In a previous post, I took more time than necessary to destroy Dennis Prager's flawed conceit that somehow college -- not reason or life experience -- is what turns kids into liberals instead of conservatives (or more importantly, voting Democratic instead of Republican).
Note that words here matter. Are conservative parents sad because their young-adult kids decide to vote Democrat, or because they espouse certain beliefs like support for gays?
In his follow-on column, Prager provides a lot of, er, helpful advice for conservative parents who want to successfully indoctrinate their kids.
The trouble is, a lot of this "character-building" stuff that Prager preaches is indeed apolitical. I mean, I'm a far-left liberal and I agree with a lot of it. It's stuff that I was taught. And I'll teach the same to my kids with no fear that it'll transform them into Tea Party Republican zombies.
As I said before, one's values are not the same as voting habits. Most Americans hold very similar values; but we express them differently in our politics.
Finally, I could pick apart at least half of Prager's "traditional American values," for instance: "...that American military strength is the greatest contributor to world peace and stability, or ... American exceptionalism."
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson certainly never dreamed that America's military strength was going to ensure world peace and stability. Washington didn't even favor a standing army. America's superpower status was born after WWII. So we're talking about a "traditional" state of affairs that is only about 70 years old -- not even one-third of our nation's history.
And the term "American exceptionalism" was coined by... Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in 1929. And he didn't mean it as a compliment. 'Nuff said about that "traditional" value.
By Dennis Prager
November 12, 2013 | The Dennis Prager Show