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For many years, I wrote political and cultural pieces for The Huffington Post, RealClearPolitics, National Review and many others. Here are a few of those pieces.

After my article "Why I Left The Left" came out, I got an invitation to The White House.

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What I Learned on My Summer Vacation
This summer I took my sons, ages 11 and 3, to visit grandma and grandpa on Long Island.
It was the house I grew up in, my parents were still the same people who had raised me, and my boys did many of the things I used to do when I was their ages.

The car seat was broken, so my three year old was, gasp, strapped in by a seat belt. Believe it or not, he survived! We went to restaurants where, God forgive me, we were all exposed to second-hand smoke. Somehow, I don't know how, we survived.

My parents somehow missed the whole "health food" craze – in which "whole grain" and "organic" are really code words for expensive and tasteless. In between some home-cooked meals, there were plenty of Cheetos and Yodels, and lots of kisses (both the real and the Hershey kind). We drank Diet Cokes and not a single shot of carrot juice was consumed (or mentioned) all week. Again, amazingly, we survived.

The sun shone every day we were there, yet not a single drop of sunscreen was applied. I had forgotten to bring it. What, you say, you allowed the natural rays of the sun to hit your boys? Call child services immediately! It reminded me of my carefree days at summer camp in the early 70s, when the sun hit your face and it just felt good, as it has for billions of people for tens of thousands of years, BSS – Before Sun Screen.

The kids played, stayed up too late, and bathed when they needed it, not as part of a rigid regimen. Yes, they survived.

I know, I know: car seats are safer (certainly for infants), and multigrain food is probably healthier – but at what cost? Don’t we have taste buds for a reason? I want my kids to LOVE the taste of food!

Visiting the old homestead reminded me of a time when kids were allowed to just be kids. When a strict time limit on TV watching was nonexistent. When we were taught math and science in school, not self-esteem, and where education trumped indoctrination.

It was good to see joy, rather than the anxiety that is routinely instilled in our children by a culture (and media) that emphasize all the bad news and minimize all the good, life-affirming news. It was good to be in an environment where common sense, and not pop-psych theories, ruled. It was good to be reminded of a time when "Mommy and Me" meant a mother and her child doing everyday things that brought them closer and not attending a “class” designed to teach every mother and child how to think, speak and behave.

It was good to remember a time when cigarette smoke might have been annoying, but it wasn't all the rage (quite literally) or the most important thing on the planet. It was good to remember a time when kids ate candy because it tasted good and it’s what kids do. And it was good for my kids to see that the hyper-hysteria that is the stuff of today's world is not the real world but only – unfortunately – their world.

In a country where half the people are more concerned with global warming than global fascism, I know it will be hard for my kids to have the same less-regulated experience I had growing up. At least Jujyfruits haven’t been targeted yet!

Comments | Post a Comment

Great essay, Seth!

Last night I was negotiating with my 4 year old over the size of this gooey, gelatinous, dinosaur candy he wanted for desert. To me, it seemed a bit too large and gaudy -- to him, it was a matter of principle as he begged, pleaded, entreated me in highly emotional Socratic terms, "Daddy, don't cut the thing in half!"

After 3 or 4 minutes, I just said to myself, "the hell with it, he's a good kid. What possible difference could this make?"

"Here you go, kiddo, you can have the whole thing."

And, with a smile that lit up the room, he skipped up and down, "You are the best, Dad!"

Posted by: D.David Steele

Dear Seth,
Thanks for the great article in todays RealClearPolitics.com. I am
just dealing with nonsense at my son's hyper *&!#*&@ super-private
uppity school today (he's in second grade), and I read your piece and
it put everything into perspective. 90% of the nonsense is self
induced hysteria. Best,
Las vegas

Posted by: Joe

How refreshing. we are going to die of fear before we die of exposure to the sun. The world has gone off center. I can't even take the kids to The A&W Root beer stand with out someone looking at me like I'm a child abuser. Like you I am a recovering liberal that was mugged by reality. Keep it going.

Posted by: Ted

you sound angry Seth and I'm not sure at what.
Why do you dismiss global warming? Why can't global warming and global facism both be concerns?
Your eye is off the ball in every post I read of yours...you have imaginary enemies...liberals? Very convenient. IT's much easier to have them as enemies then your own probably lousy parents.

Posted by: doug

Yeah, what he said. Mayberry RFD, walking down the road with a canepole and skipping stones with Opie.......or is it Abu

Posted by: These times they are a changing

Do not be condescending. Why you Rightist (born again or misguided originals) wrongly characterize Americans and make useless theories like In a country where half the people are more concerned with global warming than global fascism. Who has given you the impression that you and foolish President are the only ones who are going to save Western Civilization? This is like 'masturbating' trying to get glory when in reality there is nothing.

There are 4 points:

1. More than half of Americans are actually more worried about their livelihood and getting their next pay check rather than supporting Iraq war which is falsely argued as fight against global terrorism.
2. There are many hard core liberals who share only some points with Al Gore and are very sympathetic towards what Bjorn Lomborg says. Your mouth piece 'Wall Street Journal' published an article by Kimberley Strassel on July 8, 2006 (Get Your Priorities Right) and many liberals would agree with that analysis. Do Google on Lomborg to get yourself informed. I am one of such hard core Liberals and there are many who do not follow the blind line on Global Warming.
3. If you are true Conservative, by now you must be knowing that many times you would differ from your Party line. In this case the Party of fiscal recklessness and expanding government. The same way, many common Liberals do not subscribe to Party line in many cases. So don't lecture America about what she thinks and she does not.
4. Finally, just ask yourself who was that American who really fought against that original Fascism. May be you are under so much burden of carrying the Cross of American Security that you have forgotten about FDR.

You all moron Conservatives will spend enormous time and energy in mischaracterization and yarning for the world which is NOT the reality; so much so that you are not much different than DailyKos.

You and your misguided views do not help America. May be, just may be, you are that Fascist who is trying to engulf in Stars and Strips to justify all sorts of reckless policies. Well, getting elected is not the end in itself. (Hitler too got votes.) Ask yourself how much 2700 deaths in Iraq and $400 Billions have made you safer? Could those resources have been used more effectively rather selling that war by lying to America?

What we need is more than half of America to worry about extremists and war monger like you.


Posted by: Umesh Patil

Ahhh! Umesh, thanks for that cup of tolerance for another view of life.

It's funny how my "foolish President" is the most powerful man in the world and you are just a angry responder to a blog.

Thanks Seth!, for a fun read.

Posted by: Skip

Another wonderful read...why am i not surprised at this point? You really should write a book about your original views, your political shift, and the changes it brought to you and your family's lives. I'd buy it, and i'm sure Laura Ingraham (among others) would love to help promote it. Your posts really get these moonbats going. It's really nice for a change to have someone on the OTHER side aggravated and disappointed that someone whose music they love isn't in agreement with them politically. Seems that the Old Hippies are the New Facists. What an irony.

Posted by: Rick

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