Much like a 50’s sitcom family, there’s an unwritten journalistic rule in which columnists, reporters and editors, the most bleeping dysfunctional people on the planet, are supposed to act like they love and respect each other whenever they’re exposed to the bright light of day.
I should know because I’m the worst example you may ever come across.
But as that insipid waste of flesh, Dr. Phil, likes to say, “How’s that workin’ out for ya?” So in the spirit of setting our own house straight, please let me start off by saying Washington Post and CNN columnist, Ruben Navarrette, is an unmitigated jackass.
And someone shoulda said it a hell of a lot sooner, but in a massive bout of reverse racism, most of us kept our mouths shut because there are so few Hispanic columnists out there, we desperately want to see them succeed.
But the truth is, Navarrette lost any gravitas when he proposed that Sen. Ted Cruz actually understood what was going on better than most other folks. While I can certainly understand Cruz’s political support, the applicable DSM diagnosis for that guy would have to be “narcissistic megalomaniac.”
Then Navarrette proceeded to dispense with whatever shred of his shrinking credibility remained when he wrote a piece entitlted “Spanking isn’t child abuse; it’s common sense.” Ah yes! The last resort of the unrepentant abuser – put it out there for everyone to see and do your best to justify it in the process.
It typically goes something like this; “The Greeks had sex with young boys and they were the basis for western civilization! So why can’t we have sex with young boys?”
The other specious argument, “My father whooped the crap out of me and I turned out just fine!” No you didn’t! Because if you have to say you turned out fine, it’s clear and convincing evidence that you have real issues.
It’s just like the dynamic by which someone uttering the sentence “some of my best friends are black” immediately establishes them as racist.
Fox News commentator Sean Hannity used the “I came out just fine” line and, I have to say, whenever I think of the poster child for we’ll adjusted adults, he’s the first one that comes to mind.
Denis Leary likes to glorify what his parents regularly did to him by saying he’s a better person for it. If by “better person” he means a hyperactive, chain-smoking, alcoholic, misogynist comedian with more demons than Robin Williams, then I’d have to agree.
Those who were abused in the name of discipline use the “just fine” excuse to justify their stilted love for a parent who caused them all kinds of pain, shame and anguish.
The other amazingly feeble Adrian Peterson defense is, “If this kind of thing were illegal, most black parents would be in jail.” Ummm…has anyone noticed that most black parents are already in jail?
That may be an exaggeration, but the fact that 33 percent of black males will spend time behind bars is a staggering statistic. Economic, educational and social disadvantages are certainly factors, but one has to wonder if regularly getting the youthful crap beaten out of you really helps matters any.
Every study on the planet proves that, not only does this kind of abuse fail to work, but it makes children far more aggressive as adults.
Then there are those who pound their fist on the table while shrieking, “The government can’t tell me how to raise my children!” Oh yes they can! And they do it all the time! Try withholding food, locking them in a closet, keeping them away from school, or abrogating any other number of regulated behaviors and DCFS will (eventually) render you childless.
Navarrette goes on to unflinchingly claim that, “Fear is essential to respect. Children won’t do what we tell them to do, unless – at some level – they fear the consequences that will come from not doing it. “
No it isn’t! Fear and respect are two entirely different things. Fear is easy, but temporary. One NFL player noted that neighborhood black parental beatings ceased when their fathers finally became fearful of their children. Fear is what you shoot for when you haven’t earned respect.
Conversely, respect isn’t easy. Respect comes from the consistent and unemotional application of rules and consequences which are exemplified by your consistent parental example. Whacking a kid is the lazy parent’s way of gaining temporary relief. Respect takes time, effort and hard work – which explains why people like Navarrette take the easy way out.
Fear ends when the child leaves the house, but respect outlasts the life of the parent.
I hit one of my children one time and I was so embarrassed about becoming my father that I never laid a finger on them again. When my boys acted out, they lost something near and dear to their hearts for a specified period of time. If they further tested those limits, as all children love to do, they lost even more.
And let me tell you, dealing with an 11 year-old with no TV or video games is a real bleepin’ thrill. But despite that temporary loss of parental sanity, my wife and I stuck to our guns and now, much like the baby elephant who couldn’t escape the rope and tree, all it takes is the threat and we’re right back on track.
Far too many parents prefer hitting their children simply because taking away TV requires resolve and it directly impacts their drinking time.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, Navarrette excuses parents with this; “Already stressed from long days at work and having no desire to spend precious hours at home squabbling with children – [they] simply surrendered. They gave up on raising children in exchange for peace and quiet on the home front.”
Perhaps someone oughtta have “the talk” with Ruben because he clearly doesn’t understand where children come from. Who said raising children was gonna be easy? And if you aren’t willing to put in the requisite time and effort, plenty of birth control methods are readily available.
And where does Mr. Navarrette, who laments a lack of parental respect throughout his entire piece, think these kids learned this kind of behavior? Not from television sitcoms, as he proposes, but from their bleeping parents!
Perhaps the most fascinating endeavor of my 56-year existence was coaching a Tri-Cities Soccer Association U-13 travel team. Most of the kids were real pieces of work, but there was one player who didn’t give a bleep about himself, his teammates or his coaches. Fed up with my regularly applied consequences, his mother actually hit a high ranking TCSA employee
So spurred on by Navrarrette’s “I’m not OK – You’re not OK” theory, this mother, who wasn’t all that far from the soccer parent norm, is suddenly going to apply the appropriate amount of corporal punishment? I would love to live in Mr. Navarrette’s world where parents could simply say, “I give up! Let’s all turn to violence because that’s always solved everything. Then we’ll live happily ever after.”
Ruben, you, and anyone else who spanks their child, are abusers. While I can understand a parent who slips every now and then, as Jon Stewart so eloquently noted:
“Here’s a tip! For any pro football players out there, curious as to whether they may be child abusers. You can’t do something to a four year-old that you’re not allowed to do to a 300 pound lineman in a helmet and pads.”
I cannot believe we’re still having this conversation in 2014.
As for Mrs. Navarrette, who is cited as not believing in corporal punishment in the column, please divorce your husband now, while your 5, 6 and 7 year-olds still have time to recover. It’s only going to get worse and if you continue to let this happen, you’re just as bad as he is.