A barrier-breaking generation gives context to contemporary female life.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Family Values $$ of the Righteous

A modest letter to the editor in Saturday's Boston Globe by a local man, Keith Backman, clarifies the Orwellian quality of Sarah Palin's "family values" around her 17-year-old's pregnancy:

ALTHOUGH THE pregnancy of Sarah Palin's daughter, Bristol, should not influence anyone's vote, the double standard by which it is judged in conservative circles should. Palin's grandchild will be born into a family with ample resources, and so Bristol's flawed youthful decisions are being downplayed in light of her family's supportiveness. But the same flawed decisions of any inner-city teenager are consistently decried by conservatives as moral decay and poor family values. Wealthy individuals can make mistakes without disapprobation, but poor individuals who make the same mistakes are castigated, because they need help coping with the otherwise identical fallout of the error.

The logical extension is the conservative agenda: Social programs should be done away with because they squander the tax dollars of the righteous (i.e., the well off) on the vices of leeches and ne'er-do-wells. Whether it is teen pregnancy, drug abuse, family dysfunction, or any other issue, in the conservative mind the sin is not in the act or event itself, but in the lack of personal resources to deal with the outcome. How anyone can subscribe to, much less vote for, such a mean-spirited and hypocritical philosophy is beyond me.

No comments: