On Thursday, Congress attempted to override President Bush's veto of the SCHIP expansion. SCHIP? Isn't that something to do with health care for children? Absolutely. And here is Bay Area Democratic Rep. Pete Stark addressing the issue with his customary forensic incisiveness:
"The Republicans are worried that they can't pay for insuring an additional 10 million children. They sure don't care about finding $200 billion to fight the illegal war in Iraq. Where are you going to get that money? Are you going to tell us lies like you're telling us today? Is that how you're going to fund the war? You don't have money to fund the war on children, but you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people? If he can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."
I'm not sure I follow the argument here: President Bush wants to breed a generation of sickly uninsured children in order to send them to Iraq to stagger round the Sunni Triangle, weak and spindly and emaciated and rickets-stricken, to get their heads blown off? Is that the gist of it? No matter, Congressman Stark hit all the buzz words – "children," "illegal war," "$200 billion," "lies," etc. – and these days they're pretty much like modular furniture: You can say 'em in any order, and you'll still get a cheer from the crowd.
Congressman Stark is unlikely ever to be confused with Gen. Stark, who gave New Hampshire its stirring motto, "Live free or die!" In the congressman's case, the choice appears to be: "Live free on government health care or die in Bush's illegal war!" Nevertheless, in amongst the autopilot hooey the Stark raving madman did use an interesting expression: "the war on children."
One assumes he means some illegal Republican Party "war on children." Last Thursday, Nancy Pelosi, as is the fashion, used the phrase "the children" like some twitchy verbal tic, a kind of Democrat Tourette's syndrome: "This is a discussion about America's children … We could establish ourselves as the children's Congress … Come forward on behalf of the children ... I tried to do that when I was sworn in as speaker surrounded by children. It was a spontaneous moment, but it was one that was clear in its message: we are gaveling this House to order on behalf of the children."
Pelosi and the Democrats go on and on blah blah blah about "the children", even as they continue to propose more and more entitlements/Ponzi schemes that will leave it to "the children" (when they are grown-up, of course) to figure out how they are going to pay for it. Steyn rightly points out the imminent societal collapses that can be expected in European countries who have been playing this game much more earnestly than in the U.S.
Betsy has more on the fiscal aspect of Steyn's piece, which you should read in full.
From a wider perspective, though, what Steyn is talking about is the politicization of children; i.e., the use of children to advance a political or ideological agenda. This sort of child abuse is going on on a number of levels, both in Western culture and in Middle Eastern culture. Specifically, I want to focus on the hyper-sexualization of children in the West, and the concommitant hyper-"aggressivization" of children in the Arab/Islamic world.
A recent search of the headlines will give us plenty to ponder on the sexualization being waged in the West. Consider this. And this. and this. In Norway: this Or how about this?
What does any of the above represent, except an all-out assault on the sexual identity and genitalia of today's children. Oh, don't bother to tell me this is all done with the best of intentions...quite frankly, I'm rather sick of hearing that particular line.
Don't these do-gooders ever consider the long-term consequences of their actions? Or is it just enough for them to feel in the moment oh-so-good about what wonderful, modern, tolerant, progressive people they are? They will conveniently forget that it was their policies and their agenda when the sexual chickens come home to roost (imagine an entire society of Brittainys and Madonnas and their male equivalents).
Meanwhile their socialist counterparts in the Middle East really have perfected a way to accomplish what the Stark Raving Mad congressman from Maine insinuated (i.e., "President Bush wants to breed a generation of sickly uninsured children in order to send them to Iraq to stagger round the Sunni Triangle, weak and spindly and emaciated and rickets-stricken, to get their heads blown off)--with one little creative modification!
When they blow their little heads off, they will be dying to blow yours off, too. These jihadi kids don't draw guns and play as a means of discharging youthful aggressive impulses on the road to civilized behavior; they shoot them for real, at real human targets and are rewarded according to how much they are able to express the uncivilized cultural hatred that motivates the adults in their society. Instead of learning civilized behavior, they learn to project their hatred onto Jews and Christians. This is a violent video "game" in real life.
Do you imagine there is not a difference between fantasy play (which teaches a child how to control impulses and tame his or her inner monsters in the safety of fantasy) and participating in real-life violence, brutality or sex (which gives tacit permission and actively encourages the child to become his or her inner monsters) ?
