Family Values

There is a political party in this country that self-righteously claims the mantle of protector of “family values.”   But in practice the GOP seems uncaring about spewing hatred and invective at or in the presence of the youngest and most vulnerable Americans.

Once upon a time parents could let their children answer the phone, retrieve the mail and watch primetime TV without worry that their young ones would be subjected to  ugly scary images in political commercials, racist political attacks disguised as comic books, or frightening robocalls accusing a political opponent of being “in league with terrorists” or “unpatriotic”.

Now we have Norm Coleman sending comic-book like mailers filled with smears about “porn” and “rape” against his opponent Al Franken into the mailboxes and homes across Minnesota. Do Minnesota parents now have to think twice before sending their children to empty the mailbox?  Or do they want to explain “rape” and “porn” to their first-grader?

We hear about waves of robocalls questioning the patriotism of Barack Obama going out in many “swing” states.  The scripts are filled with hateful invective against Barack Obama.  Should parents now hesitate before letting their 9 or 10 year old from answer the phone and risk having them being subjected to an automated diatribe?

What about prime time TV?  Should parents worry about televised smears as the family sits down on the couch  together after dinner to watch their favorite shows?  In North Carolina, for instance,  Elizabeth Dole (R) has put out a series of ads claiming that her opponent Kay Hagan is “godless”.  What about the mud-slinging ads from murky 527 groups that  are cropping up across the country trying to link Obama to “terrorists” and questioning his patriotism?  Should caring parents have to worry about their children having nightmares based on the ominous tone and frightening images projected in these ads?

Even the Sunday newspaper is not immune!   The virulently anti-muslim smear of the “Obsession” DVD was tucked conveniently into the Sunday edition of newspapers across the country in recent weeks.

Now we are seeing the hate trickle down to rank and file Republicans.   Some of it has been showing up in the homemade signs at McCain-Palin rallies — and the occasional hate-filled shout of “kill him” or “off with his head”.

Even Halloween is not safe from political hate speech. A woman in Michigan took delight in sending  children away crying because of their parents’ political views.

GROSSE POINTE FARMS, Mich. – A woman refused Halloween candy to children whose parents support Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Shirley Nagel passed out candy Friday on the scary U.S. holiday, but only to those who shared her support for Republican presidential candidate John McCain and his vice presidential pick Sarah Palin.

Television station WJBK reported that a sign posted outside Nagel’s house in suburban Detroit served this notice to children seeking treats: “No handouts for Obama supporters, liars, tricksters or kids of supporters.”

Nagel told WJBK that “Obama’s scary.” When asked about children who were turned away empty-handed and crying, she said: “Oh well. Everybody has a choice.”

Nagel’s course of action (her choice!) seems lacking in Christian charity.

Then there is this incident in Wisconsin that was reported on Daily Kos by “Dave the Wave”.

I live in Waunakee, Wisconsin. It’s a small town of about 8500 people. Pretty much a 50/50 town as far as Democrat-Republic registration. I woke up early this morning to find some slimy rat had left a message for me on my doorstep. This is how Republicans react to their impending defeat. Abraham Lincoln is rolling in his grave. It’s motivating the shit out of me!


This motivates me, too!

Then there was the incident in Woodland Hills, California, where a McCain volunteer attacked an Obama supporter in front of his five and eight year old daughters.  Not a class act!

I was standing on a busy corner in my neighborhood with my daughters waving my Obama/Biden sign. I was kitty-corner to the San Fernando Valley Campaign Headquarters of John McCain. For two hour I was getting about 8 honks for every one honk for McCain.

Three McCain volunteers came across to my corner and one of them physically attacked me. She started yelling at me for wanting a Socialist State, and then grabbed my Obama sign, threw it into the street, and started cussing me out, all in front of my kids. I asked her to stop cussing in front of my kids, but she wouldn’t. Two 17 year old kids (children of Obama supporters) witnessed the whole thing and came to help me stop this insane McCain volunteer from scaring my kids. I gave a report to the police after they responded to my 911 call.

The Obama supporter did not press charges but came back later to continue his streetcorner signwaving without further incident.

I guess that the Greedy Obnoxious Party figures this is the way to instill their values in the next generation.  The values and wishes of parents are consistently disregarded if they conflict with the Republican party’s values.  Even if parents want to inculcate values such as peace, love, conflict-resolution, and respect for all people in their offspring, the GOP is willing to push its own messages of hate and divisiveness and foist them on the children of these parents against their parents’ wishes.  So much for “family values”  — in the eyes of the Republicans it appears that only their version of “family values” is worthwhile.

There’s a song that explains the origin of these Republican “family values”:

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

If only the Republicans would let parents decide on which set of values to teach their children — especially if they were to heed Lincoln’s call in his Second Inaugural address to have “malice toward none, with charity for all.” 

Then the Republican Party would return to its roots and be able to offer a positive vision for the future of this country.  Until then they only have the bitterness of hate to give them cold comfort as they dwindle into an ever-smaller minority party.

Explore posts in the same categories: Democrats, elections, Obama, patriotism, politics

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