Seen on a Tshirt in Chicago: "Chicago: Where the weak are killed and eaten."
Mrs. Clinton: "Chicago: It's my kind of village!"
Mrs. Clinton: "Yes, it DOES take a village ..."
I was born in 1955, and raised in various neighborhoods, where the mothers were mostly home watching the kids, and our fathers worked, providing for their families. Neighboring adults and kids were always around, and the kids could play all day, near to the home, or far afield, without worry of kidnapping or of the random sex abuser or serial killer. These neighborhoods were like villages that indeed helped to raise all the kids. I can recall many a neighbor mom or dad cleaning up my cuts or taking me home or yelling at all of us kids for getting too rowdy. Or even spanking a kid who wasn't theirs, if that kid got too far out of hand. All of us benefited from this neighborly attention to each other. Adults and kids both, for any mom could and would watch over a pack of kids. We all watched out for each other. While I am sure this was not the case for everyone in America, I am also sure it will be somewhat familiar to many. This was the "village" of my childhood in America in the late 50s and the 60s, before the advent of big government involvement in every aspect of our daily lives.
Is this what Mrs. Clinton means by it takes a village to raise a child? In this sense, the concept works, for the simple reason that everybody benefits when people voluntarily help each other, as neighbors and friends.
Or does Mrs. Clinton feel that the Federal Government needs to be more involved in the raising of children? In this sense, it is merely the State making another intolerable power grab, pushing its Big Nose into something that is none of its business. And indeed, in her speech at the Convention, Mrs. Clinton mentions many more bills, laws, and programs at the Federal level which pretend to promote the welfare of families, but which, in practice, would only expand the bureaucracy of federal workers that have become more and more involved in the lives of our families.
This bureaucracy of federal workers includes child protective service workers, social workers, psychologists, teachers, a veritable army of soi-disant "helping" professionals. These are, of course, the people who decided that disciplining children is not a good idea, indeed, that it could be termed "abuse." Yet, when parents cannot discipline their children, they have had the other side of love taken away from them, for raising children is a matter of both love and discipline--both are equally necessary for children to grow and thrive in healthy ways. The result of federal bureaucracy intervention: a sick society where the level of juvenile crime rises higher and higher.
These "helping" professions are insisting in public schools that our kids strip and be checked for bruises and genital warts. They insist that children receive sex education, long before it is natural for a child to even think about sex. They insist that this sex education include homosexuality as an "alternative lifestyle." They insist on "parent training"--at the same time that parents can have their kids taken away from them and put into foster homes, simply because the parents disciplined their children in a time-honored way.
Mrs. Clinton wants to see a Federal program that somehow promotes children reading before the 3rd grade. Heck, Mrs. Clinton, my father taught me how to read before kindergarten! Children can learn how to read with phonics and with the steady attention of their parents to their schooling. Yet what do we see in public schools? Children are receiving lessons in such strange topics as multiculturalism, sexuality diversity, "self-esteem," and behavior modification. Unfortunately, they are no longer being taught to read. A great deal of words are mouthed about illiteracy by the hand-wringing bureaucracy. And yet, the deeds of this same bureaucracy reveal that its educational system fosters illiteracy. Which do you believe, words or deeds? Explanations or results?
"Chicago: where the weak are killed and eaten." "Chicago: my kind of village!" Chilling, isn't it?
What does it take to raise healthy, intelligent children? It takes the State getting out of where it does not belong: medical care, schools, education, our homes, our bodies, our private lives. Once we the people again can raise our children without the persistent, illogical, and corrupting influence of the federal bureaucracy, then perhaps we can go back to our neighborly way of doing things, where everyone benefits, and no one falls by the wayside.
28 August 1996
© Patricia Neill, 1997
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