Keep Kids Away From McCain

Jade Moon
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Wednesday - September 24, 2008
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“You/he/she made me do it!” That line is classically preceded by another familiar phrase - “It’s not my fault!”

And who uses those two sentences most frequently? Children who are caught red-handed doing something naughty. Also, domestic abusers adroit at convincing their victims that they are responsible for their pain.

Oh, and John McCain. I was floored when I saw McCain’s response when confronted directly with evidence that he and his running mate have been lying repeatedly about their opponent’s record and intentions. To paraphrase the senator from Arizona, all the nastiness coming out of his campaign is Senator Obama’s fault, because Obama did not agree to joint appearances at town hall meetings.

Let me say it another way. McCain says he’s forced to lie repeatedly because Obama did not do what he, McCain, wanted him to do.

Imagine if your child did something really, really bad, like, say, telling a damaging lie about a teacher, one whose career might be ruined if the lie is not disproved. Confronted with evidence, the child says, “but he made me do it. He didn’t give me the grade I wanted.” Creepy, right?

McCain’s “Obama made me do it” reasoning is just as creepy. And just as damaging to all of us, the parents who are trying every day to impart lessons in life to our kids.

We want our children to grow up with a sense of honor. John McCain, a man who personified honor because of his courage and sacrifice for our country, apparently now believes that honor is currency to be spent in any way he chooses.

We want our children to be honest. Mr. McCain and his chosen running mate have lied about Obama’s stand on taxes - they say he’ll raise them; he actually seeks to cut taxes for the middle class. McCain says Obama wants to teach sex education to kindergarteners; the truth is that the bill Obama approved would teach little children about sexual predators. Let’s not even get into the really stupid “lipstick on a pig” accusations, or the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” or Sarah Palin’s record on earmarks - the lies have been exposed, and yet are repeated over and over again by the candidates as if they believe the public is too stupid to know the truth.

So kids, here’s your lesson of the day from these people: It’s best to be honest ... unless the truth gets in the way. Then, of course, it’s OK to lie to get what you want.

And then there’s that thing you’re always telling your kids. It’s a value that we respect as straight-talking, forthright Americans. It’s the one that says, take responsibility for your actions. It you do something wrong, take your punishment like a man. Or a woman. Stole that candy bar? Confess and pay up. Cheated on that test? Accept the suspension and the bad grades. Murder someone? Go to prison. Lie to the public, assassinate a person’s character and turn a presidential campaign into a vitriolic cesspool? According to Mr. McCain, that’s OK, because it’s the other guy’s fault.

Kids, here’s another lesson for you to absorb: Do what we say, not what we do.

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