KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: Socialist Kool-Aid? I try not to linger in the quasi-juice aisle too long, but I know I haven’t seen that. Does such a characterization potentially harm your message, or is the effect truly that pernicious — that our children are drinking in socialism daily?
MARYBETH HICKS: I wish the Kool-Aid weren’t so pervasive, but unfortunately, the numbers about our young generation don’t lie. By every measurable standard I could find, they believe what the Left tells them about virtually every hot-button issue of our day. And it should not surprise us. The institutions with the greatest influence on our kids are decidedly leftist — that is, the schools and educational infrastructure, the media, and pop culture. So it’s not just this conservative mom/columnist suggesting that the Left is whistling the only tune our kids hear. The Left is proud of this fact!
LOPEZ: To quote from your book, “I personally have sat through dozens of youth basketball games in which players and their parents counted the score in their heads because official scoring was not allowed.” But, come on, we still watch sports games that do keep score. How bad is it really that tykes play just for the sake of playing?
HICKS: The whole “equality of outcomes” movement in education has morphed into a weird preoccupation with ensuring that all kids always feel great about everything they do, and that includes sports. Kids can learn solid character through athletic participation because sports are a perfect metaphor for life. And nobody likes to lose, but if we don’t teach children to lose, we also won’t help them develop the drive to succeed. (Actually, I did say in the book that wee ones should enjoy non-competitive instructional sports for the sake of learning new games.) The point is, there’s an obsession with “fairness of outcomes” that has permeated our children’s experiences, and that’s a cornerstone of a socialist worldview.
LOPEZ: This “no losers” attitude: Is it especially bad for boys?
HICKS: It’s especially bad for all kids if you’re trying to raise a generation that is willing to work hard, persevere, overcome disappointments, focus on goals, and win in the end! The idea that no one loses — or that no one should lose — creates expectations of entitlement that most of us recognize as dangerous and all too evident already. The finished product of such an upbringing looks a lot like the rioters in London — young people running amok without conscience or conviction, believing they’re entitled to get back at people who have more than they do.
LOPEZ: You write, “Before our children are old enough to shop for mom jeans and minivans, mark my words: America will be a place where all children are required to learn (and thus believe) that gender confusion isn’t a disorder but a normal phase of human development, and that differences between men and women are irrelevant, destructive, and useless.”
HICKS: By the time today’s children are young adults with little ones of their own, the issue of gender confusion will have been normalized. It won’t be considered a disorder, but just a “normal” aspect of sexual questioning, which will include other “normal” phases of hetero- or homosexuality in one’s life. That’s a radically different idea about sexuality than has been promoted even in our generation.