Paterfamilias—Trump and the perils of paternalism

Armstrong Williams | 10/4/2018, 3:55 p.m. | Updated on 10/4/2018, 3:55 p.m.
No one likes to be scolded or told what to do by an authority figure, even if it is for ...
Armstrong Williams

Therein lies the second problem posed by the paternalistic instinct. Often fathers can injure their families in their attempts to protect them. If they are too harsh, they risk alienating their children, which can have unintended consequences. Seeking a kinder reception outside of the family, children can fall prey to malevolent influences. The solution of many on the left to deal with the Trump administration’s implacable policies has been a revolt that is evidencing itself in local elections around the country. Several of the country’s rising political stars are far-left leaning radicals who won surprise races in formerly mainstream districts. It seems almost imponderable, but Ted Cruz’s formerly safe Texas senate seat is actually in play by a left-wing insurgent running on a pro-immigration platform.

Paternalism untampered by wisdom can be a recipe for disaster. If one uses one’s authority to mute dissent and fails to take into account the various factors that go into the wants, needs and desires of the people one is leading, one risks winning the battle but losing the war. The American people want immigration curbed because they see a shift in the values that have made America great. Americans do not want to have people fleeing crime and war ravaged nations let loose on our streets to attack Americans and diminish our way of life.

Nevertheless, the means do count. We should be cautious that in the way we go about protecting ourselves from harm so we do not become the very enemy we fear.

Mr. Williams is manager/sole owner of Howard Stirk Holdings I & II Broadcast Television Stations and the 2016 Multicultural Media Broadcast Owner of the Year. Watch the “Right Side Forum” every Saturday live on Newschannel 8 TV 28 in D.C., 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and repeated at 6:30 p.m., EDT. Follow on Twitter @arightside. Visit online at