DEAR JERKASS: My 30-year-old son insists that I should help pay for the orthodontia he feels he should have had as a child. He is a grown man now with three children of his own, and I am not sure if I, his dad, should financially help him with this. What do you think? -- BRACING FOR AN ANSWER
DEAR FATHER OF A BERNIE SUPPORTER Reparations are a garbage idea, and it’s something Christians don’t even support theologically. See, there’s this idea in Christian myth that says “the sins of the father shall be visited unto the son” or something like that. But then this guy named Jebus came along and was like “SIN COMBO BREAKER” and now if great grandpa fucked goats we don’t have to go to hell for it.
It’s the same idea for modern Germany being held responsible for historical Germany’s crimes (they were but there is a statute of limitations. You can’t really expect little Helmut to take all his sauerkraut money and pay the Jews when it’s been at least three generations since his grandfather worked at the soap factory). If you think that’s a fair and just system, I’d like to tell you that prison sentences could then be technically commuted onto children. So if your dad is a bastard spawning criminal who you never met because he was too busy robbing liquor stores and died in jail (by having his skull smashed in from rough sex) and wasn’t able to finish his sentence, that means you’ll go to jail!
And vice versa, you should pay for everything little Billy missed out on in his youth, because..."everyone should have it and time machines and reasons".
So if you are a liberal or a socialist, you should pay for your grown son’s dental dam, because that’s what it’s all about; guilt tripping under the rubric of socialism.
But while it might have been true that you COULD have gotten iron filings grafted onto little Billy's teeth but instead spent the money on the ’86 Dolphins game, you don’t actually owe him anything.
Teach him to be a man and accept that your only legal and moral responsibility was to ensure he was fed, clothed, and sheltered until the age of majority.
But I think it’s too late. You raised a socialist.
Congrats. Boris Yeltsin would be ashamed.
Judas' Advice Column
This is where I take a Dear Abby column, and add my own brand of advice. I started by calling it Dear Crabby, but that's taken and JERKASS seems more fun.