In a move that has ignited a firestorm of controversy, Dr. Leslie Dobson, a California mother of two, took to TikTok to explain why she refuses to return her shopping cart at the grocery store. Instead of backtracking on her viral video, which amassed over 11 million views, Dr. Dobson doubled down, appearing on television to defend her actions. Her stance? She shouldn’t have to leave her kids alone to adhere to social norms.

In the now-infamous TikTok video, Dr. Dobson boldly declared, “I’m not returning my shopping cart, and you can judge me all you want.” She explained that after taking the time to buckle up her kids and load her groceries, she has no intention of “leaving them in the car to go return the cart.” In an unrefined outburst, she added, “So if you’re gonna give me a dirty look, f— off.”

Unsurprisingly, her video sparked widespread outrage. Commenters were quick to voice their disappointment, invoking the “shopping cart theory,” which suggests that returning a shopping cart is a litmus test for whether a person will do what is right without being forced to. One commenter noted, “If you can get the cart, you can return the cart. Look up the shopping cart theory.” Another added, “I absolutely believe in the shopping cart theory. Maybe the return was across the lot, maybe it was literally across from the spot where you parked. Either way, the theory holds true.”

Rather than reconsider her stance, Dobson doubled down, citing her safety concerns as a justification for her behavior. She wrote, “I want women to feel empowered to trust their intuition if they feel unsafe, ignore judgment. Risk isn’t worth it and our lives are precious. I have seen lives destroyed. I hope you never don’t.”

Dr. Dobson’s rationale might resonate with some, but it highlights a growing trend of individualism over communal responsibility. In a society that often seems to prioritize convenience over courtesy, her refusal to return a simple shopping cart speaks volumes. While safety is a legitimate concern, using it as a blanket excuse for ignoring basic social responsibilities sets a dangerous precedent.

The expectation that others will take care of our messes is not just lazy; it’s a reflection of a broader societal shift away from shared values and mutual respect. In the days of our grandparents, such an act would be unthinkable, not because it was convenient, but because it was the right thing to do. It’s about teaching our children that small actions matter, and that community is built on a series of seemingly insignificant, but fundamentally important, acts of consideration and respect.

Dr. Dobson’s comments also raise questions about the messages we send to the next generation. By publicly stating that she won’t inconvenience herself for the benefit of others, she inadvertently teaches her children that self-interest trumps communal well-being. It’s a lesson in entitlement, not empowerment.

In the grand scheme of things, returning a shopping cart may seem trivial. But it is precisely these small acts of civility that keep the wheels of society turning smoothly. As conservatives, we value personal responsibility, respect for others, and the belief that our actions, no matter how small, contribute to the greater good.

Dr. Dobson’s stance might have gained her some notoriety, but it’s a stark reminder that the principles of decency and communal responsibility are worth defending. It’s time we return to the values that built this great nation – starting with something as simple as putting a shopping cart back where it belongs.