Donahue’s Children
Part 2: Playground of Irresponsibility
by Robert L. Kocher
“Victim of Circumstances”: An Example

Let’s begin with fundamentals. Does it make any sense to believe you can have any future with someone who is hooked on drugs? No, not in the real adult world. Does it make any sense to associate with or involve yourself with someone using drugs? Is it not foreseeable that such a person is going to be little more than trouble over any period of time? How much sense does it make to engage in sex with such a person? How much sense does it make to live with such a person?—or, although marriage apparently wasn’t part of the above situation, to marry such a person? How much sense does it make to get pregnant with such a person? Each one of these actions has foreseeable consequences that are disastrous. Each one of these situations is nothing but trouble waiting to happen to somebody. Each one of these situations is indifference to personal responsibility.

Use of the intentionally vague word “circumstances” suggests events that are not foreseeable and over which someone has little control. To be walking down the road and be hit on the head by a falling meteor would be to become a victim of circumstances. To become afflicted with a strange and poorly understood disease such as muscular dystrophy would be circumstances.

However, the so-called “circumstances” she (the woman on the Donahue show) talks about are not circumstances, but are the foreseeable result of a sequence of actions which any sane and prudent person would judge dangerous or irresponsible to enter. They are actions equivalent to knowingly stepping into the path of an oncoming truck. Yet these actions are part of a strong, if not dominant, social pattern of mindlessness which is socially acceptable and in which many people take a certain liberated pride. This woman is not feeble minded, but articulate and, if typical, can probably debate any side of an issue with the deftness of a trial lawyer. I’ve personally heard thousands of such histories, but have chosen this one because it’s one to which readers can relate. This situation happened to involve drugs, but many others are just as mindless in other ways, even though one or both of the people involved may have college educations, including PhDs.

It’s not restricted to TV. I know of one marital break-up involving children because of drugs. The husband was making $61,000 per year in 1988. It was all going up his nose in the form of cocaine.

Pathological Relationships

In many cases the situation consists of two mindless or pathological people entering into relationships and neither realizes the other is mindless, pathological or irresponsible because they both share the same mental condition (and label it liberation). To one person who is using drugs, another person hooked on drugs is acceptable or even attractive in the sense of sharing a commonality of interest and life style. But, marriages don’t work on drugs and there are twenty-five million people in America playing with drugs. They have children.

To one person who is sexually liberated, another person who is sexually liberated may be acceptable to become involved with or to marry. The problem is it doesn’t work out so well a year later when that liberated person runs off with someone else in another expression of liberation. If it also happens that somebody in that liberated group happens to be pregnant or have a child, it becomes even less fun. Then, Donahue announces that the children become “our children” and “society’s failure.” They don’t become “liberation”‘s failure.

With the help of the Phil Donahues in creating and supporting accountability-avoidant interpretations, the “socially liberated” view themselves as being victims. In my lifetime I have seen victimhood evolve from experiencing unavoidable and unpredictable circumstances, to denial of responsibility, to becoming a major politically exploitable manufacturing industry in the liberalized world. Simultaneously, the idea of assuming the risk and consequences for imprudent or irresponsible behavior has been expunged from all concepts of social responsibility and concepts of law. Victimhood is being redefined as not being able to bind other people into involuntary servitude to pay for personal irresponsibility.

Given that the people involved in excesses may be out in San Francisco, there is a transfer of irrational guilt such that the problem mysteriously becomes that someone in Detroit doesn’t care enough about “our children.”

Criticizing such patterns and what mutual arrangements people make between themselves is to be accused of being unconscionably judgmental. You are limited to paying the escalating bills for subsidizing the consequences while absorbing abuse from leftists over the problem’s existence and expansiveness.

If, in an attempt to prevent this, the schools begin to teach the possibility that people should become a little less personally “liberated” and the American Civil Liberties Union fights tooth and nail to prevent then from teaching it, the children of this liberation don’t become the ACLU’s children or the ACLU’s failure, but are still “our children” and “society’s failure.”

“Society’s Failure”

When one of the liberal women’s magazines writes glowing articles glamorizing the latest great new progressive experiment in experiential exploration, the children which result don’t become the magazine’s children or the magazine’s failure. They become “our children” or “society’s children” or “society’s failure.”

When marriages dissolve because of glamorized liberated life styles, leaving rootless children, the children don’t become the magazine’s children. They become “our children” or “society’s children” or “society’s failure.

When people reject and rebel against every bit of advice and pleading on my part, I’m still the only one who is held accountable for the resulting mess.

When Donahue and others like him legitimize that mentality, the consequences don’t become Donahue’s failure and Donahue’s children.

Donahue analyzes events in terms of social problems. What Donahue neglects to examine in his analysis of social problems is that Donahue and those like him are among the major social problems with their subtle support and promotion of irresponsible mindlessness.

It’s becoming the story of America. We have tens of millions of them. It’s the reality of those statistics and bold new life styles. It’s the ultimate result of the attitudes and mindlessness statistically documented in Glamour or Cosmopolitan. It’s the implications, for instance, of Glamour Magazine’s so-called “traditional” 30% of college students who declare marginal interest in marriage but expect to have children. They are going through with it.

