Dads Against the Divorce Industry

DA*DI is devoted to reinstating the societal valuation of Marriage and the traditional, nuclear American Family, with particular emphasis on the essential role of FATHERS.

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If Everybody Was Jumping Off the Roof,
Would You Jump Off Too?

The author greets and shares ideas with Dr. Alan Keyes after his speaking engagement at the Open Bible Church in Des Moines, IA, 8/98.

Susan Estrich, on Fox News
Sunday 8/23/98, in her ongoing Carol Channing
Hello ...uh, Dolly?

At some point in their children's lives all parents lose the power for absolute enforcement of the rules. They must resign the office of benevolent dictators of their children's actions and outcomes if they are not to be abandoned by those children. At that point they must assume the official use of the Bully Pulpit.

Instead of demanding that their children exhibit unequivocal obedience, parents must resort to faith that they have bred in their children a sense of moral authority and respect for their elders and other authority figures. One of the tools of that Bully Pulpit is Shaming. Shame can be imputed from a moral source, or evinced from an appeal to the unremitting law of logic.

The universal parental, logical admonition is thus "Well, if everybody was jumping off the roof, would you jump off too?" Then the parent, confident of their inescapable logical proof, stands back awaiting the expected reply; "of course not mom, dad, I know better than that." Which may be followed by some kind of "but" statement that is used more to regain face than impugn the parental brilliance.

All of this is intended to bring me to my point about the erosion of moral and ethical values in today's culture. For the first time in the history of the "everybody does it" defense, it has been legitimized by the "leader of the free world" and his minions. Parents, beware! The primary weapon in the arsenal of the familial bully pulpit has been disarmed. You are now mere Davids before Goliath in the comparison of the size of your respective bully pulpits.

Case in point; the demise of moral outrage. I am writing this on a Sunday afternoon, following a painful morning of listening to the minions of the current occupant of the White House argue their case in support of his continued residency there, after an outright admission to the American public that he had indeed, jumped off that roof - and had demanded that his minions follow.

Despite poll ratings that show that the vast majority of Americans feel the president does not share their moral values, the annointed representatives spoke on the Christian sabbath thusly:

Representative John Conyers (D) of Michigan, responding to Bill Bennet whose most recent book is titled: "The Death of Outrage; Bill Clinton and the Assault on American Ideals", profaned in this way: " you're not God ... for goodness sakes, we haven't even had a hearing yet. ... What about Reagan, Bush, and Gingrich? ... " (translation: Everybody does it. You're just a right-wing Christian extremist, and you have no right to be judgemental.)

Patricia Ireland, that paragon of NOW lesbian values, despite her derision of the "repugnant" behavior of the president, added: "...I would disagree that this is new with presidents being in office, we know former presidents that behaved in this way. (BUT) I would disagree to say that we are moving away from honor but rather toward a greater honor, toward a greater honesty and away from the hypocrisy that has historically surrounded this kind of abuse of power by men." ... "I think that the president has acted like a horse's patoot, ... but I do think it's a question of the complexity of any human being and that people are judging his performance based on his performance in office and as president ... Monica Lewinsky has not filed charges, this was not against her will or her consent ... people in the country now understand the power differential and the problems with this ..." (translation: Everybody does it, BUT, yes it is awful and dangerous to jump off the roof, BUT thankfully, this wonderful president has now shown us that it is awful and dangerous to jump off the roof, so we're jumping.)

Later, Tony Snow asked; "Is there anything that President Clinton can do to lose women's support?"

Susan Estrich, Democratic strategist, in-house hysteric, and Carol Channing wannabe weighed in on the everybody does it side: "... one of the reasons women have stuck with this president is ... because women have common sense and they realize that the terrorism we talked about earlier is more important than his tie. And his conduct, to be honest, is something that most of us were on pretty good notice of when we elected him president." ... "I'm not saying that character doesn't count, but I am saying that adopting a test of character that makes private consensual sexual stupidity more important than handling the economy or running foreign policy would deprive us of most of the leaders of the twentieth century." ... "no law of the United States was violated ... " (translation: Everybody does it, women are turned on by him, but it isn't against the law to jump off the roof, and besides, ... Hello? Dolly?)

Unfortunately, the hypocrisy of these unchagrined displays of 60's rationalizations and egocentric iconoclasm followed my attendance at a speech delivered by Dr. Alan Keyes on the day before. Anyone who has heard Dr. Keyes speak knows that he has eloquently provided the essential answer to the country's current malaise - "It's the morality, stupid."

At the end of this speech, Dr. Keyes made a profound point related to the "everybody does it" defense. He related the disappointment that he experienced in his 96' campaign for the presidency. Following his speeches, countless people at each rally, attended by thousands of people eager to hear his moral message, would come up to him after the speech to warmly and enthusiastically offer their endorsement of, and gratitude for his energetic candor. But then, said Dr. Keyes, "They voted for the other guys."

Translation: We are grateful that you have alerted us to the fact that we are in danger of jumping off the roof, BUT we want to vote for a winner - "everybody does (it)."

Yup, folks, those now occupying the bully pulpit are the children of the sixties, who were voted there by their peers. They have triumphantly debunked the old caveats against the dangers of self-destruction. And they know that it is ok, because Everybody does it. BUT, I think that all of these shrill "but's" are increasingly indicative that they are frantically trying to cover their shame for the man they voted into that pulpit.

As Alan Keyes might have justifiably said; "Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue."

The royal lemmings can follow the regal incumbent, and continue to jump at his command. As for me, just like I told my folks, I'll stay ON the roof, right up there alongside Alan Keyes.

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