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Just Because I'm a Member of the Shadow Government Doesn't Mean I Can't be a Good Dad

B. Bienstock '20

I try to be the best father I can be. I want the best for my two kids, [redacted] and [redacted] , but even the Dad of the Century slips up sometimes. I may not be perfect, but believe me when I say that my failures have nothing to do with me being a member of the anonymous confederation that controls the political affairs of every nation on earth.

The idea that I cannot separate my family life from my wheeling, dealing, bribing, and murdering is reductive and offensive. Would anyone ask the President of France to extricate his fatherly duties from his political activities? (No one would, because the President of France is a toothless pawn with no power to speak of.) So why does it always feel like everyone is judging me?

From the glares I get at PTA meetings to the “Where are the kids?” comments at the monthly shadow government backyard barbecues, I can’t escape criticism from people who I know are no better parents or geopolitical manipulators than I am. It’s hurtful to be treated as if I do not live a rich, multifaceted life, like I’m just one of the seven billion slobs who presume they have any control over their lives. My secret, world-historically important career is separate from my home life — I know how to keep juice boxes separate from poison boxes.

Take this past weekend. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and the kids convinced me to take them to the park to play catch. We were standing in the foyer all ready to go when the phone hidden behind the secret panel in the kitchen started ringing. I was excited but apprehensive to pick up; whatever I’d be tasked to do, whether it was rigging the stock market or wiretapping the Pope, would be tons of fun, but would take too much time away from fatherly bonding. When I heard that I was needed to orchestrate a military coup in Macedonia, I told the guys in the shadow government, “I can talk for five minutes, fellas, but then I gotta throw the ball around with my tots!” Two hours and hundreds of dead Balkans later, we ended up at the ballfield! Sure, some teens were making out on the pitcher’s mound and we went home immediately, but I can’t plan for every contingency. At least not in my life as a dad; I’m more adept on the international scale.

So if you think that I can’t do right by my kids and do wrong by the people of the world who believe in democracy, you’re dead wrong. The next time you feel the need to cast aspersions on my abilities as a father, remember that this kind of prejudice against the hidden power elites is shameful and dangerous. I can take my kids to a puppet show and be a puppetmaster.

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