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View Diary: Brad Carson speaks - and pens a brilliant TNR article (348 comments)

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  •  Agreed, but be sympathetic (none)
    "What the Democrats haven't said is that parents have to have the major responsibility for what their kids see, hear and values they grow up to embrace."

    That is true, but you can understand why the Democratic party is afraid to make that their position.  For one, no one likes to be told they are a bad parent.  Not gonna win any votes that way.  Second, "ScientistMom in NY" has a great point.  Many of these people physically cannot sheild their children from the media.  Many of them are working 2 or 3 jobs just to make ends meet.  

    Yes, we have to be firm that it is the parents responsibility to sheild their children, but we need to be sympathetic in doing so.  We must re-frame "family values."  What I mean by this is that we have to point to the economy as the scapegoat, not the media.  This will take the blame off of us and put it firmly where it belongs: on the Republican's economic policy.  

    Blame the Republican economic policy and tax cuts for the rich that are destroying home life by forcing parents to spend too much time away from their kids.  We must link our economic policies to "family values."  By doing so, we will be able to get people to vote in their economic interest once again.

    •  Yes, families need support (none)
      desperately, in so many ways.
      •  ScientistMom -- you are so right! (4.00)
        I was just skimming this string -- as someone who grew up and entered politics in Oklahoma, but has since moved to Oak Park, Illinois, which voted 75% for John Kerry, and have two little kids just about to enter the world -- I can echo what SciMom is saying.  We have a hard enough time in Oak Park resisting the media-stoked sex and violence that sets the tone for our consumer culture, but yet we at least have a fighting chance living in a community where at least some parents (many of whom are gay!) are trying to do the same thing, and where we have a variety of other things to do, great schools, museums, all kinds of extra-curricular activities, Chicago nearby, etc.

        I guarentee you that Sallisaw OK is not that kind of a place, because I've been there. In Sallisaw, the main institution of "resistance" to a decadent culture is the evangelical, mostly fundamentalist, churches whose ability to interpret these problems is "fundamentally" limited to Biblical prophecy.

        They do focus on abortion and gays, but most of these folks aren't really single-issue voters; those issues are just two manifestations of their overarching condemnation of our culture.  

        I'm not saying we should back away from our support for choice and for equal rights for everyone or for civil liberties, but we shouldn't back away from criticizing the excesses of consumer culture -- and if we did so, we might find some common ground with enough of the conservative "values" voters so that the next Brad Carson has a shot at winning in Oklahoma, or the next Democratic presidential nominee has a shot at winning a few of the currently Red states.

        Tipper Gore, if you recall, boldly tried to address this very issue back in the 1980s, only to be villified by the left. Maybe she was ahead of ther time.

        •  Tipper Gore (none)
          I remember that she was vilified.  I didn't pay too much attention, not having children at the time, and not realizing how vile rap music lyrics were.  Then, later, I read a column by Gary Will (is that the right name, a conservative Newsweek columnist?) about rap lyrics in which he quoted some.  I was appalled and astounded.  

          And you make a very good point about the boonies.  I have relatives in a very small town in the midwest.  Teenagers have two choices:  play sports or take drugs.  Abortion rates are very high - there's not much else to do.  Houses are miles apart.  It's absolutely dreary there.  You can't even go for a walk because there are packs of wild dogs.  

          We are in a bind about censorship, aren't we?  But I do feel that the public airwaves (TV, radio) are in a different category than books, movies, that can be avoided by those who don't want to see them, or have their kids see them.  

      •  ScientistMom -- you are so right! (none)
        I was just skimming this string -- as someone who grew up and entered politics in Oklahoma, but has since moved to Oak Park, Illinois, which voted 75% for John Kerry, and have two little kids just about to enter the "consumer" world -- I can echo what SciMom is saying.  We have a hard enough time in Oak Park resisting the media-stoked sex and violence that sets the tone for our consumer culture, but yet we at least have a fighting chance living in a community where at least some parents (many of whom are gay!) are trying to do the same thing, and where we have a variety of other things to do, great schools, museums, all kinds of extra-curricular activities, Chicago nearby, etc.

        I guarentee you that Sallisaw OK is not that kind of a place, because I've been there. In Sallisaw, the main institution of "resistance" to a decadent culture is the evangelical, mostly fundamentalist, churches whose ability to interpret these problems is "fundamentally" limited to Biblical prophecy.

        They do focus on abortion and gays, but most of these folks aren't really single-issue voters; those issues are just two manifestations of their overarching condemnation of our culture.  

        I'm not saying we should back away from our support for choice and for equal rights for everyone or for civil liberties, but we shouldn't back away from criticizing the excesses of consumer culture -- and if we did so, we might find some common ground with enough of the conservative "values" voters so that the next Brad Carson has a shot at winning in Oklahoma, or the next Democratic presidential nominee has a shot at winning a few of the currently Red states.

        Tipper Gore, if you recall, boldly tried to address this very issue back in the 1980s, only to be villified by the left. Maybe she was ahead of her time.

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