IT'S ABOUT LEGITIMACY, STUPID!
The annually televised Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, had "family" as its theme this year: home and hearth, warm and fuzzy. And, surprisingly, not a single plug for gay unions, or a suggestion that the concept of "family" might carry religious connotations, be overly confining, or trite, or something else. No doubt, countless worried parents were bracing themselves throughout the broadcast, wondering if this wonderful tradition, too, was about to go the way of politicization, polarity, and perversity. Gratefully, it did not. Or, more likely, attempts to do so must have failed, inasmuch as there was no clear evidence of tampering.
But let's not hold our breath. The family-and indeed all of our cherished institutions-took a significant beating in the year 2004. Of course, they have been taking a beating since the 1960s, but who's counting?
Thanks to the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Education Association, the National Council of Churches and all their respective cohorts on the left, it is the worst possible time in America to raise responsible, well-rounded, happy, and emotionally stable children.
Right after an intact, two-parent family, children need most of all a consistent message. Up until 40 years ago, nearly all youngsters got that. The combined forces of the school, the church, the police, and established organizations like the YW/YMCA, 4-H Clubs, the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts passed along certain expectations and a common set of mores and values. This doesn't mean, of course, that there weren't individual defectors in the ranks, but they were deemed outside the mainstream, even when the circumstances were extenuating-for example, an unwed mother whose fianc� or boyfriend had recently been shipped off to war.
Today, parents "don't get no respect," to paraphrase the late comedian, Rodney Dangerfield. They "don't get no" support, either. It is extremely difficult to raise a child in a vacuum, but increasingly, responsible parents are forced to do just that. Some people-homeschoolers, for example-manage to find each other and form "simpatico" groups, where shared values and a common sense of right and wrong can be transmitted during the youngsters' formative years.
Initiated for the most part by disaffected Bible-believing Christians, who saw the coming toxic youth culture for what it was years before most people, the home school movement now cuts across religion, ethnic and racial groups, and even political factions. Even agnostics of the liberal persuasion, especially those with advanced college degrees, can plainly see that their offspring don't know as much as they did at a comparable age and grade-level. And while the Woodstock, hippie existence may have beckoned in the 1960s, as adults many of Woodstock's partakers have the maturity now to worry that their own children and grandchildren will suffer a downwardly mobile existence as they move try to make it in the workforce.
The latest international test scores do nothing to disabuse today's adults of this notion. The recently released international results of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), which more or less accurately assesses academic benchmarks for math and science in the primary and middle grades, showed that American fourth-grade students came in twelfth in math and sixth in science. The best scores were from Singapore in both categories. Indeed, the Asian countries of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan bested all the other nations, sweeping the top four slots in both math and science.
No surprises here. The Associated Press reports that American elementary schools "have been squeezing science out of their curriculums for years," according to Gerald Wheeler, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association. What wasn't mentioned in Associated Press' report, however, is that what science curriculum does exist has been hijacked by politically correctness. The basics of scientific method and inquiry have been dumped for "junk science," which includes everything from global warming theory-presented-as-fact to ridiculous bans on pesticides (the latter of which is now dooming thousands hapless tsunami victims, who will contract malaria).
The news on the educating front is bad enough: poor or faddish methodologies, cursory attention to basic subjects like reading and mathematics, rewritten history, nonexistent geography, and so on. But even this pales in comparison to the assault on the integrity of the family.
Take Washington State's recent Supreme Court ruling prohibiting parents from listening in on their children's telephone conversations. A certain mother allegedly overheard her daughter's boyfriend on a speakerphone discussing with the girl a purse-snatching that the young man had just committed. Mom testified against him in court, with the result that the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of the children, stating that the two had "a reasonable expectation of privacy" and that any intercepts without the consent of all participants is forbidden.
This absurdity should not have come as a shock to parents, inasmuch as child psychologists have been spouting the same nonsense for years, stating that parents have no right to "snoop" in their children's belongings (for example, when Mother is cleaning a child's room) and that youngsters have a "right" to express themselves, no matter how vulgarly, et cetera. Of course, when youngsters do something really horrible, like building explosives in their bedroom (remember the two Columbine killers, whose parents are now being sued by the victims' parents?), somehow all that expert advice goes out the window, and "neglectful" parents are supposed to pay up.
Well, one can't have it both ways, and many parents are learning so the hard way. Parents have relied on the stupid recommendations of psychologists and psychiatrists for so long that they have left common sense behind. Indeed, in 1969 a professor in my educational psychology course announced on Day One to our class that there "is no such thing as common sense, that nothing of the sort is 'common'."
The message must have made an impression, as I never forgot it. In the interim, these same behavioral "scientists" have taken their case to legislators and the legal system, to child "protective" service agencies and to educators. Now all sorts of foolishness that has no reasonable legitimacy is considered gospel.
The Marxist left hasn't been blind to the opportunities afforded them by the mental "health" industry, despite Communism's toll on the economic outcome of countless countries. Indeed, Marx's disciples never seem to have soured on his pronouncements. The ACLU and NEA here in America are proof of that. They have taken up the cause of every nutty and outrageous idea they can get their hands on and launched lawsuits by the dozens: over decorating classrooms in red and green (including cups, plates, napkins and cookie icing), allowing children to distribute goody bags containing candy canes with religious messages, refusing to include gay clubs among a school district's extracurricular groups, singing "Dixie," flying the Confederate flag, and pure drivel too numerous to mention.
Instead of uniting behind families who instill moral training as a response to the Columbine killings, schools were exhorted by psychologists to place a 6-year-old on suspension for pointing a chicken wing at someone in the lunchroom and saying "bang, bang." An 11-year-old was told she couldn't write a biography on Jesus as it might reflect a favorable bias on Christianity. And a battle over witchcraft as a legitimate religion was not only a serious consideration in one public school system, but increasingly it is an issue in our prison systems, where Wicca and Devil worship are considered a civil right!
Parents and, indeed, most taxpayers understandably get upset over such ridiculous shenanigans. The institutions they look to most to uphold standards of decency are the very ones undermining their best efforts and sending mixed messages to their children. What most people don't consider, however, is the glue that is holding these disparate absurdities together.
That glue is "legitimacy." It's a standard Marxist ploy in fomenting unrest. If something non-standard, and even wholly abhorrent, can be made somehow legitimate, then the fabric of society-those things that give it cohesiveness and structure-can be torn apart.
That means gay "marriage" isn't about inclusiveness or some scientific inquiry into the roots of sexual orientation; it's about legitimizing and mainstreaming perversion. Just as "free love" wasn't about love at all, but rather about legitimizing sexual license and undercutting the ideal of commitment.
Similarly, multiculturalism and diversity aren't about respecting other countries or their people's culture; these terms are about denigrating the West and free societies, especially concepts about self-reliance and self-determination.
Self-esteem isn't about self-respect; it's about institutionalizing a something-for-nothing mindset that will make it easier to win public acceptance of Marxist tenets like "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" (although it is rarely expressed exactly that way today). And the current obsession with Establishment Clause, Separation of Church and State, isn't about ensuring that government keeps its nose out of people's religious preferences; it's about instituting a "new morality."
Marxist totalitarianism has always been centered on creating chaos, circumventing democratic ideals, co-opting the educating process, exacerbating crime, undermining parental authority, and twisting the law. Then, once a population is at each other's throats, the culprits come in and pick up the pieces under the cover of restoring order (which, of course, by that time sounds downright "traditionalist"). The process has been repeated in country after country, with devastating results, featuring at best high tax rates, redistribution of wealth, and a socialist nanny-state. At worst, the nation winds up with political prisons, thought control and bankruptcy.
The United Nations is one of the largest proliferators of the Marxist worldview on the planet today. It never misses an opportunity to undermine Western values or to exploit the largess of the United States. Its educational and "research" arm, UNESCO, fills American school curriculum with massive amounts of anti-Western propaganda, human rights hypocrisy and outright fraud. Yet, no matter how outrageous this body gets-whether it is U.N. emergency relief coordinator Jan Egeland calling the most generous country in the world "stingy," elevating countries with the worst human rights records to exalted positions on the U.N. human rights directorate, or giving aid and comfort to the madman Saddam Hussein via the oil-for-food program-the U.N. remains thoroughly legitimized, and its corrupt, Third World leaders continue to live the good life in New York City.
In this country, every time you hear about the ACLU or the NEA supporting some outlandish idea that has the support of only a very tiny faction, you can bet the goal is to gain legitimacy for some action, activity, policy or process that will absolutely gall the rest of us. A high school boy wants to wear a Gay Pride T-shirt to class, or an African-American schoolboy wants to wear baggy trousers that expose his underpants, magically the ACLU appears with legal papers in hand, to make a mockery of free expression. A divorced atheist wants to contend that his daughter was "traumatized" at having to acknowledge God in the Pledge of Allegiance (she wasn't; her mother has raised her as a Christian), the ACLU is right there with its cavalry of righteous hypocrites.
Yet, the ACLU, basically, is an old communist front organization masquerading as the protector of democratic rights. It has managed to intimidate its way to legitimacy. Most beginning attorneys recognize that to be considered true professionals, they must provide so-much pro bono time to ACLU cases. No wonder the ACLU can afford to pop up anywhere, any time.
Columnist Thomas R. Hart pointed out in his recent piece for NewsWithViews.com, "Public Education Brainwashing," that John Dewey, the so-called "father of modern education," and Roger Nash Baldwin co-founded the ACLU in 1920. What neither prospective educators nor prospective attorneys are told when they "study" these men in college, however, is that both were also communists-Dewey a Marxist communist and Baldwin a Stalinist communist who belonged the Communist Party of the USA.
The NEA has a similar background. It was producing Marxist treatises like "Toward World Understanding" at the close of World War II. Indeed, the NEA co-created UNESCO, which is the driving force behind most of American curriculum.
The Marxist motto could well be "it's about legitimacy, Stupid!" In promoting legitimacy for things that have no place in a society like ours, Marxist-based organizations have accomplished what the Soviet Union failed to complete in its former incarnation (although, if you look carefully, Russia in recent months has been backsliding to its old totalitarian self).
Like Dr. Steven Yates, columnist and author of Civil Wrongs: What Went Wrong With Affirmative Action, I have long maintained that Marxism is alive and well, and that the goal of what Yates refers to as "Sovietization" was always much larger than the Soviet Union per se. The goal truly was global takeover, not so much by particular men and women, as by a worldview.
It is difficult for most Americans to fathom how, or indeed why, anybody would aggressively foist a worldview on others, especially if the perpetrators know they won't live long enough to share in the spoils of victory. But consider that our own Founding Fathers wanted to promulgate a new way of thinking about the relationship of government to citizens, too. Some became President and Cabinet heads to be sure, but those who ratified the Constitution and Bill of Rights considered the new government an experiment, and if other countries someday wanted to emulate it, fine. They believed Constitution and the Bill of Rights represented was a better way for people to live, and they were right.
These two documents, surrounded by its context, the Declaration of Independence, was a radical departure from previous thinking about government, and they gave us the highest standard of living on earth. But the Framers' reluctance to aggressively impose its experiment on a global scale has meant that Americans have trouble imagining any other country or group doing so.
Communist totalitarianism, with its socialist-nanny state worldview, is at its base a reactionary extension of past thinking. It rests upon the assumption that common people are too stupid to run their own lives and require an overseer. It also views defense necessarily as doing unto others before they do unto you.
Brutality and cruelty are seen as necessary to the process, as is the conquering of other countries. That Communism employed psychological tactics as well as military ones is not new either. Sun Tzu wrote "The Art of War" around 475 BC and incorporated psychological elements. But Marxist communists advanced psychological warfare to the level of an art form.
Today, that art form has become legitimized as method of advancing political causes right here in the USA. That the Bush Administration could even consider "hiring � two ex-KGB chiefs, General Yevgeni Primakov and Alexander Karpov, to work in the now infamous Office of Information Awareness (DARPA) to help design the equivalent of an internal passport for Americans," (see Steven Yates' December 18 column "National ID: Red Alert," at www.LewRockwell.com), is evidence that policymakers of the modern free world are, well, in free fall. They have bought in to idea that "scientific coercion" is necessary, and the two former Russian KGB agents are now thoroughly legitimized-as Homeland Security consultants.
