F.R. Duplantier reporting Behind The Headlines
Week of:
November 26, 2000
Random Thoughts on Guardianship

F.R. Duplantier

by: F.R. Duplantier

Unless we assert our rights and responsibilities as adults, the government will treat us like babies.

Scold Medicine
Do this! Don't do that! Eat this repulsive vegetable. Stay away from that tantalizing pastry. Don't smoke, don't drink, don't enjoy any unauthorized pleasure. Don't make value judgments. Don't confuse us with facts and logic. Do what you're told. It's for your own good. Wear your seatbelt, wear your helmet, wear a pink ribbon. Smile! Nag, nag, nag. Know-it-alls and busybodies everywhere. Aren't you sick of them? Even if their unsolicited advice did have any merit -- which it rarely does -- the deleterious effects of their incessant nagging would nullify it all. Isn't it about time that the surgeon general required all professional scolds to display a warning label? Perhaps something like this: "Following my unsolicited and inexpert advice for any length of time is likely to have an adverse impact on your physical and mental health."

Smokes & Mirrors
The big contributions to the anti-tobacco effort came from Big Government, and we were suckered again. It's the old "public interest" scam we've fallen for so many times before. "But we don't want you to raise our taxes and restrict our freedoms," we protest at first. "What's that you say? It's for our own good? Well, that's okay, then. If it's for our own good, by all means go right ahead." You'd think we'd learn, eventually, that just because some self-proclaimed "reformer" says he wants to help us doesn't mean he really does. In fact, it generally means the opposite. After all, the con artist who's trying to get the best of us isn't likely to admit it, is he? That would make him even stupider than us.

Child's Need Is Apparent
It's time for you Boomers to end your rebellion. The anti-establishment pose you cling to may have been appropriate for an arrogant adolescence, but, for goodness' sake, you're middled-aged now. You are the establishment. If you don't embrace adulthood pretty soon, you may miss it altogether. Your children, in turn, may miss it too, for they won't have had any model to follow. Maybe you don't want to be the bully, the rulemaker, the disciplinarian. That's just too bad. Because it doesn't really matter what you want. What matters is what your children need. And what they need is a parent: someone to draw the lines for them and make sure they stay inside of them. That means laying down the law, and enforcing it. If you're not prepared to do that, you shouldn't be a parent.

First Family
Beware of liberal efforts to redefine the concept of family, broadening the term to include any conglomeration of cohabitants and thereby rendering it meaningless. Beware of liberal efforts to establish paternalistic 'partnerships' between the family and the government, a partner prone to presumption. Beware, also, of the pace, the pressures, and the preoccupations of the times, which isolate families from their kin and drive wives and husbands, parents and children apart. Cling to your family as though your life and liberty depended on it; in point of fact, they do.

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