I understand all too well the idea of wanting your children to be happy. The toughest job of a parent is that delicate balance between teaching, rebuking, and being your child’s biggest cheerleader, regardless of their performance. I have three children ranging in ages from 8 to 17. One of the cutest pictures of my daughter is her pre-school graduation. She wore a cap and gown and even received a “diploma”. Of course it was meaningless. There were no tests in pre-school, no real standards to achieve, no competition among the children except maybe who could eat the most paste, there was nothing to measure which would necessitate a certificate of completion. She “graduated” because she was five and it was time for kindergarten. She “graduated” because I was no longer going to pay them for her care.
In the last decade my sons have both played a variety of sports, mostly baseball and soccer. Regardless of performance, at the end of every season EVERYONE received a trophy. One particular year my son’s soccer team failed to win a single game. The end of season party consisted of the obligatory trophy and then a pep talk from their well-meaning coach about the lessons learned and how next year would be better (it wasn’t). After a couple of years of this I finally had to explain to my son how this trophy was for participating…not for performance. Instead of the natural consequence we endured as kids of not receiving a trophy unless we actually accomplished something, I, as the nurturing parent, had the responsibility of telling my son, “I love you, and I think you’re awesome, BUT, you didn’t exactly earn a trophy.” Of course this goes against everything I WANT to do as a mom. I WANT my kids to feel good about themselves. I WANT my kids to enjoy success. I WANT my kids to have happy, enduring memories of a childhood full of my love and support. My little speech, which I’ve repeated to all three kids one time or another, seemed to be the antithesis of motherhood, but like most tough parenting decisions, I can see the fruit of my path in the actual success occurring in their lives now. I can also see the result of such faulty thinking in our politics and the sheep who go along with our tyrannical government and their malfeasance.
Even though Benghazi has repeatedly been characterized as “old news”, political fodder for republicans looking for a cover-up where there is none, and more of an “oops” than a nefarious executive branch who sent our own out to the slaughter, it is nevertheless important when looking at the totality of our current state of affairs. Giving the Obama Administration the benefit of the doubt, let’s assume their intent was to protect the ambassador and other American citizens in Libya, but they made a series of mistakes which led to the conditions ripe for a terrorist attack. Being an election year, the president could not be seen as weak on terrorism so the cover-up ensues. The Obama Administration trots Susan Rice out on the Sunday news programs to spew their propaganda. While they know the truth will eventually come out, they rely on two things which not only served them well with Benghazi, but in the latest scandals as well. First, enough time was allowed to pass so it seemed perfectly acceptable for Hillary Clinton to scream at Congress, “It was a long time ago… what difference does it make!?” Much of the public accepted this premise. I mean, after all, Jay Z and Beyoncé had been to Cuba since then. Secondly, was the acceptance something akin to ineptitude and incompetence played a major role in the Benghazi tragedy, therefore, we must use this as a “teachable moment” so it NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN. This theme of preventing future mishaps is huge with this administration. It goes along with the idea everyone gets a trophy. The message is clear; try hard, performance is unimportant, and there’s always next year. However, what the public hasn’t seemed to figure out yet is, these are adults, working as public servants (that means their paycheck comes from the taxes we pay), and the consequences in the case of Benghazi meant people died.
Then we come to the AP scandal which includes the unethical and illegal search warrant which allowed the federal government to pull the phone records of reporters and list Fox News reporter, James Rosen, as a co-conspirator in the act of espionage by leaking information obtained by a state department employee. The last time I checked that’s what reporters do and they are not bound by the same code of secrecy government employees are. As pressure mounted against Attorney General Holder, his initial response which included what seemed like 250 or so “I don’t knows, I don’t recall, and I’m not sure”. The administration was finally faced with the reality Holder personally pursued the warrant against Rosen by judge shopping until he found one to do his bidding. And now what do we hear from Eric Holder? In a nutshell, Holder simply wants to take what he’s learned from these mistakes and make the system better…there’s always next year.
The IRS scandal continues to mount. The reality we should all be seeing at this point is the fact our federal government used their law enforcement arm to intimidate, punish, and financially harm individuals and groups simply because of their political beliefs. These were not “rogue” agents with ideological agendas. These were good civil servant soldiers doing the bidding of their supervisors and according to the Wall Street Journal, the trail leads to Washington DC. The idea these people could have avoided such scrutiny by not applying for 501c (4) status and therefore the intrusive questions, follow up visits by other branches of government to personally investigate both non-profit groups which may carry a conservative slant, and individual businesses simply for their affiliation to such groups, would be laughable if Congressman McDermott hadn’t been absolutely serious in his comments. So let me see if I understand you correctly Mr. McDermott, providing I keep my ideas to myself, don’t support the political party, candidate, or grass roots organization whose primary purpose is to educate the public of my government’s abuse of power then I get to pursue life, liberty, and happiness? That seems completely reasonable said no constitutionally educated American EVER. More importantly, what keeps being floated as the panacea for IRS corruption? Congress should give them more money so there can be more oversight and training so…wait for it…something like this never happens again.
We are no longer interested in holding our government accountable for egregious wrongs against her people. We are no longer interested in punishing those individuals responsible for ineptness, incompetence, or malfeasance. We are no longer interested in the actions of hardened criminals, but instead want to know the “why” behind their actions, so it never happens again. I am honestly in awe over the fact the people haven’t taken to the streets in protests, but protesting would imply judgment, and judgment implies a stand. My personal feeling is this: I fully anticipate my government, given the opportunity, will overreach and step on my civil liberties. I am not interested in their empty promises to ensure such atrocities never happen again. I am very interested in holding them accountable which means there should be consequences for their behavior.
Here’s a news flash for you. Evil happens. It happened yesterday, today, and will happen tomorrow. Absolute power corrupts, which is the purpose of our 1st and 2nd amendments. Our weapons remind our government we have the ability to defend our liberty if need be. The first amendment assures us the truth of government corruptness or incompetence will not go unnoticed as it is first reported in our free press and later manifests in the ability to act by the right to assemble in protest of government overreach. I am shocked at our current government’s behavior, their arrogance, and their complete disdain for the average American citizen. I am even more saddened by a public which is perfectly willing to turn the other cheek and give President Obama a trophy (something like a Nobel Peace Prize?) for his efforts while wagging their pathetic, ineffectual, finger at him for his complete lack of performance, or a performance which is contrary to everything this country was founded on. If this were soccer, Obama would be receiving a trophy not just for a losing year, but a year in which he personally scored goals for the other team. But sleep well America, there’s always next year.