Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Quote of the Week

Posted by sanityinjection on August 27, 2009

“Obama didn’t have a father.  Maybe that’s why he sees the government as Daddy.” – Actress/comedienne and Saturday Night Live alumna Victoria Jackson

Jackson isn’t being snide here, she’s being serious. The question of whether President Obama’s unsettled childhood and single-parent upbringing affected his views on the role of government as caretaker is an interesting one and will no doubt be addressed in detail in some 750-page biography written after he leaves office. Jackson’s point is that if we as a society did more to try to encourage two-parent families, maybe we wouldn’t have so many people in need of government assistance.

In saying that, I am acknowledging how difficult it is for a single parent to raise a child. There are of course people who do so successfully, and they are amazing and admirable. But we should not, based on a minority of remarkable individuals, have come to the point where we now view single parenthood simply as a “lifestyle choice” that is no better or worse than anything else. A single parent family may be the best (or only) option when one parent is deceased, has abandoned the family, is abusive or has deleterious issues such as drug or alcohol abuse. That’s in sharp contrast to the young women who believe that they can have a child, career, and active single life all at once. Experience suggests that when you try to do too many things at once you end up doing some of them badly.

If you think I am exaggerating the prevalence of this view among women, you haven’t been to the movies or watched TV lately. And let’s not forget last year’s “Gloucester dozen.”

We are told that preventive medicine can reduce the need for emergency medicine. and economic opportunity can reduce the prevalence of crime. We are encouraged to shift resources to such preventive measures. Why then, is it incomprehensible that shifting resources to the encouragement of stable, two-parent child rearing can decrease the need for government social services later on? Is there not a similar savings to be had?

You may well ask how we are supposed to go out about this. After all, we believe that people have the right to make their own choices about partnership and reproduction. But a good start would be to stop treating those areas of life as simple vehicles for self-discovery that are devoid of consequences. Maybe sex education classes could include the idea that you should only have as many children as you can financially support. Maybe our television and movies could revive the idea of parent characters as models to look up to (in the vein of June Cleaver, Mike Brady, and Bill and Claire Huxtable) rather than bumbling buffoons to be sneered at.

Advertisements

5 Responses to “Quote of the Week”

  1. I have another, totally unrelated Quote of the Week:

    “The biggest oppression … is despotic treatment of the people in the name of Islam.” – Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri

    Montazeri was once the heir apparent to Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini but fell out of favor and has been subject to periods of house arrest for speaking out against the clerical regime in Iran. However, he remains one of the top Islamic scholars in the Shi’ite branch of Islam.

    http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=8423333

  2. Jess Chapman said

    Bill Cosby’s character’s first name in The Cosby Show was Heathcliff, or Cliff. Just a minor correction.

    Regrettably, there are far less Murphy Browns in this segment of the population than there are Octomoms. I have consistently stated that compulsory secondary education in independent living, with a particular emphasis on personal financial management, is the best way to reduce the number of underage state dependents in the country. Obama’s mother herself was staunchly committed to just that, which ultimately made her more successful than other single parents.

  3. Ms. D said

    Did people start loosening their values when TV told them it was okay, or did TV start loosening its values when their viewers said it was okay? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? I believe TV and movies will revive parent characters when, and only when, the majority of people demand it. Just like they did back then.

    Maybe this can be done by government intervention programs, maybe not. I do sense that many people feel the need to bring back old values like those of June Cleaver, but then again, ‘alternative lifestyles’ are making strides against personal discrimination, and it’s not really in vogue to have traditional values. So with all the complexities that our society now has, I’m not sure if change will be driven either by the government or by TV. I am glad though that our TV characters are not all two white middle income married people with 2.3 children, and totally unrepresentative of our real society.

  4. Ed Darrell said

    Maybe sex education classes could include the idea that you should only have as many children as you can financially support. Maybe our television and movies could revive the idea of parent characters as models to look up to (in the vein of June Cleaver, Mike Brady, and Bill and Claire Huxtable) rather than bumbling buffoons to be sneered at.

    Finally ready to concede that “just say no” sex education is damaging? Great, make the case — but don’t blame the problems on those who tried to prevent them, please.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: