If only we had today's Conservatives around back in 1968 when I was 10 or 11, I’m certain I would have had a much different childhood. The problem, of course, was my mother. She regulated everything. She stifled the spirit of free enterprise that I needed in order to thrive. For example she wouldn't let me play with matches, she made me do my homework and clean my room, she imposed a ridiculous curfew. Even worse, when I failed to comply with the vast regulatory scheme she imposed upon my brother and me, she imposed fines, garnished my allowance and placed me under house arrest. If I shop lifted something, she made me return it and imposed harsh penalties for that. And, get this, once, when I started a fire in the weeds in the lot in back of the house we rented from my aunt, instead of letting me handle it by myself she and my aunt took charge and put the fire out themselves.
To be honest, I never knew just how victimized I was by her until just recently when ultra conservative tea bagger types blamed the Gulf of Mexico oil crisis on the Obama Administration and criticized him for not allowing BP the freedom it needed to clean up its own mess. Republicans also have criticized the current Administration's attempts to hold BP accountable and for requiring BP to establish a 20 Billion Dollar fund to compensate those who have suffered losses due to the oil leak. These same self-styled conservatives have helped to roll back tough regulatory schemes intended to protect the environment and ensure the safety of off shore drilling. I now know it was all my mother's fault. True, she put out the fire in the back field before it blew up into a full blown crisis, true she kept me from burning the house down and taught me that stealing was not likely to be a successful life strategy, true I graduated from High School, but I can't help but feel that if she hadn't exerted such a tough regulatory influence in my young life, I could have been a high ranking BP Corporate mogul today, or a successful politician influenced by generous bribes from unscrupulous lobbyists. Thanks Mom.