Arnold Ahlert / August 2, 2021

Progressive Ideology Breeds Parental Estrangement

Kids are “canceling” their parents after becoming indoctrinated with leftist propaganda.

“Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their parents? To this crime we plead guilty.” —Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Communist Manifesto

“We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.” —"What We Believe" page removed from Black Lives Matter website

One of the most devastating things that can happen to any parent is the loss of a child. The tragedy of outliving one’s offspring is almost unimaginable. Yet there is something almost as bad: Total estrangement from one’s offspring. For eons, there has been friction between parents and children, usually occurring during a child’s adolescence, when pushing the boundaries between parental authority and individual autonomy begins in earnest. Yet in most cases, a child’s transition into adulthood reestablished a family bond as that child began to more fully understand the workings of the real world.

For many parents and their children, that sort of reconciliation no longer exists. The politicization of everything, the Cancel Culture it has spawned, and the explosion of social media that facilitates it has brought the nation to the very brink of a society envisioned by Marx, Engel, and BLM. Thousands of children, long marinated in a toxic stew of progressive indoctrination by BLM-aligned teachers’ unions from kindergarten through high school, and then further indoctrinated at universities where progressive professors vastly outnumber conservative ones have been taught one thing above all else: To view their own nation with contempt. And as sure as night follows day, the rejection of our nation’s core values, its traditions, its language, and its culture inevitably leads to the rejection of those who sustained those values.

In short, if parents do not abide the totality of their children’s worldview, they must be “un-personed,” in every Orwellian sense of the word.

“The left has been working on making the children of the middle class into radicals, turning them against their parents and their parents’ values for fifty years now, in multiple generations,” writes grieving parent Caryn Boddie, whose own children “canceled” her six months ago. “All the things we middle-class parents believed in and called good, our children now call bad and false, and more than bad and false, worthy of destruction, especially if we parents are Christian and conservative, and even more so if we are Trump-supporters. Our cancelation is the fruit of the left’s strategy to remake America.”

Boddie recounts her conversations with other parents whose children have disowned them, and one of the common themes among them was that part of that disownment was precipitated by the child’s equally revealing determination to disavow religion. “Years ago, my children also told me I was not allowed to talk to them about God anymore,” Boddie adds.

And with what has America’s youth replaced God? According to research published in 2019, adults between the ages of 18 and 25 believe theirs is the most narcissistic and entitled generation in the nation.

How narcissistic? Last week in Texas, two teenage girls discovered the remains of a 25-year-old man. After stealing his jewelry, they posted video of their crime to Snapchat.

Anomalous? Hardly. In 2016, a single story by CBS News chronicled a student who allegedly filmed a 16-year-old girl who died after being beaten in a school bathroom, another who allegedly live-streamed the rape of a 17-year-old, and three teens who were charged with raping a 15-year-old girl and posting it on Snapchat.

It’s not new either. A book released in 2009, The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, written by Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell, revealed a sobering reality. “In data from 37,000 college students, narcissistic personality traits rose just as fast as obesity from the 1980s to the present,” it stated. Other studies revealed that, unlike their Gen-X and Baby Boomer predecessors, Millennials are more inclined to value money, image, and fame more than community, affiliation, and self-acceptance.

In short, it looks like a fanatical obsession with the preservation of a child’s self-esteem, the conviction that everyone should get a trophy just for showing up, and the emergence of technology that has supercharged a “look at me” mindset has produced a generation of Americans so fragile they need trigger warnings and safe spaces, and yet so arrogant they believe anyone who dares to challenge their beliefs is utterly beneath contempt.

Columnist Selwyn Duke adds another wrinkle to the growing embrace of parental estrangement, noting, “Children know that since their parents’ love is unconditional, they don’t have to toe dad’s and mom’s line to receive it. Yet acceptance by peers and teachers very well will be contingent upon embracing their ‘culture.’”

Perhaps nothing has debased that culture more than cellphones and social media. “The technologies we use have turned into compulsions, if not full-fledged addictions,” explains Nir Eyal, author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. “It’s the impulse to check a message notification. It’s the pull to visit YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter for just a few minutes, only to find yourself still tapping and scrolling an hour later.” And, he adds, all of it is occurring “just as their designers intended.”

Thus, for younger generations of Americans, cyberspace is just as important — if not more so — than real life. Social media, et al, is so all-encompassing, this writer once spoke to a parent who “punished” his children by forcing them to put down their devices — and go outside.

The debasement of our culture has produced another thoroughly contemptible reality: The politicization of everything. Boddie notes the antifa thugs we have seen in mug shots “look like so many sons and daughters of suburban families.”

That’s because they are, as the revolution currently engulfing America has been perpetrated from the top down, not the bottom up. It is the elitists who wish to fundamentally transform this nation, not the middle- and lower-class Americans. Elitists who believe the surest pathway to unassailable power is to divide ordinary Americans from each other in every way imaginable.

Parental estrangement is an integral part of that mix.

Mark Twain once quipped, “My father was an amazing man. The older I got, the smarter he got.” That thousands of sons and daughters would reject that timeless insight into maturity to march in lockstep with a political ideology is a national tragedy.

Sadly, it is one that may only be realized by those sons and daughters when their own children learn to hold them in contempt.

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