Posted by: bkivey | 30 October 2011

Compassionate Enablers

One of the goals of the progressive left is to make people wards of the state, while the anointed go to work for the state, and thus put themselves in charge of other’s lives. Knowing that most people won’t give up their liberty by main force, the progressives operate in a more subtle fashion. One of their primary tactics is to cloak their goals under the guise of ‘helping’ the ‘less fortunate’. And their favorite group of ‘less fortunate’ is children. Targeting this group has several advantages when it comes to advancing an agenda: it’s a population that can’t speak for itself, engenders feelings of sympathy in most people, and opponents can be demonized as ‘against’ children.

The framework is well established. Progressives will construct a metric, apply it to the population, and identify a group as ‘disadvantaged’. They will then proclaim a ‘crisis’, say that society is somehow to blame and that all of us (the collective) are responsible for ‘fixing’ the problem.

This approach to controlling others was illustrated in a 3 September editorial “A Growling Stomach Tends to Distract From Learning” by David Sarasohn, associate editor of the local metropolitan newspaper. His editorial concerns the problems hungry children have concentrating in the classroom. In the print edition there’s an infographic with a bunch of scary numbers purporting to show the level of ‘food insecurity’ afflicting children at the state and national levels.

My interest isn’t to argue the numbers, or gainsay the effect hunger has on concentration, but to point out that in nearly 1200 words, Mr. Sarasohn mentions ‘parent’ or ‘parents’ not once. ‘Families’ are mentioned once, and then only in connection with pointing them to social services. Not a word on the responsibility parents have in providing the most basic needs for their children. If those of goodwill mentioned in the article are really interested in seeing children fed, why don’t they inform Social Services that there are parents allowing their children to go hungry? Surely with food stamps, WIC, food banks, free and reduced-cost school breakfasts and lunches, there isn’t any reason a parent can’t meet this most basic of needs. These are not feral children roaming the streets; these are children who have at least one parent or adult in the household and who is responsible for the child’s welfare. If the concern is really to solve the problem of child hunger, then the adults have to be held responsible. For a group that’s always whingeing about ‘root causes’, they sure don’t seem to be interested in addressing them.

The progressive approach to this problem is emblematic of their outlook. Confronting the parties responsible for the problem is, well, confrontational. And judgemental. Peoples feelings might get hurt. Parents might be made uncomfortable by others expectations that they take care of their kids. None of this sits well with the immature mindset of the liberal. Far better to coerce people who have nothing do with the problem into taking on responsibilities that belong to others.

The flip side of ‘help’ is ‘control’, so cutting parents out of the equation works well for the progressive. They get to make both parents and children dependent on them, and create feelings of guilt and obligation in others. There are several mentions in the editorial of the dependence children and their parents have on food programs, a dependence those quoted view as a positive. These folks seem oblivious to the fact that they’re not solving the problem, they’re treating the symptoms. They’re also perpetrating the problem by absolving parents of responsibility for their children. The progressives are compassionate enablers of the very problems they claim to want to solve.




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