Being A Decent Parent And Other Decisions That Aren’t Brave: A Guide For The Left

Being A Decent Parent And Other Decisions That Aren’t Brave: A Guide For The Left

There is virtually nothing that leftists can do that in their own minds isn’t a stunning act of valor, even as most people can recognize whatever they’ve done as mediocre or, at best, unremarkable.

Case in point, writing in The Washington Post this week, Boston University Humanities Professor Joshua Pederson gives himself a pat on the back for allowing his son to pursue interests outside of sports.

Mind you, it’s not because Pederson’s 7-year-old is a natural athlete rebelling against his authoritarian parents. And it’s not because Pederson is strapped for cash but cobbling together a budget that allows his son to chase an expensive ambition like underwater painting. No, Pederson is allowing his son to explore alternatives to sports because he’s not interested in them.

“My son is 7, and he hates sports,” Pederson begins. He goes on to say that it was personally “discouraging” because, even though he himself was not athletic as a child, he thought he might be coming up short as a father. “Wasn’t I supposed to teach my son to love sports?” wrote Pederson. “Don’t sports teach children how to be good team players, stronger leaders, more resilient humans?”

Not to worry. Pederson, his mind apparently racked with anxiety, was able to turn this very humdrum experience into a dazzling display of his own bravery.

Citing the controversy over now-former NFL coach Jon Gruden, who recently resigned after private conversations in which he used salty language came to light, Pederson said that his support for his son’s departure from sports was what was best for his character. He also said his own experience as a non-athletic child — “I struggled in P.E.” — led him to conclude all of this was good.

“I’ve been growing more uncomfortable with the idea that his participation in sports means he could be forced to witness — perhaps even internalize — the ways some coaches, athletes and executives talk about or treat women,” wrote Pederson. “So I’m done pushing him to play sports.”

This is the exact opposite of bravery. It’s not even a tough call. Pederson’s son did not like sports and therefore probably wasn’t any good at them. And so, the professor decided not to push him to pursue them. That’s decent parenting, but it’s not valor.

Here are some other things the left should know are not brave: criticizing former President Donald Trump anywhere he’s already hated (the media, entertainment award shows, anywhere in Washington); sharing ignorant things on social media that your child says about politics; and confronting strangers about face masks.

Sorry, not everything you do is worth celebrating.

Eddie Scarry is the D.C. columnist at The Federalist and author of "Privileged Victims: How America's Culture Fascists Hijacked the Country and Elevated Its Worst People."
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