Permissiveness? Not Dr. Spock, Says Widow, Rejecting Label from Nixon's VP, Spiro Agnew. Spock So-So On Spanking, But He Wasn't a Crook!
One of the worst, most shameless political acts of the 1960s was the claim Dr. Spock was permissive. Anyone who knew Ben, anyone who read my biography, knows that isn't true. The phrase 'permissive' was hurled at Dr. Spock by Nixon's Vice-President Spiro Agnew. It was kind of like throwing a rock at Bambi, but the charge still lingers. Recently, Spock's widow, Mary Morgan, wrote into U.S. News and World Report's parenting column to let them know how Ben really felt.
There was even a note from Mary Morgan, widow of the child-rearing guru Dr. Spock, adding a perspective only she could bring: "I remember hearing Dr. Spock say: Most parents hit their kids at some time. I try not to make them feel guilty or tell them not to do it. However, I've seen many children raised well without being hit and I know that it can be done."