Learned Courage or Learned Helplessness
We face challenges every day. We learn how to face them.. or not face them. To oversimplify our choices, we can engage the challenge, we can cower, or we can run. Unfortunately, we are teaching our children to cower. Our children see school teachers, law enforcement officers, and prosecutors abuse their power every day. We are teaching our children to retreat from irrational and implacable authority rather than holding authoritarians accountable. Adults face similar challenges. Some government officials teach our children to be helpless, and other officials are deliberately intimidating adults. I resent both. This abuse of authority further alienates citizens from their government. I’ll start with children and work my way up.
- A deaf three year old named Hunter signed his name and was told to change his ASL sign if he wanted to stay in preschool.
- A six year old boy was expelled from school after he pointed his finger at a classmate and said “pow.”
- These two seven year old boys were expelled for pointing pencils at each other while pretending to be soldiers.
- A few days after the Sandy Hook school shooting, an 11 year old boy said he wanted to grow up and have a gun so he could protect people. He was suspended from school for 10 days.
- A 14 year old boy wore a NRA t-shirt to school. He was arrested for “obstruction of justice” after a policeman ordered him to turn the shirt inside out. In reality the student was charge with contempt of cop and the t-shirt said “Protect Your Rights” which was prophetic.
We now harass children for being young boys and girls. We intimidate them if they dare question the behavior those entrusted with power. I sided with the children once I saw how authority was abused by adults. I think this abusive authoritarian behavior was deliberate. It was designed to intimidate children into blind obedience and unthinking political correctness.
These abuses in public schools make home schooling look heavenly by comparison. Unfortunately, the authoritarian demands were not confined to school aged children.
- An ordinary citizen is ticketed for directing traffic after a traffic light fails and traffic backs up for miles. The police had manpower to issue tickets, but not to direct traffic.
- A college chancellor rules that a college girl can’t wear a cross on new student’s day.
- The IRS tells a Tea Party group they must turn over the names, donations and comments from anyone who ever attended their meetings and here. They are told they must comply or the groups non-profit status would be denied. Of course these government demands are illegal, but what does a government employee care if he breaks the law. It isn’t his money that would be spent for lawyers.
Our government harasses adults for having any initiative or political convictions that oppose the political party in power. Bureaucrats harass citizens who dare question the behavior of their government. Again, this makes me side with the libertarians when I see authority abused. These government agents are trying to intimidate citizens into unthinking compliance. They are trying to inculcate blind obedience into children and adults.
It isn’t the citizen who is breaking the moral contract with government. It is our abusive government who is breaking faith with its citizens. Now, more than ever, the government is not here to help us.
The growing support for the Tea Party is in response to government abuses like these, and it is about time. I hope it is not too late.
Rob the amateur activist