Robert Knight: Wanted: Grown-up Governance
ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight wrote this column appearing July 26, 2010 on the Washington Times.
At some point, the grown-ups are going to have to take over. We’re being governed by a gang of perpetual adolescents from the most liberal enclaves in America.
Recent brain research has shown that adolescents do dumb things because they haven’t developed the part of the mind that governs risk aversion. This is why we don’t let them drink or manage our stock portfolios.
Like adolescents, the Washington gang is spending trillions for a good time today, oblivious to long-term damage. Like teens, they see money as an inexhaustible parental resource (or in this case, taxpayer resource).
Instead of taking on the tough decisions befitting a self-governing people, they yearn to surrender American sovereignty to the United Nations and international legal elites. Then they can say, “It’s not our fault.”
Like adolescents, this group pushes the envelope, hoping to shock grown-ups while undermining the moral order and the principles of self-government. President Obama and his cronies pander to every odd faction with a gripe. The tie-dyed White House is aided and abetted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who hails from – where else? – San Francisco. Mrs. Pelosi’s district hosts the Folsom Street Fair, an annual sadism festival that breaks every public decency law under the sun. She sends participants a nice welcoming note.
Last week, San Francisco’s animal welfare board was slated to vote on criminalizing the sale of cats, dogs and hamsters. It put off the vote only because scores of enraged “animal companion” owners showed up at the normally sparsely attended meeting. The measure will resurface as soon as a bureaucrat finds a way to blame gerbils for global warming.
The city, which has thrown the Boy Scouts out of public facilities, has issued tips on how to bake “safe” marijuana-laced goodies. It’s not clear how this will contribute to the general welfare, except to create more voters with the functioning brains of 11-year-olds who keep getting hungry. This should make it easier to recruit for one of the political parties.
Back in Washington, the left’s flagship paper, The Washington Post, showed its adolescent chops by plugging the Capital Fringe Festival on the front page of its Weekend section on July 9. Among the offerings: “Pushing Boundaries” (of course); “Secret Obscenities”; and “Illegal Sex Acts: Live on Stage!” Inside, the Post featured a large photo of a young man in a dress applying makeup to another young man in a dress for the “Miss Teen Jesus Pageant.”
Post writer Amy Orndorff rhapsodized: “So many choices, so little time! We know, it can seem overwhelming, but isn’t that part of the fun?” Remember, this is the paper of record in the nation’s capital.
In the name of love and peace, our nation’s adolescent leaders are ignoring the constitutional mandate to secure our border. Instead, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s Justice Department is suing Arizona for acting like a state run by grown-ups and enforcing federal immigration law. At the same time, Justice is blessing “sanctuary cities” that explicitly vow to ignore the law. Right on, dudes! Mr. Holder also dropped charges against members of the New Black Panther Party who were videotaped intimidating Philadelphia voters in 2008. Wow, look at those cool fatigues and baton!
Many of these power-wielding adolescents in government and the media apparently are unfamiliar with our Constitution. This is by design. When Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan was dean of Harvard’s Law School, constitutional law was dropped from the list of mandatory courses, while international law was added. It’s in keeping with columnist and author Joe Sobran’s wry observation that “the Constitution poses no threat to our form of government.”
In Lord of the Flies, Nobel Prize-winning novelist William Golding vividly depicts kids without adult supervision. The British youngsters, stranded on an island, form factions that combine high-minded ideals with brutish methods of compliance. It gets outright bloody before a shipload of grown-ups restores order.
Perhaps this November, a ship full of grown-ups will save what’s left of our God-fearing republic. Unlike adolescents, however, we will have to make it happen. We can’t hand it off to hapless, indulgent parents.