Sean Hannity’s Fascist Child Rearing Advice

Sean Hannity“I got hit with a strap. Bam! Bam! Bam! And I’ve never been to a shrink…” That was what Sean Hannity had to say about corporal punishment. It isn’t surprising that he would be a big advocate of beating children into submission. Most people who are brutalized as children hold this kind of opinion. And among conservatives, this kind of thing just makes sense in the same way that constant warfare and torture makes sense.

Now I won’t psychoanalyze Hannity, because I don’t think it is necessary. The 16 words above speak for themselves. And his additional comment that he’s never been to a shrink is just brilliant. Imagine a guy with a tumor the size of a grapefruit on the side of his head who insists nothing is wrong with him because he’s never been to a doctor. He’s fine. Really. Never felt the need. That must mean there is nothing wrong with him.

In the case of Sean Hannity, the tumor is pretty obvious. It’s pretty obvious on Bill O’Reilly too. Joe Scarborough is a conservative hack who rarely has anything interesting to say, but at least he isn’t out there cheer-leading for child abuse.

Check out the following segment from The Young Turks, because it provides a number of different times that Sean Hannity has fought the good fight in favor of brutalizing children:

The fundamental argument here seems to be that the way children were raised in the past is the the right way. Norms never change! Of course, by this logic, we would still be burning heretics. So what is it that we are afraid might happen? That little boys won’t grow up to be brutes like their fathers? This sounds a lot like what Hitler thought about the rearing of children:

My teaching will be hard. Weakness will be knocked out of them. A violently active, dominating, brutal youth — that is what I am after. Youth must be indifferent to pain. There must be no weakness and tenderness in it.

He goes on to talk about how knowledge is the ruin of his young men. If Sean Hannity is not a full-fledged fascist, he is a proto-fascist. And this is the thinking that he disseminates to millions on his radio and television shows. This is what the power elite want Americans to hear.

“I got hit with a strap. Bam! Bam! Bam! And I’ve never been to a shrink…”

8 thoughts on “Sean Hannity’s Fascist Child Rearing Advice

    • Oh, I don’t think I am! I’m sure its swimming around in their brains just looking for the proper way to sell it. “The Spanish Inquisition may have been brutal, but at least the trains ran on time!”

  1. Nobody in their right mind would say now that if an adult shows up at work with bruises and welts clearly visible, this is acceptable domestic treatment. So why is anyone defending the right of parents to beat people even more defenseless than abused adults?

    Something very odd’s going on. The most recent reason for this issue to arise is, of course, the football player who systematically beats his children. (Not “accused of”; he admits it publicly.) This football player is Black, and is not married to any of the mothers of his children. He does provide financial support and, unfortunately, is present as a father on occasion.

    The odd thing is you would think it is conservatives jumping all over the player (again, Black, multiple children out of wedlock.) After all this is clearly an instance where different cultural norms apply, in a very harmful fashion, and conservatives love blaming things on Black culture. Instead, it’s the liberals making the criticisms of child abuse and some of the harmful norms in certain segments of Black culture. (I believe it’s valid to criticize harmful aspects of any culture as long as you equally criticize your own.)

    So, for once, something is more appealing than demonizing Blacks to conservatives . . . defending child beating. Probably not specifically that so much as the right of parents to control their children in every possible way; even the morality of parents tyrannizing their children in every possible way.

    I’ve long wondered if abuse (emotional and/or physical) didn’t play a big part in American conservatism. Not the primary contributing factor but a big part. Fundamentalism is essentially psychosexual torture techniques, so fundamentalists approve of such techniques being used on others (say, at CIA detention centers.) And it’s easy for someone who had a bully parent to admire bullying. Much of the appeal of the NFL is that it’s a game of bullying. Being a fan transfers “toughness” from the ritual to the observer who feels empty unless they regularly feel “tough.”

    We do see that many conservatives don’t hold their views because of a real belief that conservative policies will improve life for the majority; they hold their views because they want the majority to get it in the face. It satisfies a psychological need. That’s why any liberal idea, even ones that require enormous courage and hard work to apply, is “wimpy.” Anytime you want to help instead of harming others, it’s by definition wimpy, weak, cowardly (words that certainly apply to the likes of civil-rights marchers or people running medical clinics in war zones.)

    You have to be pretty damaged to think this way. Our culture can do a lot of that damage all by itself. I do wonder how much of that damage is done by conservative parents, though.

    • In general, when talking to conservatives individually about economic matters, we largely agree. But the one area where we are always miles apart is this need on the part of conservatives to be “tough.” They are for a big military, not because they think we need it but because it is a signifier: the country is “strong.” But I’ve known lots of conservatives who talk in glowing terms of about corporal punishment who wouldn’t think of using it on their own kids. Even Hannity doesn’t admit to using it and probably doesn’t use it.

