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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|The process of ending the "Helicopter State" is similar to the sort of thing that should be done in schools to put an end to helicopter parenting. Of course, in the schools they can never implement these things because the public schools work for the parents (there's another topic we'll need to jump in on at some point) and should never be in the position to tell the parents how to raise their children. |
Do you like that? I actually said that with a straight face. . .
As I alluded to earlier, helicopter parenting is not due to any failure of love or caring; indeed, it could be said that helicopter parenting is due to an over-abundance of love, combined with a dearth of judgment. The helicopter parent does not understand nature, or is unable to subborn their instincts to the inexorable logic of nature. The sad and inescapable truth of nature is that mistakes have consequences, that bad choices bring pain, and the failure imparts its own lessons and wisdom. And some parents refuse to let their children deal with that.
The only way to end the cycle of helicoptering is to somehow separate the parent from the action of the school, or of life. WERE the schools able to do so, the only option would be impose consequences on the child within the confines of the school day, understanding that no such consequences could be imposed beyond the day, because the child would be beyond the control of the student. Schools have gone to the length of having children and parents sign behavior contracts that spell out the consequences, but the schools realize that those are only effective within the confines of the school day.
Let me make one thing clear here: I am NOT advocating for schools to superimpose their will over that of the parents. That would never be a good idea. I am merely suggesting that, in the absence of the actual ability to rescue a child from a helicoptering parent, schools would--hypothetically--have to take extraordinary steps such as what I suggest.
And I think that's the larger point in respect to the Helicopter State. The only way to cut the state out of the equation is to cut off its access. The question is, how do you accomplish that? How do you take the state out of our lives? The monolith does not want to be moved out, it WILL NOT be ignored. So what is the answer?
We are starting to see the answer. Texas has recently passed new standards for textbooks that do not conform to the standards of plitical correctness; and Arizona has notably passed a law that gives it the power to enforce federal law where the feds have failed. Local action taken in defiance or disregard for what the State expects; local action to reassert the proper role of the local body politic with respect to the people and the State.
Make no mistake: this comes with a price. As Arizona will soon learn, the will of the Political class in Washington will assert itself. Federal Civil Rights complaints will soon be the norm in Arizona; I have every expectation that Texas will be swamped by lawsuits alleging discrimination and any thing else that can be thrown up against the wall.
And what will be the ultimate threat? The withholding of federal money. For example, roughly 7 percent of any school district's budget comes from the federal government; highway money is a huge incentive for states to comply with federal regulation; and it's very hard to sy how many projects, pork or otherwise, are accomplished in every district around the country based solely on the federal dole. How do you think your state's budget picture would look without federal highway or federal education money, not to mention small pork projects here and there.
Of course, every dollar has a demand: No Child Left Behind pumped $10 billion into education budgets, but it imposed a testing regime and a set of consequences. My argument here is that states and school districts would be MUCH better off without federal education dollars--not because we don't need the money, but because it gets the State out of what is explicitly a local issue.
The first step to eliminating the helicopter state is to say "no" to helipcopter money. It would be painful; it will cause states and municipalities to scramble to meet budgets.
But it would start to put responsibility for our lives back in our hands, close to home, where it belongs.
Of course, for that to happen, every single local election must matter; every single candidate that you vote for must be committed to ending the madness; every empty council seat and commission position must be filled. Because the State will fill whatever voids you leave them, and then they will take back control.
Do you honestly believe that Representative Markey/Perlmutter/Salazar/Sen Bennett think you should have that responsibility? How hard do you think they will work to assert the right of the State to take over your life?
Try this for an experiment: ask him/her if he/she would support a continuation of the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act if it was stripped of all mandates and reporting requirements. They'll answer that that would lack accountability; what he's really afraid of is giving you back some of your tax dollars without the ability for the federal government to control it. Go ahead and try it, just for fun.
This is a radical suggestion--I know that. But I do not believe that it would seem that radical to John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, or Thomas Paine. They loved liberty enough to pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred Honor--I'm only talking about 7% of an education budget and chunk of highway money.
