Married With Children? Probably Not a Liberal . . .
Vol: 43 Issue: 25 Monday, April 25, 2005
A Democratic think-tank, the Progressive Policy Institute, recently issued an analysis aimed at showing DNC deficiencies and offering suggested repairs to the party platform.
After years and years of ‘progressive thinking’, the Democrats are now scrambling for ways to distance themselves from the results of that thinking.
The Progressive Policy Institute is the policy arm of the Democratic Leadership Council. It noted with alarm that married voters with children tend to vote for the candidate who is the most outspoken about faith and morals.
In the 2004 election, married parents supported President Bush over Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry by nearly 20 percentage points. The analysis noted that Bush made faith, morals and child-raising issues more of a central part of his campaign than Kerry did.
And, in what I thought was an unusually candid admission for a liberal, the report noted that the overwhelming support Kerry received from liberals — particularly Hollywood liberals — hurt the Kerry campaign more than it helped it, especially among Democrats who were married with children.
Barbara Dafoe-Whitehead, who authored the report, is also the co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University.
According to Dafoe-Whitehead, “Democrats will not do better with married parents until they recognize one simple truth: Parents have a beef with popular culture. As they see it, the culture is getting ever more violent, materialistic, and misogynistic, and they are losing their ability to protect their kids from morally corrosive images and messages.”
I found the wording of the report as interesting as I did its candor. Despite hitting the nail squarely on the head, the wording of the report suggests it was an accidental stroke.
In noting that, ‘parents have a beef with popular culture’ Dafoe-Whitehead glossed over the fact that progressive liberalism was responsible for the degeneration of popular culture, saying, “As THEY [the married parents] see it . . . they are losing the ability to protect their kids.”
It is one of bedrock articles of the new faith of progressive liberalism that kids need to be protected from their parents, so the report is really only noting parental obstruction to their agenda, and suggesting ways to better conceal the ’cause and effect’ factor.
“To be credible, Democrats must acknowledge the legitimacy of parents’ beef and make it unmistakably clear that they are on the parents’ side.”
In other words, the plan is to admit that the culture of Hollywood liberalism is bad, but to find ways to convince parents it isn’t the liberal left’s fault.
It is a difficult balancing act, trying to distance oneself from the results of a policy while advancing the worldview that created the problem in the first place.
Writes Dafoe-Whitehead, “Democrats have been on the losing end of Republican appeals to a conservative cultural populism. Too often lately, the party does not counter these appeals but merely tries to change the subject, from cultural values to bread-and-butter issues.”
In the liberal worldview, ‘cultural values’ aren’t ‘bread and butter issues’ — it makes one wonder what ‘bread and butter’ issues are from the perspective of the left.
Assuming ‘bread and butter issues’ are those issues that most profoundly affect the quality of American life, the fact that ‘cultural values’ don’t make the cut is much too revealing about the liberal left’s worldview than they would be comfortable with — if they could but see it.
But they can’t. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1st Corinthians 2:14) The proof is in the pudding:
The report recommended that Democrats “use the bully pulpit regularly and aggressively to identify with parents’ concerns and to attack the irresponsible marketeers of violence and sleaze to young kids.”
Recently, we discussed the word ‘cynicism’ and some of its synonyms, “acrimony, animosity, arrogance, bitterness, brashness, brass, brazenness, cheek, chutzpah, conceit, confidence, crust. .. “
Today, we’ll use it in a sentence; “The recommendation to ‘identify with parent’s concerns’ by attacking the ‘irresponsible marketeers’ of values that have been ADVANCED by the liberal left for decades is a perfect example of ‘cynicism’ in practice.”
As an example of what the study’s author meant by ‘attacking irresponsible marketers of violence and sleaze’, it pointed to an Illinois campaign to ban the sale of violent video games to anyone under age 18.
This is the SAME Democratic platform that decried the FCC response to Janet Jackson’s breast-baring episode as unconstitutional ‘censorship’ of the airwaves and is fighting to prevent the FCC from imposing content restrictions for sex and violence on broadcast networks and basic cable TV.
This is the same worldview that defends spending tax dollars to promote pornographic ‘art’ and no-talent ‘artists’ like Robert Serrano. When he got a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for an exhibit of Jesus on a crucifix suspended in a jar of urine, the left defended it as ‘free speech’.
The only movie that ever prompted an organized anti-violence campaign to be mounted by the left was ‘The Passion of the Christ.’
When Quentin Tarantino’s movie, ‘Kill Bill’ was released, objections raised about its mindlessly violent content were dismissed as the rantings of the ‘religious-inspired right’.
But video-game manufacturers don’t have the visibility or clout of the Hollywood elite or the MTV lobby, so they are the logical choice for ‘irresponsible marketers of sleaze.’
After decades of advancing leftist feminist causes, including the deliberately-mislabeled ‘reproductive rights’ of women, Hillary Clinton is now calling on, ‘”people of good faith to find common ground” in the debate over abortion’ while speaking out in favor of “faith-based and religious organizations for promoting abstinence.”
