Archive for Religion

He’s Your Uncle, Not Your Dad

By | August 10, 2020 | 0 Comments

Some time ago, comedian Chris Rock appeared at a rally to support President Obama’s push for stricter gun-control laws. Rock declared:

The President and the First Lady are kind of like the mom and the dad of the country. And when your dad says something, you listen.

Rock also referred to Obama as the “boss.” Regrettably, his statements did not evoke a storm of criticism. In fact, many Americans would agree with him. But if the Obamas were our and mom and dad, what does that make us? It makes us helpless, dependent children. Or it makes us sullen, ungrateful teenagers. What it does not make us is independent, responsible citizens of a free nation.

Of course, it goes without saying that Donald and Melania Trump are never referred to as the mom and dad of the country. Liberal subservience to parent figures applies only to liberal parent figures. For example, some children refuse contact with their parents because the parents voted for Trump. Are there children who refuse contact with their parents because the parents voted for Hillary? Perhaps, but I have never heard of any. Why the difference? Why the much greater preponderance of this awful behavior among so-called liberals?

When I was a child, I read about King Arthur and imagined myself a knight in armor, going around righting wrongs. I never imagined myself a serf digging in the dirt, or a prisoner in a dungeon. Then I grew up and realized that the Middle Ages were a really grim time.

Liberals read about Marxism and imagine themselves members of the central committee, going around righting wrongs. They never imagine themselves workers with no more freedom than an ant, or prisoners in the gulag. But liberals haven’t grown up. They haven’t realized that Marxism leads to a really grim society.

Much of what passes for liberalism today could better be described as childishness. Obvious examples are socialism, pacifism, and strict gun control.

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.

Take those who demonstrated after a madman shot up a primary school in Connecticut. Did the demonstrators act as adults, setting up patrols of armed parents and teachers to protect their children? No, this would require weighing the relative risks and benefits of guns and self-defense, as well as taking responsibility for their own lives.

It would require studying the data of Prof. Gary Kleck (“Point Blank”), showing that guns are used more often to prevent crimes than to commit them.

It would require reading the studies of Dr. John Lott (“More Guns, Less Crime”), revealing that where law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry guns, violent crime falls.

Instead, they thoughtlessly assumed that guns are always bad. They divested themselves of all responsibility and fobbed it off onto Big Daddy. It was as if they viewed their children as wards of the state, for whom they had only limited responsibility.

Like children, they believed that if they imagined something good, they had actually done something good. This childish confusion of good motives with good results is typical of modern liberalism:

● Bilingual education is “good” because its proponents mean well. That it leaves students unprepared for college or the workforce is irrelevant.

● Welfare programs are “good” because their backers are “caring.” That some of the programs aggravate family breakup goes unnoticed.

● 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 are the British official who declared that patients with Alzheimer’s have a “duty to die,” and the Japanese cabinet minister who told the elderly to “hurry up and die.” This is “universal coverage” – with six feet of dirt.

But why shouldn’t people abdicate responsibility and leave their disabled or elderly relatives and neighbors to the mercy of bureaucrats? Didn’t a parentified government promise to take care of everyone? Didn’t that reduce citizens to the status of children?

It’s risky to depend on children – they’re just not responsible.

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?

Small children believe that if they close their eyes, the boogey man can’t see them. Similarly, many liberals closed their eyes to the evils of communism, and now close their eyes to the threat of terrorist states like Iran and North Korea.

When Hitler was on the rise, pacifists opposed rearmament, claiming that no Genghis Khan was at the gates. When the communist empire was expanding, pacifists opposed rearmament, claiming there was no Hitler on the horizon. Now that terrorism is a threat, they still oppose rearmament, claiming the Soviet Union is no more.
Pacifists recognize evil only in retrospect, when it’s no longer a threat – because other people risked their lives to defeat it.

Of course, if one doesn’t share American values, there is no reason to fight to defend them. Instead, one can be a “citizen of the world,” which carries no obligation except breathing. How effortless for the lazy. How safe for the cowardly. How gratifying for the self-satisfied. How non-involving for the alienated. But how utterly useless.

Small children believe that inanimate objects can be bad. Kids sometimes shake their fingers at broken toys, saying, “Bad, bad!” Similarly, many liberals believe that guns are bad, so they attempt to disarm the law-abiding – while ignoring effective programs like Project Exile that put armed criminals in prison. They believe that nuclear weapons are bad, so they attempt to disarm their own country – while opposing a defense against weapons of potential enemies.

No one fears nuclear weapons in the hands of Britain or France. Democracies rarely threaten one another, just as law-abiding citizens rarely use guns criminally. But recognizing this obvious truth would force liberals to face the fact that it is not evil objects but evil people who are to be feared. This in turn would force them to accept standards by which to judge people. Since they have abandoned such standards, identifying evil people becomes impossible.

Inanimate objects are the only things left to blame.

Closely allied to childishness is self-righteousness. Those who believe their motives are “good” may feel that others can sense this – as if they walked around with haloes. They believe their hearts are “pure,” so nobody will attack them – not muggers, not terrorists.

This is a subtle form of blame-the-victim: If I don’t own a gun, I won’t be robbed. If we don’t build a missile defense, we won’t be attacked. Such thinking is emotional, not logical, and is hard to overcome by logical argument.

In addition, pacifism is a luxury. Like a BMW, it can be enjoyed by a fortunate few, while the majority must deal with a harsher reality. Those who live in upscale suburbs often have no empathy for those (often minorities) who must live or work in high-crime areas. They feel no need for self-defense, so they can’t understand why others might. Lack of empathy for the poor and minorities is a bad trait for a liberal.

Gun-control zealots sleep more safely because others own guns. Burglars don’t enter occupied dwellings for fear of being shot, because gun ownership is still common in America. In nations where gun ownership is rare, over half of burglaries occur when people are home, greatly increasing the risk of death or injury to homeowners.
Children have a right to sleep peacefully, secure in the knowledge that others will protect 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 that 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. And that’s really a shame.

Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.
www.stolinsky.com

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