Tuesday, December 18, 2007

USA Today: 'Family values' lower on agenda in 2008 race

USA Today posts an article titled, 'Family values' lower on agenda in 2008 race. They say:

Religious and cultural conservatives, unhappy about the rise of abortion and divorce, have made "family values" a staple of Republicans' political strategies for three decades. The phrase took on new life in 1992, when then-vice president Dan Quayle blasted fictional TV character Murphy Brown for having an illegitimate child. Family values were at the heart of a 2004 drive to put same-sex marriage bans on state ballots and draw conservatives to the polls.

They mention that only Mitt Romney regularly talks about so-called 'family values.' They note that "there are signs that family values have lost their punch as a campaign issue. Most voters say family values in general are important to them, but a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds they don't care much about candidates' personal lives. Political analysts say voters and candidates have broader, more immediate concerns: the ongoing U.S. action in Iraq and Afghanistan, nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea, the threat of terrorism and an economy that's putting stress on low- and middle-income people."

Family values and the USA Today story was the topic of discussion on this morning's Washington Journal on C-Span. The phone calls on the Republican line seem to indicate the truth of this article. There were only two who talked about gays, pornography, and church. The others addressed the economy as more of a 'family value' to them.

Three-quarters of the voters in a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll last month said family values are extremely or very important to them. Asked what the term means, one-third said "strong families." Some called it a "ploy" by conservatives to win votes; others mentioned health care and abortion.

That one-third who mentioned 'strong families' is a key to the '08 election. of course, what makes a family 'strong' is up to interpretation. I would think that two items are of particular importance in creating a strong family: a roof and a job. Families disintegrate without either. Families without either or both don't care about a porn shop down the street or the gay couple two doors down. Or whether Mr. Jones is twice-divorced. Or religion, unless the church opened its doors to them and fed them.

What has this Republican administration done for families in the past 7 years? As reported earlier, they have foisted $450,000 worth of debt on them; they have watched the dollar turn into play money on the international markets; they have watched banks foreclose on their houses; they have watched factory after factory close and go overseas. They have seen the cost of drugs and health care rise like a jet taking off from the runway. They see roads, bridges and sewers collapsing. They see a gallon of gas and a gallon of milk at $3. They see Payday Loan shops mushrooming up all over town. They see more and more closed stores and shops. They see government waste and more and more corrupt government officials.

Family values. This is what it is all about, not some phony holier-than-thou crap about the Bible. Food, a house, a car and a job. That makes America a strong nation. After that, we'll worry about some trivial things like gay marriage.

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