked are the prolonged delays for elective procedures, and sometimes even for necessary procedures, in Canada, in Britain, and now here. And if officials refuse cancer care, they suggest assisted suicide. But it’s “free” and “universal,” right? Well, so is death.
Europeans have an excuse for believing in socialism and a powerful central government. They lived under kings for centuries. The French, Germans, and Russians recall that their nations were more powerful when they were ruled by kings. They yearn to be taken care of by an authority figure. But America was built by individual initiative. What’s our excuse?
Adults, especially citizens of a free country, see themselves as bearing the primary responsibility for protecting themselves and their families. But children – or subjects of an authoritarian regime – see themselves as powerless. They feel little responsibility for defending themselves or their families. This responsibility, and all the rights and powers that go with it, are assumed by adults in the case of children, and by the government in the case of those who infantilize themselves.
If defense of our own family is not our responsibility, defense of our nation is even more questionable. Is Iran building missiles and developing nuclear capability? Did its leader threaten to wipe Israel off the map? Do its government-controlled mobs scream, “Death to America”? Not to worry. If we talk nicely to them, they won’t bother us, right?
Small children believe that if they close their eyes, the boogey man can’t see them. Similarly, many liberals closed their eyes to the threat of communism, and now close their eyes to the threat of homicidal fanatics who see decapitation as a religious and political statement.
In all the presidential debates, how many times did Barack Obama say he wanted to “win” the war? None. He said he wanted to “end” it. And how many times did he mention the words “extremist Muslims” or “Islamic extremists” or “Islamo-fascists”? Again, none. What are the odds that we can win a war if we don’t intend to win it, and if we can’t identify our enemy? Once again, none.
Children have a right to sleep peacefully, secure in the knowledge that adults will protect them, care for them, and provide for them. Adults, especially citizens of a free nation, have no such luxury.
The worst effect of modern liberalism is not a host of laws and regulations designed to control every aspect of life. Laws can be repealed.
The worst effect is not an increasingly intrusive government. Governments can be voted out of office.
The worst effect of modern liberalism is the regression of citizens from self-sufficient adults into dependent children who rely on a parentified government to take care of them, make important decisions for them, and take responsibilities off their shoulders.
Real children grow up. Childish adults rarely do. Regrettably, that doesn’t prevent them from attaining high office. But it’s risky to depend on children – they’re just not responsible. And they are making a real mess as they turn our national living room into their personal play room.
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