This is the beginning of crunch time, when we all need to put up or shut up. It is all well and good to talk about ending the expansion of the State, but when that contraction means a reduction in services, how do we respond?
|We in education have seen the rise, in the past twenty years, of a new phenomenon. This spectacle is the parent who, desperate to make sure that their child does not ever have to suffer the consequences of their terrible choices, will intervene in discipline issues, will argue with teachers over grades, will edit, correct, and sometimes even DO their child's homework, even to the point that when a child is a complete bonehead said parent will swoop in and take the blame. We even have a name for this phenomenon: the Helicopter Parent. So named because they hover around their child in a desperate attempt to keep them safe from anything.|
Nobody questions that this is a bad thing. Children raised by Helicopter Parents tend to become irresponsible, immature adults who never take responsibility for their actions, and who, as a result, never accomplish anything close to their potential. They tend to struggle to maintain relationships or form friendships or partnerships because they have a hard time having relationships that require equality or give-and-take.
Likewise, nobody questions the intentions of the Helicopter Parent. It is apparent that they love their children, that they want the best for their children and that they are genuinely interested in their child's happiness. What we have to question is their wisdom: somewhere in the whole process these people forgot that what made them the adults were the mistakes that they made as well as the success that they experienced. It is through failure that we re-evaluate ourselves and grow; the beauty of the idea of America is that it encourages great risk with the promise of great reward for success. The Helicopter Parent, though loving, fails to give their child the room to make that great success because they never learn what it is to fail and grow.
My opponent, Mr. Perlmutter/Bennett/Salazar/Markey, I believe, is a well-intentioned guardian of their constituents. I believe that he THINKS he is acting in the best interest of Coloradans and the nation as a whole. What he does not realize is that by bailing out the auto industry, by bailing out the financial sector, by voting for a $900 billion stimulus that failed to stimulate, and by having the federal government intervene in health care, he has created the Helicopter State.
Cross our border illegally? Don't worry--we won't prosecute you, we'll make sure that hospitals treat you when you're sick and that our already overburdened schools educate your children regardless of their preparation, and if you stay here long enough we'll even give you an easy route to citizenship.
Get sucked into a home loan that you could not afford? Don't worry--we'll yell at those evil banks and make sure they don't foreclose on you.
Run your country into the ground with crushing regulation and a reliance on Big Labor that refuses to work more than 30 hours a week? Don't worry--we'll back the International Monetary Fund in propping you up for a while, and then we'll yell at some of the big countries in your neighborhood so that they float you enough money to staunch the bleeding, inextricably linking their fates to yours.
Get caught being an incompetent Islamicist terrorist? Don't worry--we'll make sure we don't treat you too meanly, we'll make sure you get a lawyer real soon, we'll provide you with clean linens, three square meals a day, hermetically handled Korans, and a clear indication of the direction of Mecca so that this "religion of peace" which led you to attempt to murder hundreds of innocents is faithfully observed by you.
Put no emphasis on school for your child, do nothing to help teach them or prepare them for school, do nothing to back up the schools when your child is a bonehead discipline problem, and then wonder why your kid is not going to college? Don't worry--we'll test, discipline, and then correct the SCHOOLS so that you never have to take responsibility for your child's ignorance.
Have a stupid drunken night, make bad choices, and find yourself in an unwanted pregnancy? Don't worry--we'll sneak into a health care bill funding for federally funded abortions (yeah, yeah, and that Executive Order is worth about as much as the paper it was printed on), we'll force hospital workers to ignore their consciences, and then when somebody tries to discourage you from having an abortion we'll spend millions calling them an "extremist," and then make sure that they never hold the political power to act on their "extremism."
The rise of the Helicopter State is a tragic thing, and not just for America. A generation of young people content to let the government provide for them is not a generation capable of a Normandy landing, not capable of reinventing manufacturing and business systems to guide the world into the next century, and not capable of exploring the greatest reaches of the universe in search of transformation.
Were this government acting as it should, the banks that took us to the brink of financial collapse would have been surrounded by a firewall to protect the sectors around them, and then allowed to fail. The auto companies that cannot compete in the market place because of horrible Labor costs would have been sold off to people who can actually run a business and then restructured to be competitive. And the porous borders that allow just about anybody in without regard for ability, criminality, or intent would be CLOSED. Instead this government which Mr. Perlmutter/Salazar/Bennett/Markey have created swoop in on each of those elements and insulate them from facing the consequences of their failures and incompetencies. In the process, of course, they have created an enormously bloated government whose financial liabilities far outstrip its ability to ever balance out.
