By Mark David Blum, Esq.
There comes a time in every person’s life when they have to sit their parents down and make it clear that they are themselves a rational, capable, adult and their parents have to let go, stand aside, and let a person make the decisions that affect their own existence. It happens in many ways, at many ages, and via many emotions. Eventually, Mothers and Fathers are told to let go and move on with their own lives.
It seems to me that current titles and labels no longer apply to our political spectrum. The words “liberal” and “conservative”, “democrat” and “republican”, “left” and “right” no longer can be applied to define our current political construct. Tomes could be written how it is that Orwelian doublespeak was a vast understatement of how people currently define themselves and their politics.
I think I have found a better way to view how we behave politically. If we understand and judge the behavior of politicians and leaders by these standards, then perhaps in pressuring for productive and healthy social policies we can approach the situation from this new paradigm. Let us call our new groupings ‘Mommies’, ‘Daddies’, and ‘Adults’.
You know who these people are instantly: Daddies are the ones who want to be tough on crime, maintain the pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps mentality, complain taxes are too high (though they like their fancy toys), and feel too many people sponge off the government. Dads always have the “do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do” attitude and insist on righteous and proper behavior while they reserve for themselves a little latitude. Dads know when it is time to go to war and will not hesitate. They always feel they have to protect the weak and the women and that it is a Dad’s responsibility to be a moral and good provider.
Moms, on the other hand, don’t mind spending if it is for a good cause. They always want you to be safe and are well known to be over protective. Moms think you should behave by the golden rule but also cut you some slack when you engage in “youthful indiscretions”. Moms think food drives and education are important. Always trying to keep you warm and safe, Moms will fight viciously to protect you; even if they do fight like girls.
I am an adult. Frankly, I do not need a Mom or a Dad. I am fairly confident I can handle my own problems, suffer my own setbacks, and still succeed in life. It is time to allow me to make my mistakes and fall on my face. Hurt though it may; there is no reason to be forced to wear an anticipatory helmet to make Mom happy and Dad certainly shouldn’t be standing there saying, “See, I told you so.”
These are the qualities and standards by which I judge those who seek my vote. They are the same standards by which I evaluate policies of government. The Berger Commission, Destiny, the War in Iraq, The War on Drugs, the border situation, and a thousand other issues and candidates. The bottom line is whether what is being proposed is something where the government is trying to play the role of my Mom or my Dad … or is it something that will enhance my life as an independent and free adult.
Right now, I live in a world run by ‘Dads’. They have taken over our media, our government, our judiciary, our schools, our corporations, and every other aspect of our lives. Today, Dad is in charge and dammit we had better behave.
Our laws have gotten tougher. American soldiers are in daily combat overseas. Dad says this is important. The bad guys punched us, so we have to punch them. That’s OK with me. Even Mom agrees. But Dad has gone beyond just kicking their ass. He is beating up everybody in their neighborhood and demanding they live up to Dad’s rules and fly straight … or else. Dad has set fire to their houses, killed their cats, and raided their refrigerator. In doing so, he has taken your allowance and college fund to pay for gasoline and buddies he had to hire to help. Dad has basically said, ‘take it or leave it’ and ‘its my way or the highway’ to anybody who challenged him. After all, says Dad ... he is Dad and Father Knows Best.
Moms are pretty mad too that we got punched and they too wanted to punch the folks who punched us. I even think some of our Moms kinda think that Dad is doing a good thing with his disproportionate response; at least they did at the start in 2003. Nowadays most if not all Moms are really mad at Dad and think Dad over reacted AGAIN and because of it, Mom is going to clean up the mess. Dad of course is going to have to pay for it. More likely, he is going to make me get a second job.
One thing Mom and Dad both agree upon is their compulsion to protect the children. In this process, however, they fail to ask themselves, at what point does this need to protect the child end and the emerging adult is given free reign and liberty to live their lives? How long must the adult eat mashed peas because as a baby he could not chew steak?
