Tuesday, December 6, 2011
- The Tragedy Of Hyper-Regulation
My daughter, taking her cue from her greedy 1%’er parents, made her number 1 “to die for” item on he Christmas list this year… a youtube account. Actually, she already has a youtube account that she uses for commenting on her friends stuff. What she actually wanted for Christmas was permission to post videos.
She would never consider doing it without getting specific permission from us. To give you an idea of the kind of kid she is, even if she’s the only one in the living room, she’ll search our house high and low to ask someone if she has permission to change the TV channel. The only time I ever heard her swear was when she was 15 months old and copying her mother as the second plane hit the south tower. She covers her eyes whenever the Simpson’s or Futurama gets too risqué. She’s such a good kid – the kind of daughter everyone hopes for.Are we a little overprotective? Probably. But it hasn’t exactly done her a lot of damage so far.
We gave her permission on the Youtube thing of course, but not as a Christmas gift. She’s done really well in school and she’s been so responsible lately, that we felt she’s earned it. That’s the way the world is supposed to work; you don’t get the trust of your parents as a gift under the tree, you earn it. And we both felt that she has. But the hyper regulatory state required that we lay some ground rules first.
In our house we treat the internet like a loaded weapon where my daughter is concerned. She knows she’s not allowed to tell anyone her real name or where she lives. She knows that someone pretending to be an 11 year old girl may in fact be some sleazy guy who’s looking to harm her. We’ve been over the rules more times than she needs, and the truth is, she’s really great about it. But now we’ve also told her to be careful not to say anything mean about any of the kids at school, even if it’s true. Because if she did, some bureaucrat somewhere may decide she’s an online bully and throw her in jail.
(or at least try to...they’ll have to come to whatever country we’ve run to first, and when they do they’ll have to shoot their way in… but that’s really another topic.)
My daughter is a sweet, innocent, and surprisingly well adjusted kid who has never had so much as a cruel thought. She is one of those girls who everyone likes, and is at an age where she and her friends have not yet started to compete for boys. And yet if she says the wrong thing online, it’s not impossible that some idiot nanny state regulator will accuse of harming someone’s self esteem and brand her a criminal.
My daughter makes fun of the diversitoids in her school, and knows to give the teachers the answers they want to hear, even if the truth is different. She makes fun of global warming (and laughs at her friends who believe in it) calls recycling a waste of time, and thinks accusing someone of being a racist if they so much as ask for black coffee, is the funniest joke in the world. And now she also knows that she has to fear the state. She knows that the law in NJ has become an arbitrary and capricious thing that has as much to do with how other people feel as it does with facts.
I don’t have any emotional stake in Dodd-Frank, or Obamacare, or using the tax code as a weapon in class warfare. I don’t have hurt feelings about gutting the military or emboldening our enemies or letting Solyndra and GE loot the Treasury. I’m not a fan of any of that stuff because it’s contrary to our interest, but I don’t take any of it personally. To be perfectly frank, I’ve always known that if I wanted to succeed I had to do it over the objections of basically everyone and that the government and all their leftist enablers would stand in the way wherever they could. The deck has always been stacked against someone like me, so stacking it a little deeper won’t stop me now.
But when it comes to the fact that my daughter has to start watching her back at age 11 for fear of breaking some idiotic law designed to protect some kid’s self esteem, I really do get upset about it. How perverse and twisted our hyper-regulatory world has become when a sweet kid like my daughter should have to be burdened by something like that. How tragic it is to watch a once great nation rot from the inside out – one idiotic little leftist rule change at a time.