The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The New Thought Crime: ‘Adultism’

Posted on | April 3, 2016 | 64 Comments

Adultism “is running amok in America”:

Parents know what’s best for their children? At the risk of tossing tons of other scenarios aside, we LGBTQIA+ kids have heard that last one plenty while trying to grow up while out. Parents say we’re not bi. Or queer. Or a boy. Or non-binary.
They give us labels at birth and expect us to adhere to them. And when we don’t? Certainly it’s because our parents simply know us better than we know ourselves.
It couldn’t possibly be that parents are — gasp! — people who are ultimately a different being than their children.
But what of my suggested inability to provide parental advice when I’m not a parent myself? Okay, I give you that one. But the thing is that article wasn’t on parental advice.
It was an article on children’s basic human rights, which we tend to so grossly overlook.
How did that point so quickly get turned right back around to focus on the parents instead of the children?
Because adultism. . . .

You can read the rest. Notice that (a) it’s published at Everyday Feminism and (b) the “LGBTQIA+” agenda is foremost in the author’s mind.

The essential sovereignty of parents in raising their own children has been under assault in America for a long, long time. In the 19th century, “reformers” (especially including Horace Mann) began refashioning our education system along the lines of the Prussian model, which viewed children as the rightful property of the state. These progressive “reformers” deliberately sought to undermine parental authority, substituting the ideas of modern “experts” for whatever religious beliefs or old-fashioned customs might have hitherto served to guide parents in the governance of their families. By privileging their own opinions and preferences, these academic experts became self-ratifying authorities.

The manufacturing of “consensus” among a clique of intellectuals can easily create the appearance that these “experts” actually do have all the answers, and that skeptics and critics are simply ignorant.

When it comes to the best methods of child-rearing, the proof is in the pudding, but this pudding takes a long time to prepare. That is to say, you won’t know until your child is an adult whether your methods were right. So if a new “trend” in parenting or education comes along, it’s going to take about 15 or 20 years before you can look at the final product and evaluate the effects of the child’s upbringing.

When we saw the outbreak of student radicalism on university campuses during the 1960s, it became obvious that something had gone badly wrong during those seemingly placid years of the Eisenhower administration. Somehow, a number of spoiled brats (radical leaders of the SDS, for example) had developed ideas of “democracy” that were at odds with what most American adults believed. What caused this so-called “generation gap”? Two words: Public education.

During the great post-WWII economic boom, an enormous hubris characterized the leadership of the American education system. And a desire to instill patriotic idealism in these Future Citizens led to children being taught to celebrate democracy as the summum bonum.

The only way to judge whether something was good or bad, right or wrong, was to have a vote about it, many children were led to believe. To someone who has been taught this kind of mindless devotion to egalitarian democracy, it is enough to condemn anything to say it is “undemocratic.” The traditional family is condemned by this standard.

Let me state this plainly: I am not going to debate my teenage son over whether he should clean up his room and mow the yard.

If children are granted a veto over parental authority, then our society will be overrun by feral youth who have no respect for anything, e.g., “Occupy Wall Street.” Furthermore, the child who is allowed to mope around all day, watching TV and playing video games — which is what children will do, if they are allowed a democratic “right” to decide how to spend their time — will never develop the habits necessary to success.

What is work, after all? Showing up on time and doing what the boss tells you to do or, better yet, figuring out what the boss wants you to do and just doing it without having to be told. Teaching kids respect for proper authority is actually quite important to the child’s future prospects of success and happiness in the world. Also, the child must develop good social skills and learn to cooperate effectively with others. Who teaches these skills and enforces the regime of cooperation? Parents.

It is very easy for a Yale professor, in his tenured sinecure, to lecture parents on how to raise our children, but unless that professor wants to show up at my house on a daily basis to tell my son to stop being mean to his sister, it’s my job, and I’ll enforce my rules in my house without regard to what any damned Ivy League Ph.D. has to say about it.

A Blizzard of Special Snowflakes™

Democracy encourages selfishness.

Let me repeat that: Democracy encourages selfishness. The idea that everybody is entitled to do just as he pleases, and that any obstacle to his pursuit of his selfish appetites is an infringement of his “rights,” is at the root of what has gone so disastrously wrong in American culture.

The overweening narcissism of Special Snowflakes™ we see involved in “activism” on college campuses is testimony to how a misguided devotion to democratic equality tends to develop in young people a self-pitying sense of themselves as Victims of Oppression if they are not given everything they want as soon as they demand it. These young monsters — the Veruca Salt generation — actually believe they are “traumatized” by the appearance on campus of a speaker who disagrees with them.

Having failed to acquire any useful skills prior to graduating high school (no manager would hire such worthless slackers to be a janitor, a waitress or a retail clerk), they arrive on their university campus and discover that being an “activist” is an occupation that requires nothing except a fanatical dedication to Correct Opinions.

