14 Dec 2008

Subjects Are Like Little Children

All Posts No Comments

…in the mind of a politician. The easiest way for me to get across the point of this post, is to recreate how I happened on the idea:

So I was trying to get my 4-year-old to go to the bathroom since we had just driven home from somewhere. He wanted a drink, and I said, “OK let’s go on the potty and then we’ll get some juice!” (and I was really chipper about it).

Clark got mad of course, since wouldn’t you get mad if every time you suggested something to this really tall guy who was always in your face, he would try to amend the plan to suit his whims–and if you didn’t agree, he would physically overpower you? What the heck?!

But I’ve noticed lately that if I just wait out the tantrum (instead of trying to reason with him), he gets over it in literally 8 seconds and then suggests the very thing that I proposed one minute earlier (and which, 60 seconds previously, had triggered Clark’s crying).

So I don’t think it’s that he’s a pushover or weak-willed, it’s that my wife and I basically mold 80% of how Clark even interprets the world. I mean, he now divides his day up into play times, meal times, potty breaks, naptime, bath and bedtime with story. Where did all those concepts come from? Clark certainly didn’t get a menu of ways to categorize his experiences and then picked; no, he is basically copying my framework.

So since I get to frame the issues, naturally he is going to be steered in the direction I want him to behave.

* * * * *

It occurs to me that this is how the government operates. Take the “Troubled Asset Relief Plan.” Just the very name of that thing makes it hard to oppose. And the acronym is catchy, too. They wouldn’t have named it the Credit Reset and Assist Plan.

Of course, what’s great is that the resistance can come up with terms like “bailout.” No matter how you spin that, it’s dirty.

Comments are closed.