This is not the country Jefferson, Madison, and Franklin envisioned or which Washington created. This is not the country Lincoln fought to preserve, or which Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nimitz, or Patton defended.
The Helicopter State is a wonderful, safe, beguiling illusion. But that is all it is: an illusion. It sucks you in and makes you feel comfortable, until you start to notice that it is demanding more and more of you without really giving anything back.
It is time to open our eyes and stop the games. I will propose seven concrete steps to turn back the Helicopter State, and if agree with my vision of what your future can look like, then I hope you will vote for me. . . .
|Part of my monitoring things political is being on a number of email lists, including some that I would not normally care to read. But every once in a while something useful comes of it. Like today. |
Today I learned that Rep. Ed Perlmutter is holding a "Government in the Grocery" townhall meeting this morning, May 8th, at the Sprouts Farmers Market at Havana and Mississippi from 10 til noon.
If you get a chance to go, ask the Congressman if he regrets his full-throated, unwavering support of ObamaCare in light of the entirely predictable revelations (after it passed) that many large companies are looking at dropping their health benefits, that the overall cost to the country will be substantially more than we were told, that experts predict this will exacerbate already-critical doctors and nursing shortages, that those who currently have health coverage will have to pay more for it, and that many large companies took substantial hits on their financial sheets because of it, which virtually guarantees a cap on growth and hiring.
If he doesn't run away from you as soon as he sees an actual, live conservative in the room.
|Aisne-Marne, 2,289; Ardennes, 5,329; Brittany, 4,410; Cambridge, 3,812; Epinal, 5,525; |
Florence, 4,402; Henri-Chapelle, 7,992; Lorraine, 10,489; Meuse-Argonne, 14,246.
Strasbourg, France; Prague, Czeckoslavakia; London; Trinidad and Tobago; Ankara, Turkey; Cairo, Egypt.
The first list is a partial list of the locations and the numbers of Americans buried on foreign soil, fighting a war not of theirs or of our making, with absolutely no more American territory to surround their plots than the green grass cradling the bodies of their comrades-in-arms.
The second list is a partial list of all the locations where this President has apologized to the world for America while on foreign soil. Thankfully, he had the good grace never to give one of these great apologies from the hallowed ground our soldiers lie on.
The foreign policy of this administration and of the Democratic Party in Congress is a policy based almost entirely on hope. And hope is a wonderful thing--even St. Paul praises it as one of the central elements of a Christian life. But it is no substitute for a genuine foreign policy based on a clear-eyed view of reality and a seriousness about the need to keep Americans safe.
If it were true that, as the Democrats assert, that the world will love us better if we simply show a little humility, and that that newfound love will translate into greater safety for all Americans, then we should have been able to expect a cessation of hostilities. And yet, since the President has taken office, we've had an attack on an Army base by a Muslim, we've had an attempted bombing in the skies on Christmas Day, and now we've had an attempted car bomb attack in Times Square. Perhaps it's time for the President and Congressional Democrats to come to grips with reality and recognize that their world view does nothing to inform a sane foreign policy. In the meantime, it also encourages the bad people to work their plans secure in the knowledge that they will be able to act largely unimpeded.
Or, perhaps its simply time to vote the bums out. Americans were fooled into thinking that the Democrats could run things, failing to heed the warnings of California (where many many very bad ideas get their start).
America is a great country, has been a great country, and God willing, will continue to be the greatest country in the history of the planet. When America is strong, the world is safer, and the crazies out there think twice about doing their business. And I, for one, will never apologize to anybody about the greatness of my country.
|The most recent polling has the President's approval at 48-45, Congress' approval at 22%, and the Generic Ballot in favor of Republicans by 7.|
The Democrats have A LOT of money in the pipeline, an endless supply of union thugs and workers to do the grassroots stuff, and a media in their pocket. But the people are not buying what they're selling, and 11 months of Democrat leadership have proven to the people that the Dems can NOT be trusted.
From a Democratic point of view, the only hope they have is to muddy the waters so badly that the voters can't recognize one candidate from the other. In other words, I would expect by mid-June to be seeing ads run in competitive markets that smear Republican candidates in ways that we've never seen before. Republicans would be smart to get out in front of this and run innoculation ads--"you're going to see ads from well-funded special interests accusing me of everything from blowing up oil rigs to kicking puppies. For the record, I love dogs . . ."
I'm just saying. I expect it to get very ugly.