In September 1999, I covered an animal rights protest in Washington. Because our children were being homeschooled, I took my 10-year-old daughter Kennedy along for the trip to D.C., where about two dozen demonstrators were gathered in front of the offices of the Department of Health and Human Services. The HHS Secretary at the time was Donna Shalala, whom the activists accused of violating the “rights” of animals used in a federally-sponsored research. The protest chants included a number of catchy slogans:

Hey, Shalala!
Whaddya say?
How many primates


Stop the torture!
Stop the pain!
Donna Shalala is to blame!

These protesters were a wretched hive of scum and villainy by comparison to which Mos Eisley looked like a Sunday school picnic. As I later wrote:

Stylistically, the protesters favored the familiar “alternative” look: white guys in dredlocks, Army fatigues and grimy t-shirts, chicks in tanktops and ripped, saggy jeans. Piercing seemed to be universal and unisex. One girl I talked to had both nostrils, one eyebrow and her tongue pierced.

This multiple-pierced young woman, as I recall, was the spokesperson for the group, and I had assumed — silly me — that these crazy animal-rights weirdos were mostly college students. So when I asked the pierced woman if she was a student, she replied, “No, I’m a full-time activist.”

At that moment, I suddenly had a vision of her filling out her IRS 1040 form and, in the space where it asks for “occupation,” writing “activist.”

Never be an activist, kids. Get a real job doing honest work.

It was my daughter, aged 10 at the time, who pointed out something else about these activists. “Daddy,” she whispered,”those people stink.”

Truer words were never spoken, as I later explained:

I was reminded of George Wallace taunting hippie hecklers in the 60s, suggesting there was one four-letter word they ought to learn: S-O-A-P. I don’t know if this neglect of personal hygiene was a political statement on the part of the animal-rights activists, or if maybe they had spent the previous few nights camping somewhere without access to showers, but they genuinely reeked. You could smell them from 50 feet away. Of course, they weren’t there to display their grooming or lack thereof. Of course, they were there to display their outrage, of which they had plenty.

While I have covered many other left-wing protests over the years, that experience in 1999 taught me all I ever needed to know about “activists,” who are always outraged about something. The same kind of people who vandalized Starbucks to protest “globalization” in 1999 turned out to protest against the War in Iraq. The issues change, but the “activists” never do. When I covered a speech by David Horowitz at George Washington University in 2007, the protesters outside chanted:

Sexist! Racist! Anti-gay!
David Horowitz go away!

Anyone who actually knows David Horowitz knows that these slogans were lies, but the truth doesn’t matter to these “activist” types. All they care about is outrage, and if there is nothing to be outraged about, they’ll make up a reason, perpetrate a hate hoax, and claim that this proves the need for a “conversation” about whatever “issue” is their current focus of outrage. At places like Oberlin College, it seems like everybody is majoring in Activism Studies (see “The Cult of Social Justice”) and that protests expressing their more-or-less permanent outrage are to elite private schools what football is to the University of Alabama.

The “activist” mentality is a product of bad parenting and bad education. It is also a product of bad journalism — liberal reporters who get into the journalism racket because they want to “make a difference,” so that they are invariably sympathetic to whatever “cause” the professional activists are promoting, and therefore they never notice what my daughter noticed that day in 1999: “Daddy, those people stink.”

Indeed, and their ideas are smelly, too. Their attitude stinks. Their worldview stinks. Their arrogant sense of entitlement stinks.

A Simulacrum of Parental Authority

So who is this weirdo at Everyday Feminism inventing “adultism” as a new Thought Crime about which activists expect us to be outraged?

James St. James is a Contributing Writer for Everyday Feminism. He works as a transcriber for super-duper secret projects, tends to keep to himself, and is currently pitching a novel that scares agents. He uses his experiences as a way to reach out to others, usually by way of not keeping his mouth shut. When he’s not busy making cis gender people uncomfortable with his trans gender agenda, he likes to play vintage video games and eat candy.

“James St. James” is obviously a pseudonym and the male pronouns (e.g., “his trans gender”) are part of a fiction we are required to believe. Let’s excerpt a bit from one of “his” earlier Everyday Feminism columns:

Quite a bit changed for me over the first couple of years I started testosterone.
My health and mental wellbeing improved, my happy button grew over an inch in length . . .

(Too late for a TMI alert, I guess. My apologies.)

. . . my natural musk became so fragrant that now I gross even myself out if I don’t shower pretty much every day (no deodorant can contain this beast).
So many awesome, big-deal body changes and mind improvements flourished. . . .

(Everything is awesome in Transgenderland!)

