RUSH: Michael Graham today has a column in the Boston Herald, and it’s fascinating. Not being a parent, I have not encountered this. It’s what happens when you send your kids to the doctor and what the doctor starts asking the kids about you. ‘They’re watching you right now,’ begins Michael Graham. ‘They counted every beer you drank during last night’s Red Sox game. They see you sneaking out to the garage for a smoke. They know if you’ve got a gun, and where you keep it. They’re your kids, and they’re the National Security Agency of the Nanny State. I found this out after my 13-year-old daughter’s annual checkup. Her pediatrician grilled her about alcohol and drug abuse.
Not my daughter’s boozing. Mine. ‘The doctor wanted to know how much you and mom drink, and if I think it’s too much,’ my daughter told us afterward, rolling her eyes in that exasperated 13-year-old way. ‘She asked if you two did drugs, or if there are drugs in the house.’ ‘What!’ I yelped. ‘Who told her about my stasher, I mean, ‘It’s an outrage!” I turned to my wife. ‘You took her to the doctor. Why didn’t you say something?’ She couldn’t, she told me, because she knew nothing about it.
‘All these questions were asked in private, without my wife’s knowledge or consent. ‘The doctor wanted to know how we get along,’ my daughter continued. Then she paused. ‘And if, well, Daddy, if you made me feel uncomfortable.’ Great. I send my daughter to the pediatrician to find out if she’s fit to play lacrosse, and the doctor spends her time trying to find out if her mom and I are drunk, drug-addicted sex criminals. We’re not alone, either. Thanks to guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics and supported by the commonwealth, doctors across Massachusetts are interrogating our kids about mom and dad’s ‘bad’ behavior. We used to be proud parents. Now, thanks to the AAP, we’re ‘persons of interest.’ The paranoia over parents is so strong that the AAP encourages doctors to ignore ‘legal barriers and deference to parental involvement’ and shake the children down for all the inside information they can get.
‘And that information doesn’t stay with the doctor, either. Debbie is a mom from Uxbridge who was in the examination room when the pediatrician asked her 5-year-old, ‘Does Daddy own a gun?’ When the little girl said yes, the doctor began grilling her and her mom about the number and type of guns, how they are stored, etc. If the incident had ended there, it would have merely been annoying. But when a friend in law enforcement let Debbie know that her doctor had filed a report with the police about her family’s (entirely legal) gun ownership, she got mad. She also got a new doctor. … Of course doctors have a choice. They could choose, for example, to ask me about my drunken revels, and not my children. They could choose not to put my children in this terrible position. They could choose, even here in Massachusetts, to leave their politics out of the office. But the doctors aren’t asking us parents. They’re asking our kids. Worst of all, they’re asking all kids about sexual abuse without any provocation or probable cause. The American Academy of Pediatrics has declared all parents guilty until proven innocent. And then they wonder why we drink.’
Now, you know, you want to listen to a little quotation here from Orwell? (interruption) What is it, Mr. Snerdley? Just stick with me on this. That is why I wanted people to watch the movie The Lives of Others, the German Academy Award winner. This is exactly what happened in East Germany. This is really not new, in terms of happening in human civilization. But here’s a little quote, this is an excerpt from 1984 by George Orwell. ”Are you guilty?’ said Winston. ‘Of course I’m guilty,’ cried Parsons with a servile glance at the telescreen. ‘You don’t think the party would arrest an innocent man, do you?’ His frog-like face grew calmer and even then took on a slightly sanctimonious expression. ‘Thought crime is a dreadful thing, old man,’ he said, ‘it’s insidious, it can get hold of you without you even knowing it. Do you know how it got hold of me? In my sleep. Yes, that’s a fact. There I was working away trying to do my bit, never knew I had any bad stuff in my mind at all, then I started talking in my sleep. You know what they heard me saying?’ He sank his voice like someone who is obliged for medical reasons to utter an obscenity. ‘Down with big brother. Yep, I said it, over and over again, it seems. Between you and me, old man, I’m glad they got me before it went any further. Do you know what I’m going to say to them when I go up before the tribunal? Thank you, I’m going to say, thank you for saving me before it was too late.’
”Well, who denounced you?’ said Winston. ‘It was my little daughter,’ said Parsons. ‘She listened at the keyhole, heard what I was saying, she nipped off to the patrols the very next day. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh? I don’t bear her any grudge for it. In fact, I’m proud of her. It shows I brought her up in the right spirit, anyway.” This is from 1984 with the kid ratting out a parent saying ‘down with big brother.’ Now, Michael Graham writes this in what is a humorous way. But this is right in keeping with this movie, The Lives of Others, that I have recommended that you see. If we end up with state-run health care, this could be required. This could end up being just like it has been here in Massachusetts, children informing on their parents about their activities and their lifestyles. I haven’t seen the list of questions, but I will bet you that none of the questions asked by the Massachusetts doctors are about any politically correct lifestyle choices. Like I’ll bet they’re not asked, ‘Does dad have boyfriends?’ I’ll bet there aren’t questions like that on this test.
When you socialize medicine, doctors can’t help but become socialists themselves. This is the one angle of socialized medicine that I don’t think we think about enough. Who’s going to pay the doctors and what’s going to be in it for them? Who will their bosses be? Federal government, state government, that’s who they’ll work for. Doctors won’t tell parents when their 13-year-old is going to have an abortion, for crying out loud. Right now doctors are not allowed, if they find out, to tell the parents. But you get socialized medicine in there, and those people who run it, à la Mrs. Clinton, want to find out what you’re doing at home. The best way to do it is to require the doctors, as part of an examination of your kids, to find out from them, and then they’ll know. In this case, the instance of a mother whose daughter told the stories about guns in the home, all legal, they got the attention of the authorities with this.