On his weekday radio program Monday, Glenn Beck launched into an impassioned monologue about the “dichotomy” of how we are raising our children. On the one hand, he said, we are treating them like “rock stars” by centering our lives around their various athletic events, but on the other hand we are treating them like “morons” when it comes to their education and holding them responsible for their actions. And it all included shots at football stadiums and even soccer.
Beck began with a story of how he and his wife brought their son to his soccer game early over the weekend because of the rain.
“We were there with the whole family, we all got in the car and we all drove out to the field, and we all brought out a blanket,” he began. “Anyway, we’re there for two hours on a Saturday, and I’m there thinking, what are we doing as a society? We are sitting there watching 6-year-olds in organized sports. You know what? Go outside and play. Go outside and play. Why do you need to spend all the money? Why do we have to drag everybody out to see you guys play? My dad would come to our organized games when we were in school and we were playing, but he did not come out to our little baseball games that we were playing down the street…Let our kids go play. Let them go outside and play. What are they really learning?”
Beck said some would respond that the children are learning how to get along with one another, but he said they can learn that “for free down the street.”
“Here’s point A: there’s nothing wrong with organized sports. There’s nothing wrong with our kids going out and playing. There’s nothing wrong with cheerleading our kids,” Beck said. “But out of all of the things that are happening in the world, we are spending so much damn time and money — I drove into this Texas field, I’ve never seen a sports center for a town so elaborate as this…For the love of God, and I’m using His name here…why are we spending $80 million on a high school football stadium? It’s, need I say it, high school! Are you high?”
Beck said that when he was growing up, they had “some sanity.”
“And at the same time we’re doing this to our kids, we treat them like imbeciles,” he continued. “Somehow or another, George Washington found it in himself to go survey land by the time he was what, 13? By 15 he was out in a uniform serving Fort Pitt, otherwise [known as Pittsburgh]. At 15 years old.”
“Our kids are ‘finding themselves’ until they’re 25, and they’re still kids when they’re 25,” Beck added. “…It is in this progressive era of the last hundred years that all of the sudden, children are all morons. Children are all incapable. Children could never work.”
Beck made it clear that he doesn’t want his children working in a sweatshop, but that doesn’t mean they can’t work.
“All of the sudden my kid can’t have an after-school job? My kid can’t work on the farm? What the hell is wrong with us?” he said. “We’ve got to build them an $80 million stadium, but God forbid they get a job. Got to make sure I haul their ass everywhere around town so what? They can win a worthless trophy that everybody gets? But God forbid I treat my child like an adult. And I don’t mean at the movie theater and the game store – I mean I expect certain things of them.”
Beck’s co-hosts, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere, were asked to refrain from comment during Beck’s monologue, but after the commercial break they voiced a few objections to his analysis.
Gray responded to Beck’s assertion that they didn’t have “any of this stuff” as children by saying: “You didn’t have any of this stuff. The rest of us had organized sports…Every season, it was something else. Baseball, football, basketball, tennis. In school, and before. Summertime, we all played summer leagues.”
Gray added: “Organized sports [are] great because you learn leadership. You learn camaraderie. Teamwork. Discipline. Structure. You want somebody there to guide all of that, too. How to work together to achieve a common goal; there’s all kinds of things.”
Burguiere also told Beck, with all due respect, of course (and with a few chuckles): “Look how you turned out — your sports knowledge is pathetic. This is what’s behind all of this, is you have no respect for sports at all. You think it’s this silly nothing in our society, and not an important part of our culture.”
After a bit of back and forth, Burguiere added that Beck “sees [sports] as this unnecessary distraction from teaching your kids about the Constitution…”
Beck corrected: “It’s the dichotomy of the whole thing. We are making our children feel like the most special people ever, the whole family is going to stop because we’re going to rush you over here…At the same time, we then treat our children like absolute morons when it comes to any kind of responsibility.”
“What message are we sending them?” he demanded. “How do they even survive in this world? How do they even make sense of this world?”
“Our kids are not helpless, crippled little Bambis,” he concluded. “Every other generation except this one — and it’s because of the progressive movement — has talked to their 12-year-olds as if they were really capable of understanding what is coming in the world. We don’t. We protect them, and we coddle them, and we cheer them, but we don’t tell them anything. We don’t teach them anything. And we certainly don’t let them work, or hold them responsible for anything.”
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