Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Nanny State

Fellow blogger The Rebellious Pastor's Wife has recently posted an excellent refutation of the book Why Mommy is a Democrat. The book itself is a horrendous piece of propaganda but that is not what I want to spend time on, if you want to read about its misleading nature go read The Rebellious Pastor's Wife. [Zoidberg] "Do it, I tell you! Or face the wrath of my mighty Claw!"

What I would rather spend time on is the idea of the Nanny State. Now, I will be very candid and state that I believe I can take better care of myself than some must justify my taking up oxygen bureaucrat in D.C. I do firmly believe that God has given authority to our government to rule our country, however, I do not think this means they necessarily must regulate ever part of my existence. I like the Pastor's wife have noticed a decided note of disapproval of people who do not rely on the government in certain aspects of life.

Thankfully, we have numerous families who homeschool in congregation so most people are not put off by Mrs. forty-two's desire to homeschool little Rebekah and future siblings. We still get a little bit of but how will you properly socialize your kids. Personally, I ain't too worried. I just think they will miss out on the fun of Friday Night Football. Oh well.

Where we really get the odd looks is when people find out we are attempting to opt out of Social Security. It is like we are from a different planet because we don't wish to rely on the generosity of government which is habitually incapable of balancing its own budget. I also wish to minimize the numbers of strings the government feels it has on my ministry.

With these in mind I think you can easily figure out that I am not a fan of the nanny state and as I look out at the political landscape I am reminded of a short story I read in highschool. I wish I could remember the title. Maybe somebody can help me out. Anyhow, the story is about a time of political correctness run a muck, where good dancers are shackled, pretty faces are hidden behind a mask, and smart people have implants that keep them from focusing too long all in the name of equality. The nanny state ideally is about bringing people all to the same level.

However, in reality it is always about bringing everybody down to the lowest common denominator. Look at our schools, the SAT has been readjusted to make students feel smarter and now instead of actually having to know math you get to use a calculator. Heaven help us if the calculator dies. Yes, I rely on one myself, but at least I can do the math without one. My wife is a victim of public school mediocrity, she is a brilliant person, she graduated salutatorian from her highschool, but was never challenged. When she was in college she was not prepared for the rigors of excelling at the collegiate level. To put it this way, public school was so easy she did not pay attention in class but read a book and still maintained a 4.0. These factors play into why she wishes to homeschool.

Now the nanny state schools are more concerned about instilling tolerance of ideas they agree with and the color ink that will not negatively affect the self-esteem of the child than they are about getting children to achieve their highest potential. My other issue with the nanny state ideal is what I call the Animal Farm Principle - all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

The nanny state is predicated on the idea of equality but it does so at the expense of certain groups. Instead, of actually working to erase distinctions it heightens them by giving so called disadvantaged groups special liberties. The book in question TRPW's blog is a prime example of this phenomenon. It demonizes white middle/upper class people.

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