I remember a piece in one of the liberal trendy magazines about unwed mothers and unwed fathers. The piece bubbled about how the fathers loved the children and how they were psychologically supportive to the mothers. There was a picture of the fathers grinning as they held the children. In the portrayal of a type of father-children love-in reminiscent of the 60s and 70s, it went unnoticed that nobody was psychologically supportive enough or loved anybody enough to make a commitment in the form of marriage. The limit of the commitment and support consisted of showing up a half-hour once or twice a week to play daddy by patting the kids and the women on the head, then going on about their business elsewhere—probably with someone else they had become involved with. In the thinking characteristic of the borderline personality system, this is the conception of love and commitment. The concept that love is not only momentary photogenic emotional display or reaction but means willingness to take long term responsibilities and commitments has become a consideration that has become expunged from American life. The idea that loss of sentience in this regard clearly affects the condition of children has also been expunged.

If it were one or two or even fifteen percent of the population, the situation would be believable and manageable. However, beginning with an illegitimacy rate of over thirty percent, the mindlessness is such that certainly no less than 30% of children are currently being brought into the world under these “circumstances.” Forty or more percent would be a good guess. The marriage of parents makes little difference if the parents are militantly borderline and unstable and the marriage is unstable.

The bottom line is, the deterioration in capacity to form and maintain heterosexual relationships, the deterioration in psychological condition of the population in successive generations and the consequent deterioration of social institutions to include basic sane morality, have all proceeded at a much faster rate than social programs can take remedial action or possibly keep up with it. Meanwhile, the borderline psychotic personality systems in this country want to talk about the “need” for day care centers or the need for abortions or the need for social programs instead of the need to stay off drugs or the need to look for character in marital partners or the need to make serious interpersonal commitments or the need to stop casual sex or the need to stop other behavior creating the conditions demanding constant remedy.

Reality Bites

Real marriage and children have a common element. They represent primary definite orientations and commitments in a person’s life, They preempt other activities. Children need parents—their own parents on an individual level. Being a parent is a responsibility which requires dedication, discomfort, inconvenience, and requires giving up a great many other things. Having children is a choice which means choosing between raising children and doing other things. Children need to grow up in, and learn from, this type of stable life in order to apply it to making later choices in their own lives.

But, borderline personalities do not believe in making choices and do not believe in giving up anything to have anything else. They want to be “liberated” from reality. They have children then go on about their other activities expecting something or someone to substitute for parents or parenting. They also demand social programs to provide the substitute for the confining individual parental priorities and individual parental commitment to their children—leaving biological parents free to pursue whatever it is they pursue. They want children of convenience who don’t interfere with previous established parental patterns or don’t interfere with outside activities.

Children growing up in this environment suffer a deficit which they later practice in their own lives and inflict upon their own children. And so the problem is passed on to succeeding generations and expands within the population.

We, we meaning we as individuals and as a social/governmental system, are basically in the same situation on a national level that the previously-mentioned older couple were in with the irresponsibility of their daughter and son-in-law. The older couple couldn’t keep up with it on the individual level, and the country cannot keep up with the same collective irresponsibility on a national level. It’s bankrupting the country. Moreover, a coalition of perpetually-indignant borderline personalities and eternal teenagers constitute one of the largest single voting blocks and political forces in the America.

The children, Donahue’s “our children,” are used as pawns in a tactic of blackmail as well as devices in ideological profiteering or ideological manipulation by the radical left. In the first instance the situation is roughly equivalent to grandparents who have spoiled sons, daughters, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law who have children. In the interest of not seeing their grandchildren suffer poverty and abandonment, the grandparents are trapped into subsidizing their egocentric children’s degeneracy hoping enough will trickle down to ease the burdens on their grandchildren. The children know this and use the grandchildren as leverage to manipulate the grandparents.

Hillary Clinton for President

In much the same way, on a national scale, with the government as grandparent surrogates, the vulnerability and condition of children is held up as a way of blackmailing the government into supporting ever-expanding irresponsibility and “pluralistic life styles.” (with the help of spokesmen such as Phil Donahue who mystify the causes and distribute the responsibility.) The latter issue demands to keep the children from suffering so as to obtain the brokerage fee of being able to continue their own life styles and irresponsibility by forcing government to take responsibility. Thus, they blackmail society into enabling them to remain eternal teenagers.

Phil Donahue has now retired. Hillary Clinton is the new political Phil Donahue. She’ll shake her head as the new role model for emotional release of indignation without facing embarrassing facts and responsibilities. If a coalition of the irresponsible and the hysteria-susceptible can be created, she will ride it into the presidency.

Personal political liberty and personal irresponsibility are dedicated enemies of one another and only one will survive a contest between the two. For the last 40 years, indifference to personal responsibility is winning the contest.

What has developed is a one-sided moral code wherein society and parental/grandparent figures are held responsible for eternal teenagers. Hillary’s “village” is to be forced servitude to a government-maintained playground of irresponsibility, denial, the new breed of denial-thumping Donahue-type social preachers, denial-thumping pseudointellectuals, and with ambitious demogogues such as Hillary becoming the ruling class. Make no mistake about it. None of it is for the children. It’s for the irresponsible, for the parasites, for the guiltmasters, and for the demogogues. If the condition of children were to improve it would be the worst thing that could happen to all of them. The children are simply being exploited. If there were any genuine concern for children, it would be expressed as exhortation to return to a rational morality protective of children. But, that’s not the way the Hillary Clintons of the world lead their lives, and that must also be rationalized and protected.

Robert L. Kocher is the author of “Attitude Channeling and Brainwashing,” as well as many other articles (available at His email address is