One of the routine accusations leveled against socialism is that it seeks to usurp the role of the adult in society. If the government provides cradle to grave care, the people don’t have to. They don’t have to raise their children, they don’t have to feed their families, they don’t have to plan for their old age — they never have to grow up. The Nanny state is really “the parent state,” with the state filling the role that, in a more traditional society, individual adults filled.
America, however, always has to be different, and it’s created the parent state with a twist: this is the parent state as imagined by your average 13 year old. The evidence of this abounds.
Teenager: “It’s not my fault. He made me hit him.” Teenagers aren’t big on personal responsibility.
Democrats: It’s not our fault, even though our party owns Congress and our president voluntarily assumed the position of ultimate responsibility in America. Instead, it’s George Bush’s fault, it’s the Republican’s fault, it’s conservatives’ fault, it’s Sarah Palin’s fault, it’s the fault of American voters who are too stupid to realize how great we are, etc.
Teenager: “But that’s not fair!!!” Up to a point, teenagers are in love with equality of outcome. If anyone gets something they don’t have, it’s not fair!!! There are limits to this principle, however. It’s entirely fair if the teenager has something that others don’t have.
Democrats: Although the Democrats include some of the poorest people in America, they also include some of the richest (John Kerry, John Edwards, Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, etc.), and it is the richest who drive the Democrat train. They think it’s unfair that there are poor people in America. Their remedy, rather than sacrificing their own wealth, or ensuring full equality of opportunity, is to take away other people’s money and redistribute it according to the politically correct algorithm of the day.
Teenager: “I don’t believe that we don’t have the money for that Juicy jacket. Just put it on a credit card.” Teenagers believe that parents are the money tree. It is inconceivable to them that money is a finite resource, that it takes hard work to earn it, and that it must be spent wisely, with a significant portion saved as a financial cushion.
Democrats: The Democrats view the taxpayers as parents who have an unending supply of money available to pay off the Democrats’ every whim. The Democrats view our children, and our children’s children as useful credit cards, who will pay off today’s debt tomorrow.
I’ve got to head off to work now, but I bet you can easily think of other analogies between teenagers and Democrats. There’s an overarching theme, of course. Teenagers are utterly self-centered. Even their better impulses are untempered by any notion of self-sacrifice. If they want to hand money to the beggar woman on the corner, their first instinct isn’t to dig into their own pockets; instead, they’ll ask mom to empty her purse. The good thing about most teenagers, though, is that they mature. And the ones who don’t become Democrats.