Anecdote Hits Home

This morning’s American Thinker blog had an article by a mother that many parents can relate to.

Annie Lake writes, “Mom, go upstairs. We’re all liberals.” It begins,

“Ouch. Monday night was the first time I heard my daughter apply that label to herself, and the word didn’t please me. She and six friends/coworkers were about to watch the final Obama-Romney debate on the large-screen TV in our suburban basement.

“These twenty-something kiddies were enjoying our hospitality because it was free. They’re a company (founder, partners, contractors, trainee), part of the start-up trend whereby young persons hang out at coffee shops, staring into laptops, trying to start the next Foursquare or Fab and make a billion dollars. Until that happens, they can’t afford things like airfare or hotels. So in order to attend a conference in the city near us, they had driven cross-country in a minivan and were staying at our house for four and a half days.

“Up to this point, neither my husband nor I had said a word to them about politics or cultural norms in general. When they brought in large quantities of beer and liquor and stayed up late consuming it, we said nothing. We did not inquire about the marital status of the couple cohabiting in the main guest room. On Sunday, we went to church but did not try to recruit them to go with us. We were not merely nonjudgmental, but supportive, stocking up on groceries to meet their various dietary needs and keeping quiet while they occupied the kitchen, “co-working.”

“Tolerant I am. But being told to leave my own basement did not cut it.

“I sat down in front of the television and asked the kids to turn up the volume.

“The Preezy and his opponent appeared onscreen with the moderator in between, ready to debate foreign policy. The kids sat with laptops open like students at a lecture, in rapt attention, whereas I was in interactive mode, ready to fact-check and commentate, holding a bowl of snack food to throw at the screen should words fail.

“Obama went straight into prevarication, claiming he had made the Mideast more stable by siding with the moderate elements of the Arab Spring.

“Obama took credit for taking out Osama.

“It was the Navy SEALs who did that.”

“Obama took credit for success in Afghanistan.

“Then why has the casualty rate been going up? And why, after we’ve been there over ten years, is Afghanistan still producing 90% of the world’s heroin?”

“Obama criticized Romney’s budget.

“How can he do that? Obama hasn’t had a budget in four years.” I tried to keep my comments brief, talking about the coming “fiscal cliff.”

“Mom, shhhh.”

“And so it went. No one argued back; they just stared at me blankly or shook their heads dismissively. I got the impression that they were looking at the world through different lenses from mine. When Romney said “I’m going to go after the bad guys and kill them,” some of them laughed. Meaning what? They’ve been so indoctrinated with moral relativism that “bad” and “good” are comical? None of them seemed concerned about the advance of Islamic extremism, or Iran getting a bomb, or the soon-to-happen massive cuts in the military, or the many-trillion-dollar debt.

“Despite their attitude, they kept on half-listening to the debate (the other half focused on their laptops, possibly “working”). At one point, reacting to a Romney statement, one of them said, “There’s our meme!” At that, two of them started typing furiously, I suppose defaming the former governor on Twitter. Apparently, finding Romney stuff to make fun of was their reason for tuning in.

“Nothing Romney said seemed to please them — not even his plan to pursue economic policies to help small business or get a handle on deficit spending. These are matters that affect their personal economic prospects.

“I might have said (but didn’t), “Obama’s economic policy is the reason you guys don’t have a real job!”

“After an hour, when Romney and Obama started agreeing with each other about how to handle the Mideast and China, I gave up on being the cheerleader for truth. From my guests’ mutterings, I didn’t get the impression I had changed any minds.

“As soon as the debate ended, I went upstairs, feeling alienated and defeated. I asked myself, what dire things will have to happen to these people before they see the light? Inflation busting their budget? Business failure? Moving back in with their parents? (Seriously, that prospect is why we empty-nesters still own a large house.)

“I also felt defeated because my daughter has turned out to be liberal. Either she’s been that way for a while and hidden it from us, or else she’s given in to the left-wing culture that surrounds her in the blue-state city where she lives. I had previously thought she was libertarian, as I am. Big diff. Her being a lefty puts a distance between us that wasn’t there before.

“This morning, the kids packed up the minivan and drove away. On the way out, three of them thanked me for our hospitality. The other four, including the anti-Romney tweeters, said nothing.

“I took out their trash, and now I’m laundering the sheets and towels they used.

“Is all of this not indicative of the relationship between the youthful left and the rest of us?”

Now before anyone who doesn’t have children wants to start criticizing this family for enabling and insisting that you would never allow that, consider what today’s parents are up against.

You can bring a child up to listen to Rush Limbaugh, understand conservative viewpoints and value your religious convictions, but once they go to college, they are hit with a barrage of brainwashing we never imagined.

It goes on for four years – sometimes more. The students not only get it from their fellow students, who seek the easiest ways to live, but they also get it from the lectern. Professors spout unbelievable stuff and you’re not there with the counter argument. People they hold up as admirable and invite to campus are people most of us would not have at our homes. After a while, most kids will crumble and fall in line. At this age, non conformity with their group is unthinkable.

When a child comes out of college without a job, it is virtually impossible for a parent to toss them onto the street. Sure, our grandparents started with nothing, but their recollections of their difficulties make it harder for baby boomers to subject that to their own kids. On our part, society tells us we need to be softer, nurturing and caring. How else can you explain all those years of Oprah Winfrey success?

Today’s young people consider Jon Stewart more credible than Fox News. As the author says, they are looking for ways to make fun of Republicans. Facts just aren’t important. I’ve been told many times about Paul Ryan and his running time – there was some mistake he made – as if this was a vital matter of national security rather than some trivial, out of context remark.

I, also, have been told the Muslim Brotherhood was moderate. Also that Israel is the aggressor. Exorbitant national debt? It’s a good thing. After all, these young people have spent and used credit cards. It can go on forever, as far as they’re concerned.

It will remain like this until these heads full of concrete run up against a smashing big encounter. Mrs. Lake, it will occur. It’s just hard to see the destruction it makes when it is so unnecessary.

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