The theme of the news this week is “everybody does it”.

Nebraska – it’s not just a great Springsteen album. (wikimedia commons)

A toddler in Omaha, Nebraska was seen in a video, cursing in response to cues from equally vulgar young adults. The video has gone viral; child welfare authorities took the little boy and his young mother into custody out of concern for both their well beings.

The mom’s response to all the hub-bub about the reason for her two-year-old’s sudden rise to fame? “Kids curse; every kid does it”. She also went on to point out that the little boy had on a clean diaper at the time and that he was cursing because someone else, who was in the room with the boy when she wasn’t, told him to do it. “My son doesn’t do it” she said “I don’t allow it.”

Ok, mom, here’s the thing. A clean diaper obviously does nothing to protect your son from the type of clowns you allow him to be around. And while your everybody does it defense has some merit, the fact is that everyone doesn’t do it when they’re two.

Two year olds are just developing their ability to communicate. They’re learning to do things like name the parts of their bodies. The average length of their sentences is 1.2 words. Most of all, they don’t learn to curse the first time you leave them in a room with some goofball or a recording of George Carlin’s “7 dirty words” routine.

That little boy is a mess because of you, not because “every kid does it”.

Big Fish (public domain)

And now we go to another part of the country to check in on Governor Chris Christie. The news broke this week that members of the governor’s staff were involved in restricting traffic on the George Washington Bridge between Fort Lee, New Jersey and New York City. Why would they do such a thing? Because the mayor of Fort Lee refused to endorse Christie’s re-election.

Christie says he didn’t know that his staff had been involved in this kind of dirty dealing. I guess he was in another room.

See Gov, here’s the thing. My dad always taught me that a fish rots from the head down. I’m certain you’re familiar with the fish metaphor. In fact, I’m certain that you’ve used some form of the concept to hack away at your political opposites…just as they’re doing to you now.

I don’t know if that’s actually the order a dead fish rots in, but the metaphor stands true. People will be corrupt and nasty in direct proportion to the corrupt and nasty quotient of their leaders. In the words of our young mother “every kid does it”.

And when we’re talking politics in your state, we do know that every kid does it. If you’re the kid who doesn’t, it’s your responsibility to make sure your friends don’t either. You’ve failed in that respect. As such, you and the young mother in Omaha are on the same plane.

I’m not sure which of you should be more offended by that.