Rahm Emanuel’s dictum about never letting a crisis go to waste seems to be the key to understand everything about Liberal culture and politics.
What follows is from the UK, but something like it could easily happen here. From The Independent:
Children are living in an “unprecedented toxic climate” in which they skip meals to stay thin, are bombarded by pornographic images and fear they will be failures amid a “continuous onslaught of stress at school”, according to research published today.
A poll commissioned to coincide with the launch of a national campaign found 40 per cent of 11 to 14-year-olds said they missed meals for weight-loss reasons, while a similar proportion said their relationships with other children had been affected by watching pornography online.
Half of children and young people had been bullied and more than half believed they would end up being a failure if they did not get good exam grades. The charity YoungMinds said the UK was sitting on a “mental health time bomb” and that action is needed by the Government, schools and parents to help young people cope with the pressures of modern life.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who is due to launch a new Mental Health Action Plan today, said the Government wanted every child who needed therapy to be able to get it by 2018.
Obviously, this poll was expected to get a pre-decided result, so we have every reason to be suspicious about it. It is admitted that the campaign for new government action was already planned before the results were known.
But judge the response on its own terms. Three problems are listed as causing mental health problems in our children: anxiety about weight, exposure to porn, and anxiety about exams. The response? Dedicated mental health professionals for all children! Talk about an unprecedented toxic environment…
In our society (and I doubt the UK is much different) the government actually contributes to these problems. Michelle Obama has talked about her daughters’ weight issues, assuring us that, “It didn’t make them feel bad about themselves… You don’t want to make it about how they look.” I appreciate her concerns but I don’t think the stigma is generated by the fact that a girl’s appearance is made an issue of public policy. Recently, doctors were told to target their fat patients with pressure to starve themselves or at least feel guilty for eating.
On porn, has anyone in government ever seriously suggested making age verification mandatory? I realize there are technological difficulties, but the same people who are so dedicated to degrading internet security so they can hack into computers never seem to show a hundredth of that concern regarding cyber-porn.
What about anxiety about exams. Common Core promises to increase that problem in the U.S. We constantly hear politicians pushing education as the only path to success to the point one wonders if they realize that some of our wealthiest people attained success without going through college.
So instead of ameliorating any of these pressures, the UK’s answer is simply to add government-contracted “mental health therapist.” Exactly how voluntary will this “therapy” be? Who will make decisions about it, parents or bureaucrats? And will it involve yet more drugging of children?
There is no problem the government can’t make worse.