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Growing Pains
June 2, 2001
by Kurt Kurowski

As a teenager, and like most teens, I tried to get away with " funny business " as I pushed the limits put on me as a child in an effort to find my own way as an adult.

Each time that I encountered one of the many compromising situations teens are presented with I thought of how it would affect my parents and proceeded, or not, with that as my guideline.

Neither of my parents were president of anything, let alone the United States. But I still knew what would cause them heartache.

Certainly, fair-minded psychologists would be able to give reasons why the young adult children of the world's most high-profile individual, President G.W. Bush, would continue acting-out in such a persistently belligerent way as regards the law and alcohol.

And I agree that the Bush children should be given some leeway. I hope, as we all should, that they find more sure-footedness in a situation that few teens will ever face.

But in the same way that presidents are judged by certain standards, such as was the case with President Clinton, this situation is being judged in a league outside of the "average" family.

The standards for a president, such as those of experience, command of facts, and the ability to communicate have been lowered for Mr. Bush in what amounts to a "special privilege ." Perhaps it is time for this to end.

We can at least hold him to the same standards he intones for America when his recent and simplistic prescription for our social ills is that parents "teach right from wrong."

This, like his mantra calling for bi-partisanship seem indicative of parenting's most wrong-headed and least effective phrases, " Do as I say, not as I do."

If Bush should choose to patronize Americans less, Americans will be less inclined to point out his inconsistencies, and will then give his private matters the respect they deserve.

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