Michelle' advice to parents
Playing community organizer in chiefs and national parents, plus, benignly, never letting a crisis go to waste, Michelle Obama offers advice to parents following the Tucson horror. Fair enough. They're certainly entitled to their methods of child raising--and from what I've seen they've done a fine job; it isn't easy raising children in the spotlight's glare; it probably isn't easy growing up in that spotlight.
But they will provide an opportunity for us as parents to teach some valuable lessons - about the character of our country, about the values we hold dear, and about finding hope at a time when it seems far away.
W e can teach our children that here in America, we embrace each other, and support each other, in times of crisis. And we can help them do that in their own small way - whether it's by sending a letter, or saying a prayer, or just keeping the victims and their families in their thoughts.
We can teach them the value of tolerance - the practice of assuming the best, rather than the worst, about those around us. We can teach them to give others the benefit of the doubt, particularly those with whom they disagree.
We can also teach our children about the tremendous sacrifices made by the men and women who serve our country and by their families. We can explain to them that although we might not always agree with those who represent us, anyone who enters public life does so because they love their country and want to serve it.
Well and good, these are important attributes for all, not just children.
But there are other methods of public service--"giving back" in the gooey liberal parlance, as if you have something illegally grabbed something and your better self, knowing this, must now return it--than working for the government. Private industry, with its innovation, incentives and freedom, provides most of the important goods and services in this country while creating jobs and improving our lives.
And as for teaching "the value of tolerance--the practice of assuming the best, rather than the worst, about those around us," also good but...there is a reason, for instance, airline passengers are compelled to travel through an elaborate maze, violating their intimate privacy, before boarding a plane, that we teach children about "stranger danger," that the president, his wife and their two daughters are surrounded by a security detail.
As Robin of Berkeley has pointed out there is evil in the world. Enough people voiced their doubts about Loughner, assuming the worst. Alas, understandably, aside from barring him from his school, little was done. Hindsight is wonderful so let's not cast too much blame. It's there and America's vaunted freedoms do not cause it despite the warped proclamations of a Russian journalist , nicely refudiated by departing press secretary Robert Gibbs.
So Michelle Obama, in addition to teaching your lovely daughters about tolerance and seeking the best in people, please warn them that eventually their security detail will be no longer and they had better be careful.
And remind your husband that even with his security detail, there are forces out there opposed to this country that should neither be trusted nor tolerated but forcefully refudiated.