Out of the Closet-A Sixteen Year Old Speaks

Most parents are abnormally prejudiced towards their children (smartest, prettiest, etc.) and I am no exception. Most parents also butt heads with their children over some things (pig-sty rooms, chores, music, etc.) and again, I am no exception.


My sixteen year old and I have an interesting relationship. We butt heads quite a bit over some things, but overall, he’s a pretty decent kid who has a habit of pleasantly surprising me at times. He hates long hair, preferring his hair be short (the longer it gets, the more curls he gets and he hates curls), his room to be spotless (how many sixteen year olds STEAM CLEAN their carpets ON THEIR OWN, regularly?), he does his own laundry and…wait for it…actually TALKS to me about things that matter.

On the other hand, he loves to fight with his sisters, teases the dog with his dirty socks (my sympathies lie with the dog), he can be extremely sullen, I hate his “music”, his grades are disgraceful (I’m often called for conferences wherein he’s insulted a teacher who has refused to answer his questions), he likes to drive fast and wants to put a turbo in my minivan (one reason he still has a permit and not a license) and likes to stay hidden in his room. He also claims to “hate” his nieces and nephew (although he becomes a human jungle gym, giggling and laughing with them any time we’re visiting my oldest and her family).

This past school year, he got into some serious trouble both at home and at school. I literally kicked him out (he lived with my brother) and gave the school permission to search him at any time, unannounced. He was found to be carrying pot at school and in a quantity sufficient to be charged with dealing rather than personal use. In Arizona, this is a felony–particularly since it happened during a search at school and he had the drug on school grounds.

However, his principal refused to call the police. Because of his honesty (he is disgustingly honest), he only pulled a 5 day suspension and was allowed to return to school. He is the type of kid who, if you ask him something, will tell you the truth–but you have to know how to ask.

He pulled a book out of his backpack the other day, “Marijuana: The New Prohibition” by John Kaplan (written in 1969 and published in 1970). After all the trouble he had been in, he finally decided to do some research. He also–thinking it would be a way to irritate me–decided he is “politically liberal”.

Then we had a long discussion, a question and answer discussion. I asked him why he thought he was a liberal and his answer was because he thinks pot should be legalized–the standard argument of pot vs. alcohol.

Rather than dwell on that particular aspect, I decided to ask him some questions regarding other political aspects, questions about taxation, government waste, duplicate agencies, that kind of thing. Did I happen to mention this kid has been tested repeatedly and continues to test at above-genius levels, even with his disgraceful grades? He also listens to conservative talk radio in the car where I have a captive audience while driving the kids to school and around with me on errands.

Out of the mouths of babes come the most incredible answers.

In our question and answer discussion, I used the example of government waste as far as street repair–how DOT often tears up a street, makes improvements, repaves, etc. and then, a short time later, has to re-do it all again and how that wastes money in the form of DOT, traffic disruption, etc. because DOT hasn’t coordinated with the gas company or the water company or whatever and they all work together to get the job done at one time and together instead of tearing up the streets and re-doing them over and over again. His solution was there needed to be the implementation of a central computer where all agencies and utility companies coordinated the jobs together. I told him that’s a great idea, but the money that could go into that kind of coordination has already been wasted in doing the same job over and over again in the pattern already set. Again, he responded with, well, then all jobs need to be put on hold until the computer system is in place and jobs can be coordinated, rather than continuing in such a wasteful manner.

I filed that answer away and went to the next topic, duplicate agencies. He stated he was for duplicate agencies in case one safety net failed. So I brought up the point of paying two sets of people to do the exact same job when they could be combined into a more streamlined agency and cut the deadwood. I also asked him who he thought paid for the duplicate agencies. He responded, well, the government pays for them. So I asked him where the government got the money to pay for them. He didn’t know. When I explained to him the only way the government can pay anyone is through taxing those who work, from “you and me”, he stopped and thought a good long time. Then he said, so you mean when I get a job (oh yes, he’s actively looking for a job) the government is going to take money from me to pay these people? I said YES. Well, in his mind, that’s just not fair for the government to take his money he earned and give it out to people.

I said welcome to the working world. By funding duplicate agencies, agencies doing exactly the same thing, paying people to do exactly the same job, the government takes YOUR money. He decided it would be better if there were a way to combine and streamline the duplicate agencies instead of having a duplicate safety net.

On to the next topic–the difference in liberalism and conservatism in taxation and fiscal responsibility. I explained liberals like to have all kinds of government programs to “help” those who refuse to get a job of their own and in order to fund those programs we go back to taxation. Conservatives like to keep taxes low and not fund as many programs, essentially forcing people to do for themselves. His response was absolutely priceless.

He decided it would be a good idea to give a “survey” to each person as they registered to vote, actually make it a part of the voter registration process, to clarify where each person stood on basic issues. Hey, these are his words, people. Then, he said, each year when budgets come up, for those who are staunchly in favor of all the government programs (based upon their answers to the survey when they registered to vote), tax THEM more since they want to fund things so badly and tax those who want less government LESS–for those who want big government so badly, let THEM pay for it, don’t make everyone pay for what THEY want.

Again, I filed his response away.

Then, he pulled out the book I mentioned above and he read me a passage. Here is that passage, from the Preface (all emphasis mine):

Marijuana to some is the symbol of yet another strain in our society–that of radicalism. Like most of the other symbolic aspects of marijuana use, the nexus is not a completely irrational one. When marijuana use was just becoming a middle-class phenomenon, around the beginning of the sixties, the first middle class users of the drug tended to be far more radical politically than their fellows, perhaps because they were so alienated from society that they could ignore one of its most severe criminal laws. And though, as marijuana use became more widespread, the ranks of the users came to include every political persuasion, it is still true that on the average, middle-class marijuana-users are considerably more likely to be liberal, just as they are more likely to have no formal religion and to come from wealthier and better-educated families.

In any event, regardless of whether it is in fact true, many people connect the willingness to use marijuana in defiance of society’s dictates with a willingness to overthrow the established institutions of that society.

That would seem to explain the Hillary’s and their love of communism, the leftist liberal bastions of society (such as the majority of our universities), Code Pink, and most of the democratic party not to mention all the treasonists and seditionists this country is faced with.

My son had to think long and hard after our conversation–it’s not easy to believe yourself to be a so-called enlightened liberal in defiance of your conservative mom only to be shown to be just as conservative when the mirror is held up to your beliefs and you’re forced to face your true feelings. Poor kid, I could almost feel sorry for him.

Take a kid out of the cocoon of public education and he comes out of the closet as a conservative. If it starts with just one, there may be hope for this country yet.

Also posted at Real Clear Politics here and Grizzly Groundswell here.

%d bloggers like this: