RUSH: Let’s go to Australia. Here are these two stories. We’ll get to phone calls in the next segment, I promise. If you’re on hold, be patient. You’re there for a reason. This is the Daily Telegraph first. The second story is actually an Australian news website. This is the Daily Telegraph. “Reading to Children at Bedtime: ABC Questions Value of Time-Honored Practice — The ABC…” The Australian something. The ABC. You know, it doesn’t spell up what that is.
It leaves it up to the reader who is supposed to know what ABC is. This is not the ABC network. It’s Australia. In fact, this may be in the UK. But the point here is some authority, some agency is questioning the value of this. The ABC “has questioned whether parents should read to their children before bedtime, claiming it could give your kids an ‘unfair advantage’ over less fortunate children.”
The next line: “‘Is having a loving family an unfair advantage?’ asks a story on the ABCÂ’s website.” Now, folks, this is exactly what I have warned of, what I have predicted for the 26-plus years that I have been hosting this program. These people have been allowed to go completely over the bend of insanity. This obsession with equality and inequality, as though there ought to be some giant, maybe not invisible but very visible hand mandating equality of outcome, because that’s the only thing that is fair?
And, of course, liberalism creates all of these abject oddities. Liberalism creates single-parent families, for example. Liberalism creates all of these screwball family arrangements and other things that give kids all kinds of problems growing up, and since liberalism creates these things… They won’t admit that, by the way. Since liberalism creates these things, they now have to come up with a way of fixing what is the resulting “inequality” based on their own policies.
The way they do it is to always punish the achievers, people who are successful or at the upper end of anything — income, grade performance, you name it. Those at the top have to be brought down to be on a more equal and level footing with those beneath them. So the sum of this story is that good parents who treat their kids the way good parents do, may not be permitted to do so anymore, because it’s unfair to kids that do not have good parents.
Good parents must now treat their children like bad parents have to treat their kids so that they don’t confer any unfair advantages on their kids. So, like I say, instead of raising up all children by reading to them, we have to go to the very lowest common denominator for all children and penalize those who are doing things right, penalize those who are doing things good. Because it isn’t fair that they can and others can’t.
Now, I’m sure that you’re laughing. Some of you are laughing at this. I used to. We use to do whole sketches, comedy bits, routines, and all kinds of satire about this back in the late eighties and early nineties, on the basis that this was so fringe, that this was so odd, that it was so tiny and unique a part of our entire universe that nobody would ever take this stuff seriously. And, lo and behold, it’s become mainstream in terms of liberal thought.
Now, this particular story is from England. I quickly researched this while I’ve been talking to you, and ABC is their public radio. “‘Evidence shows that the difference between those who get bedtime stories and those who don’t — the difference in their life chances — is bigger than the difference between those who get elite private schooling and those that don’t,’ British academic Adam Swift told ABC presenter Joe Gelonesi. Gelonesi responded online:
“‘This devilish twist of evidence surely leads to a further conclusion that perhaps — in the interests of leveling the playing field — bedtime stories should also be restricted.’ … The ABC,” Australian public radio, “has questioned whether parents should read to their children before bedtime, claiming it could give your kids an ‘unfair advantage’ over less fortunate children.” And then: “‘Is having a loving family an unfair advantage?’ asks a story on the ABC’s website.
“‘Should parents snuggling up for one last story before lights out be even a little concerned about the advantage they might be conferring?'” I’m not making this up! They’re trying to make loving patients feel guilty over the way they treat their kids, over the way they’re able to treat their kids, including reading them one last bedtime story before lights out. “The story was followed by a broadcast on the ABC’s Radio National that also tackled the apparently divisive issue of bedtime reading.
“‘Evidence shows that the difference between those who get bedtime stories and those who don’t — the difference in their life chances — is bigger than the difference between those who get elite private schooling and those that don’t,’ British academic Adam Swift told ABC presenter Joe Gelonesi.” In other words, what this clown is saying is that the kids whose parents read to them at night do better in life even than the kids whose parents are able to send them to elite schools.
And therefore it’s totally unfair. If we have a family that’s only a mother or a dad and they’re so busy, they don’t have time to read — maybe they can’t read — to their kids at bedtime, it’s unfair that this family over here that’s well adjusted, well rounded, can and does read to their kids. We need to ban it. I’m not making it up. Half-Baked Moon Bay, California, 1994, banned homework because not all students had a home.
Some lived on the streets, some lived in orphanages, and they didn’t all have an equal opportunity to do homework in a conducive atmosphere. So the answer was to ban homework! In other words, ban a part of the educational process. I was mistaken about this being two different stories and one from Australia. This is still ABC, the public radio there. “Is having a Loving Family an Unfair Advantage?” is an entire Web page discussion, and I’ll admit something.
We thought it might be a spoof. It’s so ridiculous. This bedtime reading thing being unfair and an unfair advantage. We don’t like be taken in by these satirical scammers out there, so we looked further into this. We Googled it and I got this link to ABC, and there’s another more detailed story on it. There’s audio discussion on the radio link. What this really boils down to, if you really want to know what this boils down, the way to solve this social justice problem they claim…
Having a loving family is an unfair advantage, is a social justice problem, and there are people in this article who literally make the claim that abolishing the family and letting the state and government raise kids may be the only answer. This is in the UK. I erred when I said Australia first. In the UK. Makes it even closer to home. But liberals here and liberals in the UK, liberals are liberals in Australia. They’re liberals everywhere and the same, no matter where you go. And they’re dead serious about this.
Admittedly, there are some of them who think it’s a bad idea to ban or abolish the family as an educational institution. There are some people here who will say it’s a bad idea to abolish the family and let the state or the government raise kids for the purposes of education, but even those people still think that good families give kids an unfair advantage, and they measure that by “familial relationship goods.”
Some kids get more goods than other kids, and that makes it unfair. Of course as liberals, the answer is not to help the kids who are not in good families. They become the lowest common denominator. They become the baseline. Everybody must be made to be like them in order for everything to be fair and equal. The natural tendency of the left is to punish success, to punish achievement, to punish anything that they believe gives an unfair advantage. And, folks, I’m a exaggerating.
It is who they are, and you’re seeing evidence of it all over the country, if you have the courage to stop and recognize it. Here’s a pull quote from the story: “In contrast, reading stories at bedtime, argues Swift, gives rise to acceptable familial relationship goods, even though this also bestows advantage. ‘The evidence shows that the difference between those who get bedtime stories and those who don’t — the difference in their life chances — is bigger than the difference between those who get elite private schooling and those that don’t,’ he says.
“This devilish twist of evidence surely leads to a further conclusion — that perhaps in the interests of leveling the playing field, bedtime stories should also be restricted.” There really are expert academicians and philosophers who are pushing the idea that being a good parent and reading to your kids and being loving gives your kids an unfair advantage in life. You know, in the old days — and it wasn’t that long ago — families like that were what you emulated! Families like that were what you wanted to be.
Now we make fun of ’em.
Now we laugh at them. Now we rip them.
Now we criticize them.
Take your pick. Donna Reed Show, Beaver Cleaver, that whole era, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson. We laugh at it. We impugn it. “It’s not real. It never was.” It used to be the way people wanted to live. It’s the way a couple getting married aspired to be. You’ve heard the old saw, mom and dad, 2.8 kids, the white picket fence, station wagon in the garage. Now that’s an unfair advantage. Now something needs to be done about that.
And instead of encouraging all parents to bestow this great advantage on their kids, they want the ones that do to stop and to feel guilty about it. But what this is, folks — what I have been trying to pound home on a daily basis the entire history of this program — is liberals are hell-bent on destroying the traditions and institutions that have shown progress, greatness; that have helped define greatness as a society, as a country.
Anything that is traditional societal advantage — anything that’s proven — has got to be destroyed. Like marriage! It’s got to be destroyed and obliterated, and the meaning rendered confusing. And it starts with these idiots in academe, and it just filters out to the Drive-Bys who will pick it up, and then some elected Democrat’s gonna run around and start talking about things like this. You wait. It won’t be long before this hits.
RUSH: You know, I just had a brilliant idea. We need to start adding warning labels to Rush Revere books. “Warning: Reading Rush Revere Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans could give your children an unfair advantage.” I like that idea.
Warning labels on a book warning parents. What do you think the takeaway is? If you are a young parent just getting married and thinking about raising family, and you hear this story that reading to your kid gives him an unfair advantage — meaning you hear it’s a good thing, it’s gonna help your kid learn — you’d be inclined to do it, would you not? Ergo, warning labels or stickers on the Rush Revere books. “Warning: Reading this book to your kids could result in an unfair advantage.” (chuckling) I love it. I know what will happen when I propose it.
RUSH: Here is Roseanne in Missoula, Montana. Hi, Roseanne. You’re up first. It’s great to have you with us. Hello.
CALLER: Ditto Rush, for you, and ditto for Kathryn. Hey, that thing about the parents and the unfair advantage, it’s not a joke, and it needs to be taken very seriously because it’s —
RUSH: I agree.
CALLER: No, I don’t mean you. I mean people listening. Rush, when you try to agitate for something and you get a few words out and you stumble across a stereotype in their mind, they start saying, “Oh, this is crazy.” Like when I talked to a girlfriend ten years ago about partial-birth abortion. It was so disgusting, she didn’t believe it was true. She said it was the conservatives making it up.
CALLER: But that’s what people with wild ideas count on. When you’re protecting your children and yourself from them and you’re advocating against them, their ideas to begin with is so manipulative that when you protect yourself from it, you sound wild. When we were kids, the unions protected the parents who were drunks. So you’d go to school with kids who had things and a middle class lifestyle because the union protected them.
But they wanted better for themselves. So they went to community college and then when they had kids they did right by their kids ’cause they wanted better, not this pull everybody down seem to be abyss. And then when you had church women like my mother they would sit and say, “I’m inviting so-and-so over for dinner. Their mother’s always running around instead of taking care of them. I don’t care if you like these children or not. You’re gonna be nice to them, because then I know they’ll have one good meal a week.” That’s what it was; a community that took care of them. But they don’t like our ideas.
RUSH: Exactly. I know exactly what you’re talking about. This is when people in the community came together to help people who were disadvantaged or things weren’t working out. It was to help them do better, not to make everybody else join them in mediocrity. Exactly right. Folks, could we also assume that if you feed your child well, you are giving your child an unfair advantage? And if you are feeding your child well and others can’t, should you be forced to eat a Michelle Obama-designed school lunch in order to make everybody feel equal in eating the same rotgut? Hmm?
RUSH: So I wanted to find out who is this clown, this sociologist that is encouraging people in the UK to accept the idea that families reading to their children at bedtime is unfair. Who is this guy? Adam Swift is who is quoted in these stories. He’s “a British political philosopher and sociologist who specialises in debates surrounding liberal egalitarianism. …
“He has since been director of the Oxford Centre for the Study of Social Justice, and has held visiting positions at Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Australian National University, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is currently working on developing a liberal egalitarian theory of the family…” That’s who’s pushing this. One wacko. One lunatic.
One extreme leftist who is obsessed with this perverted definition of fairness and equality, and who is determining that parents who can read to their kids at night with giving them an unfair advantage. And, of course, all this is rooted in the idea that nobody should be any different. We should all be the same. We should all turn out the same. But of course we’re not all the same. Every damn one of us is unique! We are not like anybody else, by design and, by definition.
We all have different talents, characteristics, abilities, albatrosses, liabilities, differing levels of ambition. We have different degrees of health, genetic code. Some of us have a good one, some of us have some problems. Nobody’s the same. And these people are obsessed, nevertheless, with enforcing uniformity on everyone, under this misguided notion of fairness and equality. It’s a bastardization of the word and definition of equality and fairness as well.
Here’s Elaine in Sheldon, Illinois, as we head back to the phones. I’m glad you waited, Elaine. Great to have you with us. Hello.
CALLER: What an honor, Rush. I just got so impassioned when you were talking about that report. We have 13 children. We have read to all of them. Now we read to the grandchildren. We have five married, one in college, seven still at home. It crosses all socioeconomic backgrounds. A mother doesn’t even have to know how to read to open a book with pictures and point at the pictures and read to a toddler by pictures, which is what a toddler would want anyway. And, yes, it does bond the parents with the kids, but it just boiled my blood. I pulled the car over, parked it, and thought, “I gotta call him, because it’s just so ludicrous.” If this man claims to be educated, he’s an educated fool. And I don’t use the word “fool” so that was kind of harsh. But that doesn’t even make common sense.
RUSH: Of course not.
CALLER: Everything that you’ve said about this report is right on. It’s ridiculous.
RUSH: Except one thing: It’s real, and you’d better believe it, because this guy’s dead serious, and he is an accredited Ivy League-level academician. He is considered to be among the most qualified and brilliant and scholarly in this study. As such… You mark my words, the trail here. What’s gonna happen is that this will be picked up in the United States somehow, some way at NPR or some related-type agency. Then it’ll drift over to some Democrat politician in the right community who will go public with the idea.
Much like Biden stole from Neil Kinnock’s speeches and so forth.
He’ll have some sort of… Maybe not even theft, just a sharing of the idea, and it’ll be rooted around election time, and it’ll be aimed at whoever comes up with the idea, claiming to have all of this love and compassion for the poor and we’re looking out for the poor, and it’s not fair you don’t have the same advantages. So I don’t know they’ll come up with the idea to penalize parents here who read to their kids, although they’re… Well, it could. It could manifest itself that way. More likely what will happen is… What you just said is that even a parent who can’t read, who is illiterate, could still share a book of pictures with a kid.
RUSH: What a typical liberal would say in response to that is, “Well, that’s easy for you to say, but what if that poor mother — because of the unfairness and the inequities of the American economic system — isn’t even home when her child goes to bed because she’s working her fourth job of the day flipping burgers without health care?”
CALLER: We got public libraries with free books, too.
RUSH: “That’s easy for you to say, but that still means that the parents who have a good job or two good jobs and can read to their kids at night, therefore have the economic ability and the freedom and the time to do it, whereas this poor mother that you’re describing can’t.” That will be what they say. It’s not that she could and doesn’t. It’ll be that she can’t because she’s too set upon, put upon by the unfairness in our society anyway. She’s probably not at home! She’s at work, or she has some sort of social problem that she has and so forth. Somebody’s gonna pick this up and run with it for the express purpose of using it as a campaign weapon to establish whoever uses it as committed to fairness, committed to equality.
CALLER: They use it to substitute the television time that the little ones are watching and look at a book in the evening. It takes so little effort! It’s so little effort. Anybody can look at a book with a child. I’ve been dead-dog tired and I’ve never asked the government to do anything for us even with a big family. People assume that. But we are also wacko because we don’t have a television. We had it one month in 30 years and just figured it wasn’t worth it. But your books ought to be put in these kids’ hands that are getting a little bit older and can read. That’s the kind of program I’d like to see is getting a Rush history book in their hands.
RUSH: (laughing) Complete with warning label. “Warning: This book could give…”
CALLER: No warning needed, Man. That’s what they need. That’s what they need. I just appreciate you, everything you do.
RUSH: Well, I appreciate you, too. Thank you. Thanks very much for the call. I really do appreciate your thoughts on that, and I thank you very much. Well, the — see, now, you’re just showing your insensitivity. Now somebody just said to me over the IFB, “Hey, if they can’t read, they could get the audio versions of books and they could play the audio to their kids.” With what? We’re talking about poor people that don’t even have an iPod and don’t even know how to do that.
What are they gonna do? Go get the audio to a book where? Amazon? They can’t afford Amazon! They’re poor. These people can barely afford franks ‘n’ beans. Which, by the way, you may think all this is a bit of an exaggeration.