Mind Matters

by Rev. Robert H. Tucker

Number 265
October 13, 1997

"They Did It Too!"

Childhood habits die hard.

Caught doing something wrong, the automatic response of a child is to point a finger and say, "She did it too!" or "He made me do it!" Being told, "No," for a late-night party, a child will argue, "But, all my friends are going." In either case, no knowledgeable parent allows a child to get away with using others as an excuse for unacceptable personal behavior. Or, when interrogated because of something done wrong, the child who pleads, "I don't remember," is given short shrift.

However, all those same childish excuses-now spoken by the well-educated, the meticulously-dressed and the highly-placed in Washington-are treated with such seriousness. Asked, "Did you accept illegal money?" and the response is: "They did it, too." Asked, "Is that behavior right?" and the response is "The corrupt money system is at fault." Asked, "When did you meet with him?" and the response is "I don't remember."

What is the cause of this childish behavior. Might it be that the parents did their job but their children refused to learn, and politics pulls such individuals into its orbit? Or, perhaps I misjudge our leaders. Perhaps instead of castigating them, I ought to honor their bold and selfless willingness to put their own reputations in the witness chair before the Senate Committee in order to protect the real culprits in this whole mess-their parents. Why not, when parents are blamed for so much these days?

Future historians and psychologists will eventually work out that question. In the meantime, let us pity--not castigate--these adults who find it so necessary to regress to a childhood state.


--Robert H. Tucker
13 October 1997

© Robert H. Tucker, 1997.
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