a depressing dose of reality
For me, the pro-smacking rhetoric has been a depressing dose of reality in terms of New Zealand culture. It's like when your lovable old grandfather comes out with a racist remark. You are not so much shocked as embarrassed on his behalf. However it's still a setback, a diminishing of respect -- a side of him that you would rather not have observed.
But maybe it's better in the long run that you do. In a way, seeing so many people become so angry because a member of the Green Party is attempting to stop the
hitting of children is like Godzone has suddenly let its mask slip. It's not a pretty sight....