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“Power comes from the barrel of a gun.” — Mao Zedong
Tennis legend Andre Agassi admits to having used Crystal Meth; Paris Hilton considers herself a role model for young girls; and presidential adviser and communications director Anita Dunn tells high-school students that the communist mass murderer Mao Zedong is one of the two people she “turns to most” for political guidance. And to think, not too long ago, baseball legend Dizzy Dean was considered a poor role model for using the word “ain’t.”
The world may have changed immensely since the days of Dizzy Dean, but children and adolescents are still the same. They still need solid role models. They need something beyond themselves to reach for and to care about. And dare I say it? Yes, they need clear direction in choosing between right and wrong.
Dunn’s message was an abdication of her responsibility, as an adult, to provide some of that direction. She owes the parents of that class an apology, and she owes all Americans an explanation beyond the childish one she initially offered: ”It was just a joke.” It is no joke to encourage young graduates — who surely are not cognizant of the unspeakable atrocities Mao committed — to revere and emulate the most prolific mass-murderer in human history simply because he “followed his own path.”
No path is inherently good, just because it is your own. As parents, we strive to impress upon our children that there are always consequences for the choices they make; that all their choices ultimately impact not only the people they love most, but many others as well.
There is also a deeper issue to consider. The plague of multiculturalism that has blighted our history classes has created a generation unaware of the richness of their own nation’s history, and has left students desperate for worthy role models. Dunn advised the youngsters in her audience to fill that void with the philosophy of a barbaric dictator who butchered millions for the sake of his leftist utopian vision.
A vital question begs to be asked: Why didn’t Dunn draw from the pool of heroes in American history to make her point? There seems to be only one possible answer: she didn’t consider them to be as honorable, or as significant, as Chairman Mao.