Sunday, January 20, 2013

This one's for THE CHILDREN

It's amazing how much of what conservatives want in America is allegedly driven over concern for "the children."

Abortion should be illegal because it kills unborn children.

Janet Jackson's nipple and curse words make for indecent TV because of the children.

We should stop mortgaging the future of the country (at least as far as non-war, non-tax cut stuff) because we have to think about the children.

Teachers must shut up about their increasingly miserable lot because of the children.

We must return to alleged Christian roots because of THE CHILDREN.

When George W. Bush surrounded himself with black schoolchildren during the signing of No Child Left Behind, it was an inspiring step forward in American education.

And yet...

When Barack Obama surrounds himself with diverse schoolchildren to sign executive orders intended to ensure they're less likely to get blown away in school, HE'S JUST LIKE HITLER. What kind of vicious fiend would use children as a political prop?!!

Just to be clear, I'm not a fan of using children as a political prop. I was actively interested in politics from the age of 8, but I suspect most kids aren't. (I knew a guy in college who, as an 11 year old, was part of a crowd of hecklers at a Bill Clinton rally that I had attended as a supporter. He grew up to be a gay Democrat, and the memory was a source of deep shame for him.) However, to suggest that Obama is the first to do it, or the worst, is to look like a partisan fool.

But that's beside the point. What's more important is what this latest criticism confirms about many American conservatives — that even the children, their oft-stated most valued concern, matter less than guns. I figured if anything would cause Second Amendment fetishists to reconsider their hard-line stance on the right to bear arms, it would be the Sandy Hook shooting. 

Nope. Instead, worrying about the children is suddenly a political ploy, a ruse to garner emotional support for a political issue. And that's bad now, at least insofar as it applies to guns. Because guns are sacred. Even more sacred than THE CHILDREN.

Apparently, there's literally no principle the GOP won't abandon for a few more pats on the back from the NRA. 


Blog Closed said...
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KBliss said...

I agree. Whoever made that poster was going WAY overboard and people are way to hypocritical when it comes to their own agendas.

However, I have to say, some of the things conservatives want that you listed at the beginning (NOT ALL) I totally agree with.

Would you want your young kid (if you had one) to see Janet Jackson's nipple and hear curse words on TV? Maybe, but I personally wouldn't want my kid to have to be subjected to that. (Of course some of that falls on good parenting. You can't keep your child sheltered their whole lives).

Ian McGibboney said...

I wouldn't actively want that. I have a baby niece and 10-year-old step-niece, and I'm conscious of what I watch and say around them. When I was little, there was virtually no censorship, either in words or in entertainment. I may have seen some stuff too soon but otherwise I'm OK. So while I don't actively cultivate that in other kids, I also figure they can handle some things if they slip out.

But I think the halftime show a case where too much of a fuss over it could pique a young child's interest to a degree it wouldn't have otherwise. For me at the time, the nip-slip was an example of hypocrisy. With all of the violence in entertainment and warmongering that most people accept, the body part was where they drew the line. I don't think nip-slips should be encouraged on live TV, but neither do I think it was a conspiracy or the end-all be-all of morality.

I find it interesting that very few people seem to be consistent in this area. Sex, violence, weapons, profanity — almost everyone has an exception. And that exception is often because of something else they believe — something they're not always honest about. In this case, I think the pro-gun argument is slicing into the pro-children stance the GOP has, which is one of their greatest strengths. The unstoppable force meeting the immovable object, so to speak.