Add video game manufacturers to the list of job-creating American industries, from Wall Street to oil and pharmaceuticals, that President Obama is casting aspersions on. From Mr. Obama's Father's Day email: "We know that every father has a personal responsibility to do right by their kids – to encourage them to turn off the video games and pick up a book."
Nothing against books — I'm an author myself, and we review plenty of books here. President Obama has made most of his multimillion-dollar fortune from the book-publishing industry, so it's easy to understand why he likes books.
Giving fatherhood advice isn't one of the president's constitutional responsibilities, and it's an open question whether Mr. Obama ought to be doing it at all. This particular piece of one-size-fits all advice helps to make the case that the president should stick to other issues. Some children who spend too much time reading could probably use a father who tells them to take their noses out of those books and go play some video games with some other children to increase their hand-eye coordination and get some social exposure. Other children who spend too much time in sedentary activities could probably use a father who tells them to put down the book and to turn off the video game and to go outside instead and run around. But the notion that for every child and every father the correct message is turn off the video games and pick up a book is just the kind of centralized parenting approach that gives government fatherhood campaigns a bad name.
On the positive side, if Mr. Obama is so opposed to video games, maybe he can get in touch with those Massachusetts lawmakers who want to give special tax breaks to the video game industry there.
This is the second Father's Day in a row that the president has sent me a Father's Day email I disagreed with; last year's post is here.