Some stories aren't being told.
In Loco Parentis Gone Loco
This isn't your parents' parental authority.
The American Mind is pleased to publish the following excerpt from Domestic Extremist: A Practical Guide to Winning the Culture War, by contributing editor Peachy Keenan. The book is available today from Regnery.
You had a baby? Look at you—you’re the captain now!
Or are you?
The words on a poster taped to a teacher’s classroom door at a New Jersey public school expose the precarious corner American parents have been painted into. “If your parents aren’t accepting of your identity, I’m your mom now.” The poster featured a drawing of a mama bear tending to her bear cubs, who are each painted the color of a different LGBTQ flag.
Parents, I have bad news. You’ve got competition. Someone posted a job listing looking for a new authority figure in your house, and they hired everyone who applied. Lots of other adults, most of them unpleasant strangers, would like to raise your children for you—or at least get your children to hate you.
This may already be happening—and you’ll be the last to know! All your hard work to keep creeps, perverts, and kiddie-sniffers away from your kids may get reversed in an instant when you’re not looking.
Some parents are okay with this. They can barely handle “adulting” themselves and are thrilled not to make any tough parental decisions. Abdicating their natural role as master and commander of the household is lazy, but it’s a defensive posture. They live in terror of accusations from other parents of “closed-mindedness,” or worse, being a prude.
American parents have either forgotten their innate, God-given authority over their household or surrendered it in the face of relentless pressure over many years from the outside. Just as millennia of trickling snowmelt can hollow out mighty granite mountains and turn them into canyons, a half-century of unchecked influence by feminists and far-left progressives have chipped away at the role of parents in their children’s lives. What is left is a barren wasteland, a valley of shadows, where mothers and fathers have been reduced to nothing more than the oldest dependents in the house.
Your job as a parent is not easy, but it’s simple: feed, nurture, love, and protect. In the face of life-and-death danger—say, an escaped tiger or an ax-wielding lunatic—probably 100 percent of parents would risk their lives for their children, even die, without hesitation. So why are so many reluctant to defend their children from less obvious, but equally dangerous, scenarios?
You can tell when you’re about to be trampled by elephants. It’s trickier when the trampling is invisible and being committed by a young teacher with peace stickers on xe/xer’s car. I’ll grant that having pro- nouns in your bio is not quite the same red flag as cruising a playground in a car with no door handles on the inside, but it’s still a red flag parents need to fear.
People who manage to produce offspring are too often seduced into voluntarily surrendering their authority over them. They allow various “experts” to hold sway over their kids. Exhausted and confused, they willingly hand their kids off to the local public school teachers’ unions, the DEI struggle-session facilitators, the storytelling drag queens, and the sex-education consultants who arrive at school with teaching props, including wholesome kid-friendly items like dildos and anal lube.
They all share a common goal: to dilute your authority and increase their own. They aim to groom America’s children from birth to become compliant consumers of all they wish to sell them: bespoke genders, any-term abortion, strictly enforced racial hierarchies, a lifetime of therapy, prescription drugs, and whatever political and social ideology they choose to upload into their brains.
God forbid you are the only parent at your school who keeps your fifth grader home on Share Your Favorite Sex Toy Day. What will people say?
Allow me to remind you gently: it’s your job to steer the ship, avoid icebergs, prevent scurvy, and stave off mutinies. Parenting is not a game. There is no do-over. You are all that stands between your small charges and the roiling storms ahead—and the band of purple-haired nonbinary pirates that’s about to storm the deck.
Sexualized Early and Often
Imagine being the only one at the PTA meeting who stands up and objects to your second grader studying detailed diagrams of adult genitalia, or your middle schoolers instructed on how to grant consent to anal sex. (These are real sex ed guidelines introduced in New Jersey public schools in 2020.)
Your choices are stark: assert your authority over your children and get called a bigot or go along with the madness and let them take your child to places you don’t want them to go.
How bad is it? Bad enough that Tiara Mack, a “reproductive justice advocate” and “child sex educator” running for state senator in Rhode Island tweeted this in 2021: “Really excited for the house sex ed bill hearing later today. Teaching comprehensive, queer inclusive, pleasure-based sex ed was a highlight of my time teaching.”
This is who wants to talk to your six-year-old about how to “pleasure” themselves and their partner!
The first step in any cult, or any abusive relationship, is to get the victim to sever ties to their outside friends and family. Maybe you’ve seen this happen to people you know. They suddenly change their phone number, delete their social media, and have a new friend now—one that has them spellbound. Once children come to believe their mom and dad are clueless bigots and racists who are holding them back from being who they are, the cult leaders own them.
