There Ought to be a Law

I heard that Massachusetts is trying to pass a law against spanking children. It seems ridiculous, but given that this state gave us Mitt Romney, anything is possible.

I don’t approve of spanking children, because I see no reason to teach your children that initiation of violence is ever a good thing. At the same time, parents must be given wide discretion, outside the obvious examples of physical or sexual abuse, or outright neglect, before the government gets involved in prosecuting them for raising their children.

However, there’s one thing worse than the image of an adult spanking a child, and that’s the spectacle of a government social worker coming in to a home trying to enforce this law. Just imagine what this would look like. The premise of such a law is that such an official could do a better job of raising a child than even the most insensitive, ignorant, uneducated parent.

I don’t share this premise.

Parents, even inadequate parents, have given us some pretty intelligent and accomplished offspring over the centuries. Look at all the accomplished people who write and speak of their inadequate parents, and imagine the ones we don’t know about. Now look at what government gives us. Take your pick on the various accomplishments of government: incompetently fought wars; the welfare state bureaucracy; Medicare and Social Security, with their impending bankruptcy; the O.J. Simpson verdict; political correctness; public schools that do everything but teach; and so much more.

I’ll pick parents over the government, any day of the week.