Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Liberalism Ruins Parenting: Parenting Ruins Liberalism

Darlena Cunha
Darlena Cunha
Darlena Cunha of Time Magazine learned the hard way that liberalism does not translate to real life.

In fact, the core values (if they can be called such) of liberalism actually impede a life well-lived, and even the basic harmony of families.

Writing on Election Day 2014, the same day when progressive liberalism endured another nationwide shellacking, Cunha realized that her hard-core political convictions were making her job as a parent harder. Even though she never admits it, liberalism cannot foster good parenting, and creates the spoiled, entitlement mentality which plagues dysfunctional families and their broken children.

I’m a diehard, bleeding-heart liberal. And it’s ruining my parenting.

No kidding. A conservative is either a liberal who gets mugged by reality, or a liberal who has children.

For Cunha, however, the transition is making her kick and scream like most adult children i.e. liberals.

My intentions are good. I want my two daughters, 6, to think critically, to fight for fairness and justice whenever they can. I want them to value equality above all else. But sometimes, I also need them to do what I say. This contradiction is hard to explain.

What the parent has not learned, and which her children have not learned, is that justice, fairness, and equality in themselves mean nothing.

Equality as a final guideline is actually tyrannical. More importantly, because these fuzzy terms defy definition for political ideologues driven by feelings and circumstances, no one should be surprised to read her children pushing her unlimited adherence to that political philosophy.

"I need them to do what I say". Authority is crucial in any organization, including governance, and especially parenting. Modern liberalism has invoked a radical autism in its place, teaching people that everyone is right, and therefore entitled to do and say whatever they please.

This heady idealism gives way to chaos or conformity. The latter case became inevitable for Cunha when they started fighting over lost gumballs:

Take a recent incident, involving some candy. I’d given each girl the same number of gumballs. But one of my daughters lost some. She then implored me for extra. “Now I have less and that’s not fair,” she moaned.

From the outset, the mother could have explained responsibility in conjunction with fairness. In this fallen, jumbled world, not only do we not get what we want, but the world remains inherently unfair, regardless of how unfair that reality may be.

Cry all you want: Life isn't Fair

"Life is not fair. Deal with it." That's the lesson we need to teach young people.

Responsibility is also important. How did her daughter lose those gumballs? What steps did she take to care for them, or will she take in the future? Unfortunately, Cunha coddled her kid rather than giving her a reality check.

How did Cunha try to handle this problem? The same way that liberal politicians try to make the world a better place:

“But they’re my candy! It’s not my fault we lost some of hers!” the other one replied.

My solution — to put all the gumballs together in one bowl and  split them equally — was unacceptable to both. All afternoon, they threw tantrums, slammed doors, or tried to slyly outwit me, crumbling when I didn’t fall for it.

“How about we keep our own gumballs and I get an extra other kind of candy that she doesn’t get?” said one.

What Cunha neglects to mention is that in all her talk and action about equality and equally dividing, the second group of gumballs is not equal in the first place. The other daughter did not lose her candy, yet she has to lose some of her own to make up for her sister's negligence? Really? The more responsible sister's answer is priceless:

“Why am I being punished for her missing candy?”

Exactly. This cry emanates from businesses, families, charities, churches, and all other creative enterprises in the world who are forced to pay for the losses, privations, or setbacks of other people.

Herein lies the fundamental flaw of liberalism. In defining equality and inequality a certain way, the ideology inadvertently creates the very inequities which it claims to remedy.  Once again, whose fault was it that one daughter lost her candy?

How did this tantrum of bad parenting end?

Three hours later, the result was the same as it would’ve been had I taken a sterner approach from the get-go: We did what I said. But what should have taken five minutes took three hours, and everyone was in a bad mood.

Everyone was equally miserable and unhappy, and despite the best of intentions, one person arbitrarily imposed her will on everyone else. Such is the end game of liberalism. In a vain attempt to make everyone feel bad, to conform to a utopian vision of equal treatment, opportunity, and outcomes, the state imposes its will on everyone else, and the only thing equally shared is misery, poverty, and frustration.

Proper parenting starts with a recognition of authority, right and wrong, and that final decisions are not always happy ones. These elements are core tenets of conservatism.  Good parents will respect their children's frustrations, and in some cases understand their feelings. These sentiments are crucial aspects of free speech. However, the same parents will not allow these children's temper tantrums alter the outcomes of their actions, nor change the minds of the parents. This recognition instills maturity and growth, further hallmarks of conservatism.

If anything, parenting ruins liberalism, both in the parents as well as the children. Never should we look to the state as some source of infinite indulgence, in which government force redefines winners and losers, or attempts to remove wins and losses from daily life. While liberalism ruins parenting, the truth is that parenting (good parenting) ruins liberalism. Hopefully, Darlena Cunha's liberalism will fall away so that she can be a good parent and raise her daughters to become strong, independent, and successful women.

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