Government-run public schools have accomplished “regime change” in America and transformed us, slowly, from a society centered around the family, where the schools work for the parent, into a society centered around government employees, where families are required to supply the raw goods for the teachers’ unions to mold as they see fit.
Year after year, their assembly lines have been left unsupervised to churn out freshly minted graduates. These graduates move on to college, where their high school indoctrination is hardened and polished by professors. The end product is a citizen who will go to his grave believing a set of Ministry of Truth–approved lies: “whiteness” is intrinsically evil, abortion is health care, there are dozens of genders, America was founded on racism and must be dismantled, marriage is oppressive and bad for women, children hold you back, and unchecked sexual “exploration” with a variety of partners of every gender is the surest path to emotional happiness.
Sane people have a terrible choice to make: exercise parental authority over what their children are taught and risk financial ruin, social blackballing, and permanent cancellation—or allow their kids to be turned against them.
When a teacher or government official replaces the parent as the ultimate authority in the child’s life, all bets are off. Educators know that any adult with the authority to influence a child has the power to expose said child to any radical or extreme ideas they want.
To them, you are the extremist if you don’t think young children need to learn about sex and gender dysphoria yet. You are the extremist if you question a teacher or school administrator’s choice of books to read or lessons to teach. You are an extremely racist extremist if you’d rather not force a five-year-old to feel bad about the color of his skin and apologize for it.
In California, students in middle school can ask their school to change their names and genders in the school computer system, and the school is not permitted to inform the parents. The school authorities and the teachers are legally allowed to conspire with eleven-year-olds in sixth grade to induct them into a cult and keep it secret. Literally “it’ll be our secret,” a classic groomer move.
These government educational bureaucrats may not drive window-less vans and carry dirty magazines and candy bars to lure young boys (although let’s be honest, some do), but they are even more dangerous. Any parents who send a child into an environment like this, either knowingly or blindly, are forfeiting their authority over their kid.
The Regime’s child-catchers are prowling the locker rooms and cafeterias looking for lost, confused pre-teens to cart off to Pleasure Island, where they can get transformed into donkeys without their parents’ consent.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney is working on a new version of Pinocchio where he asks the Blue Fairy to turn him into a real girl.
Too many sentient adults seem to simply wait for a new update to the operating system to decide what to do with their kids. They unquestioningly accept the Current Parenting Thing, the rancid gruel served up as “education” at the local public school.
They surrender their kids to the authorities, in all their forms: teachers, principals, pediatricians, drag queens reading stories, social media influencers, YouTubers, Disney, Netflix, TikTok, the Kardashians—anyone who is credentialed as a “kid expert” or “important” now holds more sway over American kids than their own mothers and fathers. “Who am I to tell my kids how to behave, or what to learn, or how to think about the world? I’m just a random person who had a baby. I made plenty of mistakes in my life. How can I possibly ask my children to obey me?”
This is why we can’t have nice things. This is why healthy toddlers were kept in COVID masks for two years while they sat in sandboxes alone, outside, in rain or sleet. This is why you see massive brawls happening at middle schools, where kids punch their own teachers. This is why children are indoctrinated into the cult of trans, coached and groomed to say their pronouns, to switch genders, to explore various “sexualities” and “identities.” This is why mothers pimp out their own children as “drag kids” and put little boys in princess dresses and post the photos on Instagram while thousands of likes wash over them.
This is what abdicating the parenting throne looks like. Childless weirdos have taken over every institution we look to for guidance on how to raise good citizens, and no, I’m not talking about Catholic priests.
It has become only too clear what this absence of parental authority has wrought. Truly insane people have taken over the American education system, Big Pharma, and Big Tech. They know the best way to reach the Final Solution of the American family is to focus on young, impressionable minds.
We are enjoying the fruits of their labor now: an explosion of teen depression and suicide, an epidemic of children who are confused if they’re boys or girls, and an incredible 40 percent of Gen Z reporting that they are some letter in the ever-expanding alphabet soup known as LGBTQ+.
Everywhere, in every way, the fertile, fallow minds of children are being terraformed by people who identify as “fur baby” parents.
I wouldn’t let fur baby parents walk my dog, let alone educate my eight-year-old.
This is why youmust exercise your parental authority early and often. You must speak up!
“No, I don’t want you to ask my teenage son if he’s comfortable with his gender during his doctor visit.”
“No, you can’t wear your sister’s Elsa dress to school today, because boys don’t wear dresses, now get in the car and never ask me that again.”
“No, you can’t buy those shorts that display the entire lower half of your rear end.”
“No, you can’t have a TikTok account, and if I find it on your phone, say goodbye to the phone.”
Parental authority makes you the heavy in the house and the bouncer at the door. Pull on your big boy pants and lay down the law, or the law is going to lay down all over you.
The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.
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