Skip to comments.Justin Learns How to Deal with Liberal Parents (HS Student Who Called Rush Today)
Posted on 12/23/2005 3:49:37 PM PST by PJ-Comix
RUSH: Here is Justin in Brookfield, Ohio. Hi, Justin. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. I'm with a unique dilemma here. I know you've talked about dealing with liberal family members and Democrats over the holidays, but the family members that I'm dealing with are my parents, and I don't know if I should just kind of like shut up and go along to avoid, you know, getting into arguments that might have other repercussions in the house or if I should actually, you know, actively engage them.
RUSH: We've encountered this. We've encountered this before and our advice has been sought on this. Let me ask you a couple of questions.
CALLER: Yeah. Sure.
RUSH: You live at home year-round at 16?
RUSH: Okay. Is this a daily thing? Your parents sit around and talk politics and it's frustrating to you?
CALLER: It happens -- maybe not daily but every couple days. My dad's a Bush basher, so we get into arguments over that a lot. He's the kind of Democrat that blames Bush for everything in the world that happens.
RUSH: Okay. Well, but so this is not something that just happens occasionally. You're putting up with it and you're arguing with him now.
CALLER: Right. But the arguments are getting worse.
CALLER: Sometimes they can cause like, you know, hostility in other parts, like other things.
RUSH: Like what? Just give me one example. I want to know what I'm dealing with here.
CALLER: Well, if my dad is mad at me over politics he'll kind of punish me by making me do more around the house, things like that.
RUSH: Uh-huh. Taking out the trash, that sort of stuff?
CALLER: Just more than normal.
RUSH: Yeah. Well, about that -- and I'm not trying to be funny with this one. Don't let that sweat you.
RUSH: That's not going to hurt you being asked to do more around the house. That's going to actually end up helping you. Having to do chores and things like that, you'll understand as a parent later on down the line about these kinds of things. Now if it becomes a form of punishment, though, if it becomes a form of punishment, which it sounds like it is, then, you know, as long as you know why it's happening, you can let it bounce off. I think the key for you here is -- and one thing I'm not going to do is take the place of your parents. They're your parents and it's their right and role and responsibility and I don't want to cause a war between you and your parents. I would never assume to be a surrogate parent in this situation, but I think that as long as these arguments that you have are not shaking your beliefs or the confidence in your beliefs, I would do my best to just try to internally laugh at it and maybe externally, out loud, laugh about it. The more that you let it get to you, the more anybody, parent or not, will see that it gets to you and it will become a way to push your buttons and you don't want people to be able to push your buttons.
CALLER: So I should just continue, you know, getting into these conversations, laugh about things that are, you know, when he blames Bush for something that obviously hasn't anything to do with his policies, I should just kind of laugh at it, and continue what I've been doing lately?
RUSH: Yeah. I mean, there are other techniques that you could employ. I mean, you could engage him in discussion, too, on this. I don't know what your relationship with your parents is. I don't know if it's strained at best.
CALLER: Well, no. I mean, they're good parents. It's just there's disagreements. I kind of feel like my parents are enamored with the Democratic Party, like they still consider the Democratic Party the working man's party when we know that the liberals, you know, have taken over and --
RUSH: Well, I know. That's a tradition that dies hard. You know, one thing you can do -- Are you on the debate team at school?
CALLER: We don't have one. I wish we did but we're kind of a small town. We have about like 400, 500 kids in our high school, so...
RUSH: Well, that's too bad because you could get on a debate team and take your trophies home for winning and -- look it, got to take a break here. Can you hang on just a second here, Justin because there's a little more information I need to glean here in parceling out how to deal with it.
CALLER: Yeah, sure.
RUSH: This is something I have not faced. I disagreed with my parents over things like college and that sort of stuff.
We're back with Justin in Brookfield, Ohio. He's an oppressed 16-year-old who is living with parents that are very much liberal and disagree with him and argue with him about it. A question I have for you at the outset: Do any of these arguments cause you to question what you believe? Are they shaking your beliefs in what you hold dear?
CALLER: Actually, no. They're doing the exact opposite. They're strengthening. I mean, I've gotten to the point where they're strengthened. I'm putting my beliefs online and I have a blog and my uncle has actually been going on there under names like "Crazy Liberal" and targeting me on my blog.
