During the 1992 presidential debates, there was a moment of absurdity that so defied the laws of absurdity that even today when I recall it, I just shake my head.It's still alarming.
It was during the town hall "debate" in Richmond, Va., between the first President Bush and contenders Bill Clinton and Ross Perot.
A grown man - a baby boomer - took the microphone from the moderator, Carol Simpson of ABC News, and said, in a fashion: You're the president, so you're like our father, and we're your children.
See? My head's shaking already. Where did that come from? Would a grown man have told a president something like that 100 years ago - or 50?
We've got our wires crossed, and our ability to accept responsibility for our lives - once so ingrained in our American nature that President Kennedy felt comfortable telling us to "ask not what your country can do for you" - has been short-circuited. We've slouched en masse into an almost-childlike outlook: You're the president, so you're like our father.
The fact that an adult - on national television, no less - would say this and later be interviewed as though he'd spoken some profound truth struck me then, as now, as more than a little absurd. It was alarming.
In today's USA Today was a letter from G. Bruce Hedlund of San Andreas, California. Mr. Hedlund said this:
Think of our country as a society made up of children and a government made up of adults. It is up to the adults to weigh all the options and provide services in the best interests of the children.There is so much wrong with this I don't even know where to start, but I will say that this attitude is responsible for the US receiving the government we've voted for.
On that note, I think I'm going to go get some dinner.