For much too long, Americans have been "in denial" about the left wing, and particularly about the collusion between the left and its accomplices in the field of psychiatry and psychology. For those who have been following the debate on legislation to mandate universal mental health (see stellar pieces on this from such researchers as Dr. Dennis Cuddy in NewsWithViews.com, as well as my own analysis entitled "What? Are You Crazy?" in the November issue of Chronicles of the American Culture), it is excruciatingly clear that the two philosophical heavyweights of the communist movement, the Marxists and the Trotskyites (the latter of which, Yates correctly points out, has morphed into neo-conservatism), saw psychiatry and psychology as the perfect vehicles to disseminate culture change and mold public opinion, mainly because these professions were seen as "medical" by the masses. The fact that psychiatry and psychology are not medical has escaped much of the populace because both use technical terminologies to describe their tenets and opinions.
Together, psychiatry and psychology have done enormous damage to our major institutions-the schools, courts, media (including entertainment), and churches-rendering it nearly impossible today for mothers and fathers to maintain any semblance of sanctity and self-determination within their own families. Advertising and marketing agencies also are based in the behavioral "sciences," rendering product executives capable of selling clothes, games and music wholly damaging to youngsters. Moreover, it has been made so difficult to transmit values like modesty, delayed gratification, and integrity that many otherwise good parents have simply given up and left it to the state-which, of course, is precisely what the leftists want.
Every year, American parents are reminded how free they are, and every year they find themselves more baffled at their inability to pass on moral absolutes in a culture contaminated by the utterly erroneous tenets of psychology. These dogmas are foisted on their children every time they enter the classroom, turn on the tube, go to the movies, pick up a magazine, or even, in some cases, attend Sunday school.
We are closer than we have ever been to losing this battle in 2005. Last year, the courts (at the behest of the ACLU and likeminded entities) became downright belligerent in their effort to drive God and Christianity out of schools and public places. This is because psychology dictates that belief in a Higher Being reflects a stone-age mentality, generates wars, and is dangerous to mental health. The best narrative describing this diktat comes from two speeches to the World Federation of Mental Health, one by Drs. John Rawlings Rees and Brock Chisholm in 1940 and 1947, respectively. Consequently, what was once a contemptible notion-eradicating traditional concepts about right and wrong on the supposition that such notions produced dogmatism, inflexibility, paranoia, and irrationality-has now morphed into the legitimate preoccupation of script writers, special interest groups, schools and government agencies.
Homosexual perversion won out in many of the Christian denominations last year, as well as in several state courts, even though voters themselves overwhelmingly rejected it at the polls in 2004. Never mind, homosexuality is now firmly established in the American lexicon, and if parents don't like it, that's tough.
With God nearly out of the way, unelected leftist judges have been able to legalize abortion-on-demand, keep parents from doing their jobs (as per the Washington State decision on children's rights to "privacy"), and use psychiatric "counseling" as a legitimate method of whipping people into shape. If parishioners are turned off by the ridiculous foray into homosexual unions, crowding out topics more vital to average people, then that's good news for the leftists, because it means declining church attendance and increased social chaos as the years go by.
The Rose Parade was a welcome sign-for now. But how much longer?
The Marxists are nothing if not patient. The
old saw about three steps forward for every one step backward being
good news still goes for the forces of the left. Americans need
to take a page out of Kiev's book and insist, like voters
in the Ukraine, that the fanatics who are shredding our heritage
and ideals no longer can continue to legitimize themselves under
a pretty name and colorful banner.
Beverly Eakman is an Educator, 9 years: 1968-1974, 1979-1981. Specialties: English and Literature.
Science Editor, Technical Writer and Editor-in-Chief of official newspaper, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1974-1979. Technical piece, "David, the Bubble Baby," picked up by popular press and turned into a movie starring John Travolta.
Chief speech writer, National Council for Better Education, 1984-1986; for the late Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, Commission on the Bicentennial of the US Constitution, 1986-1987; for the Voice of America Director, 1987-1989; and for U.S. Department of Justice, Gerald R. Regier, 1991-1993.
Author: 3 books on education and data-trafficking
since 1991, including the internationally acclaimed Cloning
of the American Mind: Eradicating Morality Through Education. Executive
Director, National Education Consortium. Website: BeverlyE.com
Now along comes Montgomery County, Maryland, which includes my home town of Kensington (made a national laughingstock last year for trying to ban Santa Claus), has approved a sex-education video for middle-schoolers that presents homosexual couples as actual families.