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait. Hold it a minute. Just a minute, just a minute. You have a website, a blog?
CALLER: Right. It's Rightontheright.com.
RUSH: Rightontheright -- but wait, wait, wait, wait. You have an uncle -- your dad's or your mother's brother?
CALLER: He's my mother's brother.
RUSH: Your mother's brother is harassing you on your own blog?
CALLER: Right. I mean, he'll go up there and he'll put talking points because my parents know about it but they're not too involved but when my uncle found about it, he's been going on there just to mess with me now.
RUSH: An uncle messing with a nephew's blog. Why am I surprised? These are liberals. Justin, I'll tell you what, you have to understand something. You're dealing with people who do not have much of a sense of humor when this stuff comes up, right? They don't laugh much about politics or these kinds of issues and they don't tolerate humor well about it, right?
RUSH: All right. So that's one of the reasons. Next time that you are assigned additional chores or work, I want you to get a sign, go make a sign somewhere, and have it in your room, and when you're assigned this extra work, do it carrying this sign, and the sign says, "Violating Child Labor Laws."
CALLER: (laughter) That's great.
RUSH: Or have a sign that says, "Unfair Oppression in the Home." As liberals, they will identify with the violation of child labor and the world "oppression." That's a buzzword for liberals and if you walk around as an oppressed person, I think it will smoke them out. It will not make them sympathize with you. It will make them even angrier, because you will be turning their own belief system back on them and challenging, because they don't believe in oppression or child labor anywhere but it's okay for them to do it on their son and now your uncle can come taunt you on your own blog. The right thing to do would be to encourage you in all of this. The right thing to do would be to praise you and your initiative, and to encourage you as you go through life this way, rather than trying to tear you down. You live in Brookfield, Ohio. You know, make up a sign that says, "What's Different About This from Abu Ghraib?"
CALLER: That's great, Rush.
RUSH: Oh, yeah, yeah. Have a bunch a series of signs and then of course you've got to behave in such a way that will get you the additional punishment so that you can use the signs that you've made.
RUSH: Now, understand they're not going to find this funny. They're going to think you're a smart-aleck, and they may discipline you further and so forth. I was asking Snerdley during the break, "Can you believe parents would treat a kid this way?" And I stopped myself. I said, "Of course, they're liberals."
CALLER: I mean, it's not that they're acting like bad parents. It's just when political discussions get involved it's really my dad. My dad just gets angry. He's not ready to handle an argument with his son.
RUSH: Okay. Now, give me an example of the last time this happened, an argument where he starts talking about whatever. And what do you say back? What does he say and what do you say?
CALLER: Well, I mean, it's really just like say if I got in an argument over the computer, he would say well, "Of course you'd fight over something stupid like that because you like Bush. You have to be stupid, you like Bush. Bush wants to get rid of minimum wage," and I'm like telling him, "Well, you know, if you think, Bush is the one giving you tax cuts. Bush is the one with the economic program that's now putting money in your pocket."
RUSH: Okay. When he says that Bush wants to get rid of the minimum wage and Bush is stupid and Bush is cutting economic programs, what do you say back?
CALLER: I try telling him, look at the economic stimulus, look at the tax cuts, look at the tax cuts that are putting more money in your pocket and look at the economic programs that are giving a boom that, you know, you're receiving the effects of but you're not willing to admit it.
RUSH: Even though I know what's coming next, what does he say when you say this?
CALLER: At this point he's just telling me, "You know, you don't know the facts. You're stupid."
CALLER: You can't know.
RUSH: Of course you're citing facts.
CALLER: And he tells me, "Oh, you always think you're right."
RUSH: And he tells you that you don't have the facts. It's he that doesn't have the facts. I think you ought to actually feel very proud of yourself that you're not buckling under this, despite some of these efforts. This is quite insulting for you to be told you're stupid.
CALLER: They consider me uneducated and they don't realize how much time I spend researching these issues. I mean, on the web, there's all these resources available and I'm researching the issues and I'm realizing, I'm looking through and realizing which talking points are wrong and they can't seem to realize that, you know, a teenager would be able to find all this information.
