There was an early episode of The West Wing in which the President had to choose a course of action after a deadly terrorist attack. Ready to unleash the full might of the US military, he was eventually persuaded to take a more measured approach. Why? Because while carpet bombing another country into oblivion may have made him feel better for a minute, it wasn’t going to achieve anything fruitful. It was going to lead to more unnecessary death and destruction.
He chose a proportional response.
The episode, and the title, stuck with me, so much so that we’ve adopted the phrase into our parenting lexicon. But lately I’ve been using the term to describe other things as well.
Each time the news of another police shooting crosses my line of vision, I see the same refrain.
Why didn’t he just comply?
Why didn’t he just do what the police said?
Maybe if he was raised better, he’d have been fine. I was raised…
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