In short, I was being treated better by everyday America because people were reading me as a young, white, straight (?!) male. And I recognized many new privileges that came my way because of it. . . .
What we need to be focusing on is — you know — male privilege, which is the actual problem. The patriarchy is being unfair, so it’s the patriarchy we need to attack.
The fact of the matter is that male privilege makes me feel awkward.
I recognize the unfairness that’s happening, so my job is to help further call it out.
I’m read as a man now, after all. And the irony there is that other men are more apt to listen to me about these issues.

You can read the rest. Having now passed the dreaded 2,000-word mark at which a blog post is so long that no more than a few dozen people will finish reading it, let’s go back to the beginning and remember that “James St. James” is now leading a crusade against “adultism.”

Oh, we can’t have any parents becoming upset because their daughters are dating somebody like “James St. James,” can we? Because this testosterone-enhanced “man” can never be a father, and almost certainly will never be a mother (in any conventional sense), adults who object to “his trans gender agenda” might be an obstacle to the “rights” of democratic equality to which “James St. James” thinks “himself” entitled.


It’s astounding.
Time is fleeting.
Madness takes its toll.

How is it that this gender-bending androgynous madness has given rise to what we might fairly call The Rocky Horror Feminism Show?

Would we be wrong to guess that, once “experts” replaced parents as the recognized authority for how children should be raised, people with rather . . . unusual ideas were very keen to acquire the credentials and institutional influence necessary to becoming “experts”? Are you surprised to find that concerns about pro-pedophile activism in academia caused one researcher to warn in 2002, “Some people view children as the next sexual frontier”? Oh, look, here’s a headline from 2013:

Remember the Pro-Pedophile Movement
That Liberals Pretend Doesn’t Exist?

In September 2014, Walter Lee Williams, a Ph.D. in anthropology who was “an eminent professor of gender and sexuality studies” at the University of Southern California, pleaded guilty in federal court to traveling the world to pursue sex with boys as young as 9. Williams was co-editor of a 1997 book, Overcoming Heterosexism and Homophobia, and also co-edited the 2003 book Gay and Lesbian Rights in the United States: A Documentary History. But these dots cannot possibly be connected in any discernible pattern, the “experts” keep telling us.

“Don’t listen to right-wing bigots,” the Ph.D.s keep reassuring us. Once the professors’ advice is accepted in society, we discover such “experts” exercise a simulacrum of parental authority over our children.

Did you notice I previously included an Amazon link to Dana Mack’s book The Assault on Parenthood: How Our Culture Undermines the Family? That was first published in 1997, and I read it not long after it was published. The peculiar animosity to parental authority she described had become quite evident to me as a parent trying to raise children in a society where it seemed that lots of “experts” deemed themselves better qualified than my wife or me to decide how to raise our children.

“To live for the moment is the prevailing passion — to live for yourself, not for your predecessors or posterity. We are fast losing the sense of historical continuity, the sense of belonging to a succession of generations originating in the past and stretching into the future. . . .
“Narcissism emerges as the typical form of character structure in a society that has lost interest in the future.”

Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations (1979)

“Experts” suppose themselves to be vastly superior to the rest of us, both intellectualy and morally, so we are expected to sit in polite silence while they lecture us, and then applaud them for sharing their wisdom with us. We are so completely ignorant, and the “experts” are so much more educated than we are, that we should be grateful that the Enlightened Arbiters of Correct Opinions have condescended to speak to us.

These soi-disant “experts” have never deceived me, and I suspect that any reader who has reached the 2,400-word mark in this preposterously long blog post has likewise never been deceived. In the words of Dylan’s thief: “Let us not talk falsely now, for the hour is getting late.” It is a waste of time to write for fools. You, the wise reader, are as capable of discerning the conclusion to the “transgender” syllogism as I am.

Nobody ever paid me a dime to have the Correct Opinions. My job is to report the facts, and the smelly activists don’t care about facts.

Theory? Oh, that’s above my pay grade, ma’am. A fellow’s got to have a Ph.D. before he can expect anyone to care about his theory, but I have to say I was profoundly intrigued by the theories Neil Postman shared in The Disappearance of Childhood. Exactly what was happening in our culture, Postman wondered, that Hollywood would make Brooke Shields a “sex symbol” at age 12? There was something profoundly strange about the Pretty Baby phenomenon. Much like Christopher Lasch, Postman was a man of the Left, but his concerns about the impact of media (especially television) in shaping “youth culture” were as fundamentally conservative as anything ever preached by an evangelist of the Religious Right. “Resistance” to the toxic influence of media, Postman declared, “entails conceiving of parenting as an act of rebellion against American culture.” There is a reason why you’ll find my byline on Neil Postman’s 2003 obituary in the Guardian.

“WHAT? Stacy McCain was published in the Guardian?”

Yep. And got paid for it, too.

Correct Opinions are cheap. Facts have value, and so we return to the fact of “James St. James,” and the accusation of “adultism” leveled in the name of LGBTQIA feminism. Ask yourself: Who wants to undermine parental authority? Why do they wish to do so? What is their motive?