If you are unable to distinguish the difference, then you must be a member of the so-called "reality-based" community who seem to specialize in utopian fantasies where human aggression has been magically eliminated from the species, and we all "make love, not war" in some utopian meadow of the not-too-distant future.
Good luck with that.
Instead of channeling human aggression and sexuality into societally productive avenues that benefit both individuals and cultures in which they live, we are witness to the spectacle of the political left gleefully encouraging and supporting dysfunctional sexuality that reeks of entitlement, irresponsibility, and perversity. Their moral counterparts in the "religion of peace", channel it directly into hatred and religious fanatacism.
Frequent visitors to this blog might recall that I have written quite a bit about psychological defense mechanisms (and here, for example) which operate unconsciously for the most part; and that they exist in a spectrum from immature to mature. On the immature end we have psychotic denial and ordinary denial (which children engage in frequently). As they mature, ordinary denial will morph into psychological repression (a neurotic, lower level psychological defense) and with maturity, the individual may evolve into using a process of sublimation, one of the most mature defenses, to manage any inappropriate sexual or aggressive impulses.
Contrary to the usual marxist propaganda, it is not capitalism that is encourages the use of immature psychological defenses, but life itself. But, it is capitalism and the capitalist system that offer a healthy channel for the redirection of negative psychic energy into something positive for both the individual and the group at large.
Something, I might add, that marxism, socialism and all its malignant variants completely fail to do. In fact, what they encourage are the use of unhealthy defenses (acting out, reaction formation, denial, projection, displacement to name a few) which, because such defenses are suboptimal and even self-defeating in the long-run, do nothing to improve the lot of either the society at large, or the individual unlucky enough to be living in it.
Societies, like individuals, can adopt mature defenses and deal with reality; or they can deny reality and look elsewhere for the source of their problems. Many countries, like individuals, prefer to put the blame for their own failures onto an outside source, since that is safer for the self-image. In order to maintain the fiction that their problems are caused externally, a group or country or culture needs to indoctrinate children at the earliest age possible in order to make sure that their cognitive faculties are short-circuited and won't question the ideology or dogma.
A "healthy" country, like a healthy individual will utilize mature defenses to cope with their aggressive and/or sexual impulses. They are not afraid of their aggressive impulses because those impulses are reigned in by reason and not indulged in lightly. They are able to find pleasure and satisfaction in their sexual impusles, not by indiscriminantly indulging in every pleasurable urge or whim, but by harnessing that sexuality to values that promote true intimacy and happiness.
Healthy societies do not encourage either sexual or aggressive (i.e. violent) acting out in their children. On the contrary, healthy societies encourge responsible sexual behavior and appropriate and realistic compromise and accommodation of others.
Sex and aggression are very closely connected. According to Freudian theory, all behavior can be thought of as motivated by a desire to feel pleasure. That motivation is organized and directed by two instincts: sexuality (Eros), and aggression (Thanatos). Freudian psychology in its earliest incarnations was almost obsesively preoccupied with sex. This is because Freud himself lived in a puritanical Victorian-era society and was reacting against the extreme prudishness of the age. The psychological symptoms Freud saw in his practice and described so brilliantly were to be expected in a society that ruthlessly repressed sex.
One does not need to wonder what kind of symptoms are to be expected in a society that, instead of repressing it, glorifies it and indoctrinates its children into sexual pleasures without concomitantly teaching them about personal responsibility or that there are real world consequences to one's behavior (something that can only be learned with maturity).
In my profession, we have been dealing with these "counterFreudian" symptoms since the "sexual revolution" peaked in the middle of the last century. Nothing like a little Utopian Marxism-gone-berserk to really alienate people from themselves, destroy interpersonal relationships and produce a society that joyfully celebrates sex without personal intimacy for the glorification of the state.
Here in the West, we have glorified one instinct (sex) while ruthlessly suppressing the other (aggression)
Meanwhile, children on the other side of the world are indoctinated into violence without benefit of conscience, as their religion and culture ruthless suppress sex and glorify aggression and violence in the name of god.
Jihadi Kids vs Metrosexual Kids. Both are very similar psychic processes that pervert two natural human instincts and channel them them into mindless human actions, unconnected with human reason or compassion. Both have become deliberately politicized and foisted on children in order to advance a utopian ideology and agenda.
Now that is a real war on children.