Are you one of the people who says kids today need to learn that their actions have consequences? That parents today need to stop bending over backwards to protect their children from the consequences of their behavior? Do you complain about the parent who calls their kid’s teacher to explain why Justin didn’t finish his book report, or tell stories about that mom who showed up at school with Emily’s warm coat that she accidentally left at home?
Or are you one of the people now saying that Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s behavior shouldn’t matter: “It was a long time ago. It was high school. It’s not relevant.”
Because you don’t get to have it both ways.
Leave aside Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations about what happened the night of that party 30-odd years ago. That’s a different topic. But enough people who knew Kavanaugh at Georgetown Prep and at Yale have now come forward to say that he was a frequent heavy drinker and a partier. He was a member of DKE, a fraternity at Yale that was notorious for heavy drinking and misogynistic behavior. Former roommates, friends, and acquaintances have described him as belligerent and mean when drunk, have said that he was “frequently unusually drunk,” and have described other behavior that anyone who is familiar with the heavy drinking that goes on at high schools and college campuses easily recognizes.
And yes, it was a long time ago, but that behavior has consequences. Still. Now.
Responsible parents struggle to teach their teenagers to be careful: to use discretion and sense and to think before they act. Modern parents have also had to add the caution about being responsible about what their kids post and tweet. Be careful. Because your behavior could come back and haunt you.
The big threat is always that a potential employer might learn about your indiscretions and decide that you aren’t the kind of person they want working for them. Yes, employers can, do and should look back at your behavior and decide what it says about your character. Even when the employer is the Supreme Court of the United States of America.
This moment right here is the moment that parents need to point to to remind our kids that their actions have repercussions. If we excuse this behavior because it happened a long time ago we’re no better than the helicopter and lawnmower parents that we criticize. We need to let the chips fall where they may.
And that’s true no matter how you feel about the political ramifications of the nomination, regardless of whether you support the current administration or not.
This is where the rubber meats the road, folks. This is where everyone who ever criticized an overly-involved parent or said that Millennials or Gen Y or kids today need to learn that life is hard should now be saying “Sorry, Brett. You’re not hired.”