      I don’t know about the cultural aspects of corporal punishment. Based upon some research I read about black parents being more open to corporal punishment in schools, I believe it comes from fear that they have that if their children don’t toe the line completely, they will end up dead on the street. This is shortsighted, of course. First, their children end up dead on the street anyway. Second, corporal punishment doesn’t really work. So if blacks are using corporal punishment, it is yet another negative effect of our society being racist.

      The numbers on corporal punishment for Americans are shameful. They are down a lot over the last 20 years, but they are still super high even for women. There is something like 80% support from men. It’s illegal in most of Europe. Because they aren’t animals like we are.

      • Oops, I didn’t mean child abuse was a cultural thing. (I suspect it’s a poverty thing.) I was referring to the football player having lots of kids from different moms with whom he had no intention of establishing a long-term relationship, but still wanting to show up and dispense dad stuff. That’s a cultural thing. Basically just male belt-notching. It’s also probably a poverty thing. Since child-support wages are garnished for absentee fathers based on a scale of the father’s income, and Blacks have fewer job opportunities than whites, you get a strange subculture in which some young Black poor men brag about how many “baby mamas” they have. White poor men will notch their belts with sexual conquests yet have somewhat better job prospects, so siring a bunch of kids can hurt them more.

        My SO provides 90% support (I chip in the rest) for two nieces, both Black on the dad’s side. One of the absentee dads wants to, once or twice a year, show up and be macho and dispense Dad Wisdom. He’s allowed to, because the kid’s curious and it’s dumb to tell a kid not to be curious about her biological father, but it really would be better if the guy just disappeared; he’s an insulting ass. (You’re too fat, you have ugly hair, you’re stupid, etc.) There’s just a zillion layers of shit rolling downhill there, one broken person trying to demean another. I imagine in most cases where a single mom lets the absentee dad show up and be demeaning to a kid, that’s a desperate attempt to encourage the dad to work enough to keep the support checks coming. (The niece’s mom does get support checks a few times a year; they’re a few dollars a pop, like royalties on gimmick Xmas songs. The mom is a wreck and can provide nothing financially, we do that, but at least she’s not an abuser and the kids have a nanny.)

        What strikes me about all this is how fucked our safety net is. If we’re supporting single moms with garnished wages from absentee dads — ye gods. Another poverty thing is poor women (this crosses cultural boundaries) thinking if they have kids, they’ll have more money from aid than the wages they can get from shit work. Wrong, but a common misconception.

        Sorry I didn’t make my generalizations clear. (Hey, I talked about conservative fucking-the-poor mentality — isn’t that clearly white people?) Nah, Hannity probably doesn’t hit his kids. Poor white people do, though. At least the ones I grew up with.

        • No, I wasn’t suggesting that. As I noted, most people believe in corporal punishment. If there is a cultural aspect to it, it is doubtless poverty. Rich parents can provide tons of carrots that poor parents can’t. And at this point, I don’t think we can underestimate the fears of black parents. There has been much written about black parents giving “the talk.” Michael Brown’s mother talked about hard it was to keep him in school and get him to go to college. And look what happened.

          If Hannity doesn’t hit his kids, it is probably because his money procured him a great wife who would never stand for it. Although I have to say that I now feel a little sorry for him. He probably would have been a horrible person anyway, but the brutality he experienced doubtless hurt.

          • Honestly I hadn’t considered the “punishment instilling useful fear of cops” thing before, but I can see how some might think that. And Mychal Denzel Smith just wrote a thing on that in “The Nation.” Damn, that’s depressing.

            If one remembers how one was as a kid, though, it’s probably counter-productive. The kids living under the most draconian rule at home are sometimes the most rebellious to authority figures outside the home. Depends on the kid, though. I grew up terrified and submissive to authority, my brother pissed off his teachers and dropped out of high school. (He ended up in the Navy and found the authority structure fit his personality just fine; I eventually spent a year in military school and the authority structure drove me bananas!)

            God, at this point Blacks in America almost qualify for the international standards of political persecutees requiring save haven . . .

  2. @JMF – I think that’s about right. If we were not the super power we are, there would be major pressure on us. Just look at our prisons. It is shameful.

    I do think there are different personalities. As a kid a cross look was all that was needed to keep me in line. I came out of the womb desperate for approval. I really should have gone into the circus. Speaking of which, I’ve decided to learn how to make balloon animals!

    I know nothing about rearing children. I’m the uncle or family friend who encourages children to misbehave. But I know that violence begets violence. Parents should strive to make their children want to behave. Violence only makes them seek to not get caught. I just don’t see how violence produces actual socialization.

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