This is the SAME Hillary Clinton who said in January, 2005;
“The Putting Prevention First Act, which I was proud to co-sponsor in the last Congress, increases funding for Title X; expands Medicaid family-planning services to provide access for more low-income women; ensures that health plans that cover prescription drugs also cover prescription contraceptives; funds emergency contraception public-education campaigns for doctors, nurses and women; ensures that hospital emergency rooms offer emergency contraception to victims of sexual assault; and establishes the nation’s first-ever federal sex-education program.”
Did YOU notice anything in there about ‘abstinence’ as a method of ‘preventing unwanted pregnancies’ in Hillary’s Master Plan?
Howard Dean, the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and an outspoken supporter of gay marriage, gay rights, free abortions on request, recently railed against the GOP in Congress, telling a group in Florida;
“We need to kick the money changers out of the temple and restore moral values to America.”
Is he KIDDING?
A Pew Research poll conducted a survey of Dean’s supporters; 38 percent of Dean supporters polled said they had no religious affiliation, compared with 11 percent of all Americans; 91 percent supported same-sex “marriage,” compared with 38 percent of all Democrats; and 80 percent said they were liberals, compared with 27 percent of all Democrats.
As noted, the main focus of the Progressive Policy Institute analysis was the discovery of what the report called “a severe parent gap” among Democratic voters.
The ‘parent gap’ emerged in the 2000 election when George W. Bush bettered Al Gore by 15% among married parents. In 2004, Republicans increased their margin with George W. Bush winning 59% of the married parent vote to John Kerry s 40%.
The Democrats are struggling to come up with ways to close that gap, but they can’t because they just can’t understand what it is. One liberal writer tried to explain it away by calling married parents with children ‘lifestage conservatives.’
According to this view, “lifestage conservatism is rooted in parents’ responsibility to instill moral values in their children. They don’t want to deny the pleasures of the popular culture to other adults. They aren’t calling for censorship. But they do want to draw a boundary between what’s OK for adults and what’s OK for children in their formative years.”
As I said, they can’t bridge the gap because they don’t understand it. They believe that EVERYBODY thinks like they do, and the only reason that married parents go temporarily insane is because of their kids.
Anybody notice that in our culture, there is a separate demographic, — a minority demographic, mind you — for ‘married’ parents?
The weakest constituency among the liberal left is among those who are married with children, but the liberal left was STILL able to mount a voter campaign that coughed up more than fifty-five MILLION votes for uber-liberal John Kerry.
Think about that for a minute. Married voters with children is a demographic category so unique that it must be distinguished from the unmarried parents, single parents, gay parents and other alternative-lifestyle parenting arrangements that together constitute the majority of Democratic voters.
The Democrats hope to recapture some of that bloc, but by employing subterfuge, not substance.
Note again Hillary’s favorable COMMENTS about faith-based groups and abstinence education, but when she got to the SUBSTANCE of legislation that she co-sponsored, faith and abstinence were nowhere to be found.
When pressed on the subject, this is Hillary’s actual position on abstinence and faith-based morality.
“We should also recognize what works and what doesn’t work, and to be fair, the jury is still out on the effectiveness of abstinence-only programs. I don’t think this debate should be about ideology, it should be about facts and evidence — we have to deal with the choices young people make not just the choice we wish they would make.”
In other words, ‘abstinence’ doesn’t REALLY work, it is just an ‘ideology’ based in ‘wishful thinking’ — but it appeals to married voters with children, so why not?
In the end, the softening of liberal opposition to matters of faith and social values is only cosmetic. Howard Dean no more understands the theological significance of ‘money changers in the temple’ than he does the Bible Belt’s ‘obsession with guns, gays and God’ — but it sounds good in a speech.
As already noted, the ‘moral values’ Dr. Dean wants to restore to America include gay marriage, special rights for homosexuals, abortion on demand, etc., etc.
And the sincerity of his words are best gauged by the values shared by his most ardent supporters — an elected official gets elected because he is seen by the electors as the most representative of their own values.
They don’t believe in God, are almost unanimous in their support for abortion and gay marriage, and identify themselves — 8 to 1 — as ‘liberals’.
But try as they might, the Democratic effort to recast itself as the party of moral values falls flat, because the DNC leadership doesn’t understand the concept.
‘Moral values’ are expressed by what one does when nobody else is looking. ‘Morality’ implies responsibility before God — it is, at its heart, the expression of our God-given conscience.
The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” (1st Timothy 4:1)
Paul covered the liberal agenda from the ACLU to PETA, describing a worldview that has ‘departed from the faith’, one at odds with married parents, ‘speaking lies in hypocrisy’ (Clinton, Dean, etc).
While in the same breath, criticizing faith-based moral values as ‘right wing ideology’ even as it divides its own ideology into ‘moral values’ vs. ‘bread and butter issues’.
Note also that Paul, in writing to Timothy, says that the “SPIRIT speaketh expressly” of society ‘in the latter times’.
It isn’t partisan or political to examine the tenets of a worldview that finds its fewest adherents among married parents and embraces everything the Scriptures oppose.
It is an obligation imposed on the Church of the last days.
Paul warned Timothy, and, by extension, the Church that sees the emergence of the society of ‘the latter times’;
“Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1st Timothy 4:15-16)