Thursday, June 2, 2011

Oh, Grow Up

BooMan is pessimistic about dealing with the Republicans.

They can’t be taught through reason nor through electoral defeat. They will not argue or negotiate in good faith. Science means nothing to them. College education is suspect and institutions of higher learning are teeming with un-American disloyalists, socialists, and atheists.

Minorities and gays are eating away at the fabric of our society. Food Stamps are consuming our entire budget. The Muslims are coming to impose Shariah Law.

Do you have a solution for dealing with these people? Because, I don’t.

If I did, I wouldn’t be a mid-level administrator in a public-sector job; I’d have my own cable TV show and make tons of money.

But seriously, I see his point. And I’ve dealt with it before, when I was a middle-school teacher and summer camp counselor. We’re dealing with the adolescent mind, where the frontal lobes that control judgment and long-term planning have not fully developed. All you have to do is look at the news headlines and see it: the leading voice in the Republican Party, Sarah Palin, doesn’t have the maturity and self-control to be trusted with running a high school student council, much less be entrusted with the nuclear codes. The most recent scandal in the news involves a picture of a guy in his underwear, most likely a fraud perpetrated by people who are obsessed with other peoples’ sex lives. Even David Brooks, the alleged Serious Columnist for the ages, pines for the ability to go back and be 22 again. (I remember 22. Trust me, I would not want to go back.)

I don’t have kids of my own, but I was raised by parents who knew how to deal with that sort of behavior, and I put it to good use when I was in the classroom and at camp: you don’t tolerate it. You call them out on it at every turn, and most importantly, you don’t respond on their level. Once you do, you’re playing on their field, and that’s the sure way to lose.

That seemed to work for me, but I’m open to suggestions. Any ideas?