Thursday, July 19, 2007


So Al Gore’s son got caught for a lot of stuff. (Read about it here). If the American pattern holds true, Al Gore will now be put in charge of preventing a lot of that same stuff. The rule seems to be, if you fail in your immediate family, they put you in charge of the whole country.

Some years ago Art Linkletter’s daughter died of what he claimed was a drug related problem. (It looked more like suicide, which is worse.) He was immediately put in charge of drug prevention for the country. I’m sure there is some logic in all of that.

Some news reports are editorializing by saying that Gore’s kid was an adult and, therefore, it did not reflect on Mr. Gore. I take exception. I can’t believe that anything the offspring might do does not reflect on the father and the father’s situation. (Of course if he was in jail during the entire raising of his children, he is probably innocent in a case like this.)

Is there a time limit of parental responsibility? Mr. Gore and his defenders would go to the law, of course, and point to the legal definition of adulthood. But how about in the real world? How about in the world in which the rest of have to live? Is there a time limit? Yeah there is. But I don’t know what it is. My oldest son is 40 now and I still feel responsibility for what he does. A favorite of mine, Richard Farnsworth, killed himself to avoid a painful death. He was 80. His father is innocent in that case, or maybe he gets some credit for raising such a strong person.

On the other hand, in youth, what the hell does age have to do with it? That is nothing but a legal argument. 17 or 23, isn’t he still his father’s kid? When does the father wash his hands of his product? I suspect it is when the kid becomes a liability.

In some cases when the kid falls the parent becomes a crime crusader. Guilt drives him to apprehend those responsible for their offspring’s death, forgetting, I suppose, to look in the mirror.

The news media will alternately excuse or accuse in those situations, depending on how they want to slant the story.

I seem to have a big advantage in these happenings. I remember my childhood where no one else seems to remember theirs. The kids I was raised with who turned out bad did not surprise me. They had crappy parents. When a kid offs himself there has to be some reflection on his family life during his upbringing.

The guys with decent parents never turned out bad or did themselves in. OK, this is anecdotal testimony, but it is a hell of a lot more accurate than the slanted angles of the news media.


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