The War on Drugs best exemplifies this predicament. Always always always; in the name of the children, we get tougher and more sophisticated in our War on Drugs. Moms of course, want rehab and medical treatment and love as a solution. Dads want to kick some butt and throw your ass in a dark hole if you don’t listen to him. Both, however agree, adults should not have the freedom to make choices that harm nobody but themselves.
This Mommy / Daddy thing goes far beyond such simplistic rhetoric and goes to the very heart of how everything is decided these days. Candidates for office do not politic on policies of “this is how much more freedom I will work for”. Instead, they tell me how many more laws they have passed, how many more restrictions on liberty are now in place, and how much more money I have to pay for it. Whether the Daddies or Mommies are in charge only determines how the money is being spent and the direction in which the laws are leaning.
Again the War on Terrorism and the War on Drugs make for great dichotomies. In the Terrorism, Dads are clearly in charge and up the job. Moms worked real hard to try and appear tough but nobody really looks to Mom for protection. Moms dropped their aprons to be pretend Daddies and acted as mean and rough and tough. Now both are holding hands as they run from the War they obviously cannot win.
In the War on Drugs, you see the Daddies cutting and running. They and their get tough policies finally have taken such an expensive toll that Dads and Moms are realizing they can no longer afford this policy. Besides, it is ineffective. So, Dads are willing to bend a little and cut some of the sentence time. Moms create re-education courts. Dads watch over you like a hawk. Moms tell you how to rebuild and relive your life “drug free.” Neither say, “what would you like?”
We all know, Mom and Dad love us and that what they do is “for our own good”, but Americans have got to stop becoming a nation submitting to their Moms and Dads. It is time to grow up.
We are a nation of adults; born free and guaranteed the inalienable right to happiness and liberty. Accepting anything that reduces that liberty must be hard sold. Those who run or act upon the backs and arguments of “the children” must be ignored. “Childhood” is a temporary condition in the human lifespan … lasting between 14 and 40 years of each human life. Passing a law or making policy on behalf of children is harmful to the vast majority of us Adults.
Just saying you never voted for a tax increase is meaningless. Tell me how many laws you removed from the books. I want to know how your spending has become more rational and mature. Coming home to Syracuse means little if when you get here, Mom and Dad are standing on every corner, peeking inside all your stuff, and taking your money.
The time has come to recognize our political parties for what they really have become: A gaggle of busybodies who insist on standing on opposite sides of every issue. The Daddies have all the attention right now but Mommies are making great strides. Both are wrong. Both use children as the metaphor for their integrity and good intentions. In doing it for the children, these politicians in essence are stealing liberty and rights from all the rest of us adults.
I hereby declare that I am an adult. I want my freedom and my liberty. The right to be left alone is paramount. Laws must be reduced. Spending must be slashed. Americans do not belong in the middle of a fight between Sunnis and Shi’ites. How would you have felt if Saudi military forces showed up in the middle of our civil war and forced us to all get along? Dads need to step aside and let them fight it out. Moms need to stop being so afraid.
As an adult, I demand that the Moms and Dads return my America to me. Stop reading my mail. Stop searching my room. Stop taking my stuff. Let me think what I wish, write what I want, and speak as loud as I can. If you are afraid of an enemy, then go get him. But the enemy is not me and in your over zealous but kind hearted efforts to protect me, you Mommies and Daddies have caused me more harm than any enemy of this nation. I feel that my country has become a fortress; a bedroom in which I am locked. I am being punished because someone else wants to hurt me.
Nobody who talks to me about policy or candidacy should ever approach the issue of how they are going to help me, protect me, save me, or make my life better. Instead I want to hear how your policy or candidacy is going to provide me more liberty, less restrictions, less government, less spending, and how my rights and privacy are going to be enhanced, protected, and expanded.
Ultimately, I want to see a candidate who is an adult and who thinks like an adult and who does not feel compelled and driven as a Mommy or Daddy to make decisions or to guide policy.
The ways of our fathers are romantic. The memories of our mothers are precious. But the time has come to stand up and be adults and demand adult behavior from our leaders. Stop looking for someone to do your work for you. Stop hiding behind your Mommy’s skirts. Be strong, be self reliant, be independent. Demand that from others in your community before we all find ourselves in double secret detention.