RUSH: Yeah. I know. Look, I remember when I was your age. I had arguments with my dad about all kinds -- not this stuff, but I had arguments with him about things he thought I should do that I wasn't doing and it of course made me lame and I was intimidated. Most 16-year-olds are not going to sit there and get into a knock-down-drag-out back and forth with their father because their father is, you know, the role model, the authority figure in the house and so I bit the bullet more often than not and let my behavior serve as my response. One of the biggest arguments I had my dad was about college. He gave me a laundry list one day of the things that were going to happen to me and not happen to me because I didn't go to college. I won't bother you with the list. And it was all rooted, by the way, in the fact that he felt as a failure as a parent because I was not willing to go to college and advance myself and he felt he was unable to get through to me. And so he was a failure. And that bothered him, and it also bothered him that he just thought that I just was too much of a maverick and independent. Didn't know what was good for me, yet thought that I did. But every time he told me these things, you know, just like when I was fired seven times and told, "You don't have what it takes to succeed in this business, if you want to stay in radio, go into sales," I never doubted myself. I got upset that others doubted me, but I didn't doubt myself.
CALLER: I'm in the same situation here, Rush. I mean, my parents aren't bad parents but when it comes to politics, they disagree. They're letting me do it, they're not like prohibiting me from, you know, expressing my opinions online and stuff, but they just don't agree with me and there's just this sense that they wish that I would do something else and that kind of disappoints me but it doesn't make me question what I'm doing because I know I'm on the right path. I know that, you know, I have the facts and I know what I'm doing and even if they disagree with me, I think that they're not going to oppose what I do in any real way, but they're going to disagree with it and I wish there was, you know --
RUSH: All right. Well, in that case, if the key is that they're not really trying to suppress what you're doing. They're just arguing with you. Your dad, he's just arguing with you about it but he's not really trying to stop you.
RUSH: Your uncle is toying around with you on your blog but besides that, your dad is not taking your computer away from you.
CALLER: Right. He actually got me a laptop.
RUSH: Well, okay. I will wager that secretly your dad admires you.
CALLER: I mean, my mom even said she was impressed with what I was doing even though she disagrees with me. My dad, on the other hand, hasn't really said anything much about what I'm doing.
RUSH: Well, he won't.
CALLER: But he's argued with me about politics.
RUSH: You're obviously a bright guy. You're well-adjusted. You're on the right track. They feel proud about that but, you know, it's hard for people to tell people that they love them. It's hard for people to tell people that they're proud of them. But I'll guarantee you he is, because otherwise he wouldn't be getting you the laptop. He wouldn't be challenging you the way he is. He'd be trying to keep you from doing what you're doing. He'd take your computer away from you. He would monitor what you're reading and take that away from you. He's not doing any of that. So the way to deal with this is humor. Just get those boards. Just get those signs up.
CALLER: All right.
RUSH: You know, and use that as a way of making light of it. I'm sure you love your parents, right?
RUSH: Tell them that.
CALLER: All right.
RUSH: When you get into these arguments say, "Dad, I love you but, you know, I've looked into it and I just don't find that" -- and don't tell him he's wrong. Don't say, "Dad, you're wrong." Say, "I just don't see it that way, Dad. I'm finding other things that make me think otherwise" -- well, tell him he's wrong if you want to, but that's up to you. That's the feel of the situation that you're in but, you know, he's still your parent and I'm not. So I'm just trying to advise you here how to have a little fun with this circumstance that might be a better way of responding than getting into real arguments at the dinner table or whenever it happens.
CALLER: All right. Thanks, Rush.
RUSH: All right. Well, let us know how this works out. Are you expecting trouble here over the holidays? You got other relatives coming in? Are you going to other relatives' places?
CALLER: I'm spending some time with my relatives. I mean, trouble's always around the corner. Things come up. I'm sure my uncle will do something else. Just today he posted something on my website, so I'm sure he'll probably do it again and --
RUSH: Tell you what I'm going to do. Here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to help you out. Have you got Christmas presents yet?
CALLER: Well, the laptop was an early present there.
RUSH: No. Have you gotten them what you're going --
CALLER: Oh, them Christmas presents? No, I haven't.
RUSH: Ah. You have come to the right place because here's what we're going to do. Does your dad use the computer?
