What Does the Code Phrase “Family Values” Really Mean?
The People are occupying Wall Street, or at least some of the space around it. Barack Obama and Department of Justice head Eric Holder are cracking down on state-sanctioned medical marijuana with more aggression and harm than their predecessors, those renowned drug softies George W. Bush and John Ashcroft. And although it’s more than a year in the future, everyone is acutely aware that there’s an election, a big one, that could be the fulcrum for a second Civil War…of words, and possibly more if the wrong people get power-mad at the wrong time.
In step with global climate change, primaries seem to be happening earlier each year, like great warbler migrations and cherry blossom blooms. Already it’s politicking season again, and as surely as benumbed voters will eventually learn that some (and possibly all) of the candidates running for every office in the land have committed some act of malfeasance, the citizenry will also surely hear innumerable candidates declaring that they are staunch supporters of “family values.”
This, of course, is supposed to be a good thing. Who, after all, is anti-family? Who would go on record as being opposed to marriage, children, and picnics with the relatives?
Alas, “family values” has become a subtly coded phrase that actually means “willing to invoke morality to limit the civil liberties of others.” As in: “I’m the family values candidate. I’m all for making sure the Ten Commandments are a part of every child’s elementary school education and that every unborn child isn’t harmed by a murderous harlot.”
Even if you (inexplicably) think it’s the government’s business to be legislating what people read, ingest, fornicate with, and worship, consider that those who are for “family values” seldom consider that the alleged goodness of caring for one’s spouse and offspring is perhaps not as grand and inclusive as caring about a much larger, much less blood-related community: our society.
Why is it that protecting the family — a congregation of two or four or maybe seven people — is a more noble quest than protecting hundreds and thousands of strangers you didn’t birth?
This election season, I’m going to support the real family values candidate: the one who sticks up for the Family of Man.