Do you suppose that if you asked “James St. James,” you would get an honest answer to those questions? Are you suspicious of feminist rhetoric about “gender”? Far be it from me to incite any irrational fear in the mind of the wise reader, but at what point does fear become rational?

Draw your own conclusions, wise reader. My job is to point out the facts. Most important, from my standpoint, is the fact that I’m running behind on the electric bill this month. Mrs. McCain expects patriarchy to pay that bill, and there are no Ivy League universities offering me fellowships, for some reason. This past week, my wonderful wife and I went to have our taxes done, and two-thirds of my income last year was from PayPal contributions. So unless and until the Columbia School of Journalism decides they are in need of my services — checking my email and, no, apparently not yet — I must once more remind my wise readers of the Five Most Important Words in the English Language:


What’s 2,800 words worth to you? At a penny a word, it would be $28, but I’d be grateful if ten readers gave as much $2.80 each, and if 100 people hit the tip jar for $2.80, my total fee would rise to 10 cents a word, or $280 total. Because I got up early and started writing this about 6 a.m. EDT, and will publish it about 5 p.m. EDT, minus breaks, let’s say nine hours. If my labor were worth minimum wage ($7.25 an hour), that nine-hour job would pay $65.25, but let’s not talk about social justice, eh?

Unlike the faculty of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Oberlin College, for example, I don’t believe in social justice. That means there’s no demand for my services from academia, obviously, nor do I expect that the kind of big-money fat cats who bankroll the Republican Party are likely to decide to cut me a check this month for $1,413.75 ($65.25 a day x five days a week x 52 weeks a year ÷ 12 months). However, if 100 readers were to hit the tip jar for $15 this month, I’d at least be paid slightly more than if I were to get hired full-time at Burger King.

Pardon me for bothering you with simple arithmetic, but nobody at the RNC gives a damn and Mrs. McCain is serious about this electric bill, and my next essay might be headlined: “Would You Like Fries With That?”


Thanks in advance.

UPDATE: Linked by the Lonely Conservative — thanks! — and welcome, Instapundit readers! Maybe someone should tell Professor Reynolds, an alumnus of Yale Law, that Harvard Law Is Decadent and Depraved. But he probably knew that already.



64 Responses to “The New Thought Crime: ‘Adultism’”

  1. DeadMessenger
    April 4th, 2016 @ 6:29 pm

    BWAHAHAHAHA!!! Good one!

  2. DeadMessenger
    April 4th, 2016 @ 6:30 pm

    Yeah, me too.

  3. DeadMessenger
    April 4th, 2016 @ 6:32 pm

    Your parents probably had to spend a good portion of every day spanking you.

  4. DeadMessenger
    April 4th, 2016 @ 6:35 pm

    Maybe he was 28 when he married Mooch, so that age brings back bad memories?

  5. Mike G.
    April 4th, 2016 @ 7:49 pm

    I assume that was sarcasm…you are so good at it. 😉

    But truthfully, corporal punishment was always saved for egregious transgressions: such as the time me and a friend when we were 7 or so, thought it would be a good idea to roll bricks down a hill into a backyard with a covered patio. Unfortunately, there was a baby in a carriage under the covered portion of the patio. Fortunately, we didn’t hit the baby, but we came close. I couldn’t sit down for a week.

    Most of the time, the “look” was all it took to make us straighten up and fly right.

  6. DeadMessenger
    April 4th, 2016 @ 9:38 pm

    See, after you get your butt blistered a couple of times, you learn. I personally never got spanked, but I saw my brothers get it enough to fear it. However, I DID get the “talking to”, being the only girl, about how disappointed my dad was in me (daddy’s girl), how irresponsible, etc., until I literally begged to get spanked instead, but no.

    And I know all about the “look”, too. And so do my kids. All I needed to do was squint my eyes very slightly. To this day, if my adult kids are saying or doing something that displeases me, I give them that look, and they will stop mid-sentence.

    It’s insane that modern parents don’t avail themselves of this Marvel-quality superpower. Chumps.

  7. Mike G.
    April 4th, 2016 @ 10:18 pm

    Modern parents don’t understand that a barehand smack on a diapered bottom will discourage bad behavior and when the child gets bigger, corporal punishment is usually no longer needed.

  8. DeadMessenger
    April 4th, 2016 @ 11:46 pm

    Not me, I’ve changed lotsa diapers.

    Notice that “diaper” is “repaid” spelled backward. Someday, my kids will be changing mine.

  9. DeadMessenger
    April 4th, 2016 @ 11:48 pm

    Absolutely true.

  10. Steve Skubinna
    April 5th, 2016 @ 10:26 am

    Well, we already know that he considers having a child a punishment…

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