CALLER: Not often.
CALLER: He only uses it for like fantasy sports in the fall.
RUSH: Fantasy sports. Even better. Even better. Because not only are we going to solve your problem. We're going to promote family togetherness. I am going to make you a complimentary subscriber at rushlimbaugh.com and my newsletter.
CALLER: All right.
RUSH: I'm also going to let you offer your dad his own complimentary subscription as well, if he wants it.
CALLER: All right.
RUSH: If he doesn't, he can come read the website with you over your shoulders and you can read this website and listen to the program on tape or however you want to do on the computer, together.
CALLER: All right.
RUSH: I'm not trying to be the focus here. That's not the point because I could imagine -- does my name come up in these discussions?
CALLER: Not very often, but I mean it has before.
RUSH: Well, all right. Well, it may now. (Laughter). But I'm going to give you this complimentary subscription. By the way, show him other things that you use on the computer as well. But the main thing is, after I give you one, you're going to have access to a second one.
RUSH: That your mom and dad can also use at no charge. If he's worried about the minimum wage being cut, you can tell him you told me about that and that I don't want this to cost him anything.
CALLER: All right.
RUSH: Show that we conservatives are generous and giving people. And that we want people to, you know, not just believe us because we say it. We want people to believe us because it is. And here's a resource you can go and find out what is, and so forth. I doubt that he will do that. There may be some resistance here but it's something, at least, that you can offer.
CALLER: All right.
RUSH: In addition to whatever else you give. So hold on. We'll get you all of the information necessary to make this happen for your subscription and for your dad's, and actually, I'm going to give you three. You give one to your uncle.
RUSH: All right? Hang on. We'll get to you with all the information on how to do this right after this break. Don't hang up the phone out there, Justin.
Now, Justin, just remember in all of this, don't be disrespectful. Have fun with it. Your parents are your parents and I am not in any way attempting to step in between the relationship that you have with them. I would never presume to do that. One thing you might do. You might consider telling your dad that you have fired off a letter to Senator McCain, claiming that you are being tormented and humiliated as a prisoner in your own home. Say it with a smile on your face. The Abu Ghraib sign will say much the same thing. But just have a little fun with it. Honor your mother and father, and make sure that a quiet respect is what you need here, and you're going to be out of the house soon, and it's all I think a great educational experience for you because whether your dad knows it or not, he is making you think. He's helping you to go out and dig up even more information to confirm and validate what you already believe.
What was that show with Michael J. Fox...in which he was the conservative son with x-hippy parents?
Watch that show. Do what he did.
Totally. Let's Freep his blog, put his uncle in his place, and get that kid over here.
I heard this in my car. Rush handled his advice to this intelligent young man beautifully. He was so thoughtful and careful in what he said to the boy.
Whoomp! There the link is!
My Road to Success [?] Something like that.
A bit too George Michaels for my taste, but if Rush can help him with his parents, then I am all for it.
Eh, he's 16 and rebelling against leftie parents by going pro-Bush. I say give the kid some slack.
That was a great segment
Uh, that ain't the kid...that's Justin Timberlake, of Janet-Jackson-Superbowl-wardrobe-malfunction fame.
The important thing is that his head is in the right place. We need allies, and this guy is striving to do what's right. I like that.
His uncle is way out of line IMO. I wouldn't dream of treating my nephes in this manner.
I'd like to drop by his blog and participate.
This guy is going to get massive hits.
Brookfield is in NE Ohio, it's near Youngstown and Warren, so the union mentality is driven hard there.
Gotta hand it to that kid!
That isn't the same Justin as on the show.
That woulkd be "Family Ties".
Sigh. That picture isn't of the Justin of the radio call today. That pic is Justin Timberlake. Believe it or not, there are more than ONE Justin in the world.
Honing his debating skills at home is not a bad thing. At least he can hold conversations with his parents... not all kids can.
I'm half tempted to play a liberal with my boys just so they rebel and become conservative. Both my parents (who are fantastic) are recovering hippies that used to parade me in anti-war parades with a black arm band when I was 2. Naturally, I went to school on an ROTC scholarship and served 6 years active and 7 years reserve in the Navy. I just don't know if I can play act a liberal for 18 years.